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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 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

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