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First POST: The Internet Is...

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, February 26 2014

The Internet Is…

  • Comcast's toughest and most knowledgeable critic, Susan Crawford, explains why Netflix's agreement to pay the giant cable conglomerate a premium for better handling of its streaming video service is an "arbitrary" tax that sets a terrible precedent for other high-capacity innovative uses of the Internet in the U.S.

  • Nilay Patel has written a passionate screed for The Verge whose title says it all: "The Internet is Fucked (but we can fix it)."

  • Time magazine is running a fun excerpt from Julia Angwin's new book, Dragnet Nation, describing her quest to break free from Google's tracking on her online search habits.

  • VC Marc Andreessen explains why he is so bullish about the future of the news business.

  • Ralph Nader wants a billionaire to run for President in 2016 to break up the two-party system, and his list of candidates is pretty interesting--and includes several tech successes, such as Andreessen, Steve Case, Bill Gates, and Sheryl Sandberg.

  • Inside Philanthropy's David Callahan has compiled a list of the "15 most powerful women in U.S. philanthropy," and it too includes several with strong tech connections, including Melinda Gates, Susan Dell, Pam Omidyar. Laurene Powell Jobs, Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, Priscilla Chan,

  • Using big data to map Ukraine's protest violence.

  • Target, the retailer hit with a huge customer data breach last fall, saw its earnings drop 46%. Perhaps the market for consumer privacy security is bigger than expected?

  • New: Our Sarah Lai Stirland reports on how one political start-up, the Tom Wolf campaign for PA governor, is devising new tactics for engaging potential supporters online.

News Briefs

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New Media Sites in Iran Blur Lines Between Citizen Journo, Professional Journo, & Activist

In 2010, Newsweek declared Iran the “birthplace of citizen journalism.” Iranian bloggers were hailed by Westerners as “brave” for their coverage of the aftermath of the disputed 2009 election. A 40-second video of the death of Neda Agha-Soltan during an anti-government protest won a prestigious George Polk Award, the first anonymously-produced work to be so honored. And then came the 2013 study “Whither Blogestan,” which sought to explain Iran's shrinking blogosphere. Of nearly 25,000 highly active and connected blogs in 2008 and 2009, only 20 percent were still online in September 2013.

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