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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 tuesday >

With Vision of Internet Magna Carta, Web We Want Campaign Aims To Go Beyond Protest Mode

On Saturday, Tim Berners-Lee reiterated his call for an Internet Magna Carta to ensure the independence and openness of the World Wide Web and protection of user privacy. His remarks were part of the opening of the Web We Want Festival at the Southbank Centre in London, which the Web We Want campaign envisioned as only the start of a year long international process underlying his call to formulate concrete visions for the open web of the future, going beyond protests and the usual advocacy groups. GO

First POST: Lifestyles

Google's CEO on "work-life balance"; how CloudFlare just doubled the size of the encrypted web; Dems like Twitter; Reps like Pinterest; and much, much more. GO

monday >

First POST: Showdown

How demonstrators in Hong Kong are using mobile tech to route around government control; will the news penetrate mainland China?; dueling spin from Dems and Reps on which party's tech efforts will matter more in November; and much, much more. GO

friday >

Pirate MEP Crowdsources Internet Policy Questions For Designated EU Commissioners

While the Pirate Party within Germany was facing internal disputes over the last week, the German Pirate Party member in the European Parliament, Julia Reda, is seeking to make the European Commission appointment process more transparent by crowdsourcing questions for the designated Commissioner for Digital Economy & Society and the designated Vice President for the Digital Single Market. GO

First POST: Dogfood

What ethical social networking might look like; can the iPhone promise more privacy?; how Obama did on transparency; and much, much more. GO

thursday >

First POST: Sucks

How the FCC can't communicate; tech is getting more political; Facebook might see a lawsuit for its mood manipulation experiment; and much, much more. GO

wednesday >

First POST: Wartime

A bizarre online marketing effort targets actress Emma Watson; why the news media needs to defend the privacy of its online readers; Chicago's playbook for civic user testing; and much, much more. GO