Personal Democracy Plus Our premium content network. LEARN MORE You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

First POST: Post-Ambition and Fear Not

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, February 25 2014

Post-Ambition and Fear Not

  • The Obama Administration has developed an offensive cyberwar plan to disrupt the Syrian military, but not deployed it because of an ongoing debate inside the government over the possible consequences of its use, David Sanger reports for The New York Times.

  • Culminating a series of reports done with NBC News, Glenn Greenwald explains in greater detail the work of Britain's GCHQ Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group to "monitor and influence internet communications, and covertly infiltrate online communities in order to sow dissension and disseminate false information." The slide deck accompanying the story is pretty chilling.

  • Words spoken by Will Smith and Sylvester Stallone in "After Earth" and "Rocky Balboa" get repurposed into an inspiring video tribute to Ukraine's protest movement by a blogger, Alexander Makedonskiy. His video has been watched more than 200,000 times on YouTube, Robert Mackey reports, after it got a big push from Pavel Durov, founder of VKontakte, the big Russian social network.

  • On Global Voices Online, Kevin Rothrock--the original source for Mackey's post-- explains how Durov's action may reverberate inside Russia.

  • Zeke Miller reports for Time about "Project Ivy," which will enable Democratic candidates to make use of several of the 2012 Obama campaigns main technology innovations. He writes:

    The new options, recognizable to any visitor to the Obama website in 2012, include the “call tool,” which allows volunteers to make targeted phone calls from the web, and its targeted sharing efforts, which allowed the campaign to request volunteers release specific information to carefully selected Facebook friends. It includes “Project Airwolf,” the Obama program named after the 1970s television show, which makes it easier for campaigns to match volunteers with where they will be most effective.

  • Veteran political strategist and organizer Gina Glantz's GenderAvenger project has a spanking new website, focused on calling out and ending the "many instances of women being absent from or underrepresented in the public arena." My favorite part of this project is where Glantz explains: "We will build a group of GenderAvenger Pros who will be ready to step in if you fear subtle or not-so-subtle retribution from speaking up in public or even quietly making the point. GenderAvengerPros are those of us who are post-ambition and fear not and have very large rolodexes (contact lists)."

  • Tim Wu explains why Comcast's deal with Netflix is actually bad for net neutrality.

  • Mathew Ingram reports on VC Marc Andreessen's argument on Twitter that broadband service providers should be allowed to charge more for high-volume content provision.

  • "Whenever we talk about the challenge of ending global poverty, we need to talk about the challenge of global connectivity," Alec Ross writes in The Huffington Post.

  • Mat Honan of Wired explores how Facebook is redesigning its service for users in developing countries where the mobile phones are out of date and the network infrastructure is expensive to use.

  • The European Parliament industry committee has delayed its vote new net neutrality rules, David Meyer reports for Gigaom, and internet advocates say this may be a good thing.

  • Ellen Miller, executive director of The Sunlight Foundation, has announced she is planning to retire this year, producing quite a flurry of tributes on Twitter.

  • The anonymous wag behind the Goldman Sachs elevator Twitter handle has been unmasked, just weeks after he sold a book about Wall Street for a six-figure advance.

  • Billionaire tech investor Sean Parker compares Gawker publisher Nick Denton to the Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels, and Denton counsels Parker, "Next time you want to insult a Jew, however, Sean, you might want to come up with some other metaphor."

News Briefs

RSS Feed today >

First POST: Scary Monsters

Facebook opens up about its experiments on tweaking voting behavior; breaking news in the FCC net neutrality battle; getting hard data on civic tech's impact on political efficacy; and much, much more. GO

thursday >

First POST: System-Gaming

Why techies interested in political reform are facing challenges; the latest data on Democratic voter contacts in 2014; Hungary's anti-Internet tax demonstrations are getting huge; and much, much more. GO

wednesday >

First POST: Gimme Shelter

The link between intimate partner violence and surveillance tech; the operational security set-up that connected Laura Poitras, Glenn Greenwald and Edward Snowden; how Senate Dems are counting on tech to hold their majority; and much, much more. GO

tuesday >

First POST: Tribes

Edward Snowden on the Internet's impact on political polarization; trying to discern Hillary Clinton's position on NSA reform; why Microsoft is bullish on civic tech; and much, much more GO

monday >

First POST: Inventions

How voter data-sharing among GOP heavyweights is still lagging; why Facebook's News Feed scares news publishers; Google's ties to the State Department; and much, much more. GO

More