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

First POST: Launch Codes

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, March 4 2014

Launch Codes

  • Foreign Policy's Shane Harris reports that Russian forces are "jamming cell phones and severing Internet connections" between Crimea and the rest of Ukraine, but so far they have not launched full-fledged cyber attacks on Ukraine's government or infrastructure.

  • Reuters reports that the mobile phones of members of the Ukrainian Parliament have come under attack.

  • Inside Russia, more than a dozen websites on VKontakte linked to the Ukraine #maidan movement have been shut down by the country's Internet monitoring agency, AP reports.

  • Our Jessica McKenzie offers a roundup of resources to help you follow the Ukraine crisis.

  • PDF Poland-CEE, coming up this March 13-14 in Warsaw, will include a special focus on Ukraine, "featuring civic activist and journalist Svitlana Zalishchuk and Roman Udot, co-chairman of the Golos movement, an organization with extensive experience in the field of civic election monitoring," our Antonella Napolitano reports. "They will be joined by the founders of Yanukovych Leaks, an open archive of secret files belonging to the former Ukrainian president." Registration is free.

  • Jailed Egyptian blogger and activist Alaa Abd El-Fatah addresses the RightsCon conference via YouTube.

  • Senator Al Franken (D-MN) has written to the FCC urging that it scrutinize Comcast's proposed merger with Time Warner because the giant company has "a history of breaching its legal obligations to customers."

  • Julia Angwin, author of the new book Dragnet Nation, points out in a New York Times op-ed that protecting one's privacy in a digital age has become like a "luxury good" available only to those who can afford it.

  • Meetup.com is still fighting a DDOS attack that started last Thursday, reports Scott Heiferman, its CEO.

  • Pot, kettle, black: "David Cameron's porn-filter advisor arrested for possession of images of sexual abuse of children," reports Cory Doctorow of BoingBoing.

  • After running TV ads praising Republicans, now Mark Suckerberg's FWD.us is attacking them for stalling on immigration reform, Hillicon Valley's Julian Hattem reports. (No, not a typo Alex.)

  • TeaLeafNation's Yiqin Fu reports that Chinese Internet users are unhappy that Western media has been downplaying the terrorist connotation of Saturday's railway station rampage in Kunming, which left 29 dead.

  • Cartoonist Hugh MacLeod senses a cultural shift among (longtime?) Internet users: "We’re sick of of all the endless crap we see online, the never-ending content blizzard. We’re sick of spending most of our free time staring into our phones. Our lives devoured by all these billions of carnivorous Web 2.0 pixels, and we’re sick of it."

  • Vice News has launched.

  • The MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Opening Governance, convened and organized by GovLab, has announced its formal launch.

  • The Brookings Institution has launched a new blog devoted to tech policy, TechTank, edited by Darrell West.

News Briefs

RSS Feed thursday >

Mark Pesce on "Hypercivility" at @CivicHall

A week ago, digital ethnologist Mark Pesce gave a talk here at Civic Hall on the topic of "Hypercivility." As you will see from watching the video, it's an extension of years of research and thinking he has done on the effects of hyperconnectivity on our world. Be forewarned, this is not an "easy" talk to watch or digest. While Pesce definitely has our social-media-powered "Age of Outrage" on his mind, he grounds his talk in a much more serious place: post-genocide Rwanda, which he recently visited. GO

First POST: Impossibles

The FCC vote; a proxy Democratic primary battle in Chicago; Gov Andrew Cuomo begins deleting all state employee emails more than 90 days old; men talking about women in tech; and much, much more. GO

wednesday >

First POST: Off the Books

Chicago's "black site"; The New York Times reports "little guys" like Tumblr and Reddit have won the fight for net neutrality but fails to mention Free Press or Demand Progress; Hillary Clinton fan products on Etsy to inspire campaign slogans?; and much, much more. GO

tuesday >

First POST: Challenges

How Silicon Valley donors are thinking about Hillary Clinton 2016; Yahoo's security chief locks horns with the head of the NSA; Instagram location data catches a Congressman with his hand in the till; and much, much more. GO

monday >

First POST: Bows

CitizenFour wins best doc; Ken Silverstein resigned from First Look Media and took to Facebook to vent; why we need more Congressional staffers; who profits from the net neutrality debate; banning PowerPoint presentations; and much, much more. GO

friday >

First POST: Sim Pickings

Using stolen encryption keys, the NSA and GCHQ can intercept and decrypt communications between billions of phones without notifying the service provider, foreign governments or users; get to know Sarah Harrison, the WikiLeaks editor who helped Snowden gain asylum in Russia; a profile of the Fight for the Future leaders; how the new wave of black community organizing is not hashtag activism; and much, much more. GO

More