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First POST: Undermining

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, May 19 2014

Undermining

  • Most Americans don't know what net neutrality is, but of those who think they do, a majority favor it, according to a Google Consumer Survey of American adults conducted by Gregory Ferenstein.

  • Cisco's top brass is speaking out about NSA overreach. First came a blog post on May 13 from its general counsel, and now a letter from its CEO John Chambers to President Obama says that if it is true the agency is physically intercepting its products in order to install tracking tools on them, "these actions will undermine confidence in our industry."

  • Asked about the NSA's interception of computer hardware for export, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, says the program "does not sound familiar."

  • The US Justice Department is filing charges against several members of China's People's Liberation Army accusing them of cyber-espionage against American companies.

  • The hyper-local news network Patch is doing better under new management, Leslie Kaufman reports for the New York Times.

  • Right-wing populist Ralph Benko writes in Forbes that Lawrence Lessig "may be the greatest radical at work in America today." And he means that in a good way.

  • Whodathunkit? Nerds for Nature is crowdsourcing on-the-ground photos of the recovering landscape of Mt. Diablo, where more than 3,000 acres burned in 2013, using camera stands like this one and a common hashtag.

News Briefs

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Beyond @Congressedits, Capitol Hill Looks for Entry to Wikipedia

As he recently told techPresident, the creator of Congressedits did not aim to make Members of Congress look bad, but said he hoped that they would recognize the importance of Wikipedia as a public space and engage more with its community. "If staffers and politicians identified as Wikipedians, that would be super. You could imagine politicians' home pages with a list of their recent edits, that they would be proud of the things that they are doing." On Capitol Hill, there is in fact interest in making that vision a reality, starting off with an initial conversation that could create a framework for more Wikipedians in Congress. GO

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In the Philippines, Citizens Go Undercover With Bantay to Monitor Public Offices

The Philippines, a country of almost 100 million, is considered among the most corrupt country in Southeast Asia, despite a boost in Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index in the past few years (from 134th in 2010 to 94th in 2013 out of 175.) Corruption involves all levels of government, but benefits also from a mindset of tolerance, says Happy Feraren, the co-founder of Bantay.ph, an anti-corruption educational initiative that teaches citizens how to monitor the quality of government services, sometimes by going undercover. GO

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