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First POST: Power Shifts

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, June 3 2014

Power Shifts

  • The Supreme Court refused to hear New York Times reporter James Risen's appeal of a court subpoena demanding that he turn over information about a source for a chapter in his book "State of War." Risen has vowed that he will go to jail rather than disclose his source, leaving his case in the hands of the Justice Department.

  • In the US, search warrants eventually become public court documents, but as the Wall Street Journal's Jennifer Valentino-Devries reports, requests for electronic surveillance stay sealed indefinitely, even after cases are closed, obscuring the extent to which law enforcement is using digital tracking tools like pen registers to pursue suspects. She notes, "Getting permission to use [those] techniques is easier than getting a search or wiretap warrant."

  • Reset the Net has garnered the support of some big websites, including Reddit, Imgur and BoingBoing, Alex Hern reports for the Guardian.

  • Oliver Stone is making a movie about Edward Snowden, using the book by Guardian journalist Luke Harding as his guide.

  • Speaking of Snowden, we can now confirm that he will be speaking at Personal Democracy Forum this Thursday, in a dialogue with Electronic Frontier Foundation co-founder John Perry Barlow. You can still get a ticket here; prices at the door are higher.

  • Jonathan Zittrain explains how Facebook could tilt an election, and how to prevent that from happening.

  • In case you missed it, John Oliver's 13-minute segment this past Sunday night on how to make net neutrality interesting is worth the watch. At least 115,000 people agree.

  • The US Food and Drug Administration just launched openFDA, a database and API containing more than 3 million adverse drug event reports.

  • Capital New York's Liz Benjamin, a veteran observer of Albany's byzantine politics, explains why the biggest winner of this weekend's brawl over the Working Families Party endorsement of Andrew Cuomo for governor could well be his erstwhile challenger, Zephyr Teachout--if she decides to make a career of representing the dissatisfied left in New York State.

  • Inside Philanthropy's L.S. Hall offers "four takeaways" on the $120 million donation from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Dr. Priscilla Chan to needy schools in the Bay Area.

  • On Next City, Nancy Scola reports on Clay Shirky's recent talk at the "Collaborative, Peer, and Sharing Economy Summit," catching him, we think, in a bit of over-generalization about where this is all going.

  • The three-fingered solidarity salute from "The Hunger Games" movies has been spotted being used by protestors against the military coup in Thailand.

  • Nigeria has banned #BringBackOurGirls protests, reports Brian Ries of Mashable. It remains to be seen if American celebrities will protest that.

  • A Singaporean blogger who has demanded more transparency from the tiny country's ruler has crowdfunded more than $50,000 in small donations for his legal defense, a sign, writes Howard Lee of The Online Citizen, that power is shifting and "people have grown weary of the power elite constantly using, as a matter of fact, completely legal means of defeating their detractors.

  • The Ukrainian factchecking site StopFake, which tries to police propaganda images being spread about the Ukraine crisis, is reaching 1.5 million unique visitors a month just 3 months after its launch, Lydia Tomkiw reports for NiemanLab.

  • Yesterday, a US Ambassador was sworn in on a digital copy of the Constitution on a Kindle, Brian Fung reports.

News Briefs

RSS Feed monday >

After Election Loss, Teachout and Wu Keep Up Net Neutrality an Anti-Comcast Merger Campaign

The Teachout/Wu campaign may have lost, but their pro net-neutrality campaign continued Monday as both former candidates participated in a rallly in New York City marking the final day to comment on the Federal Communications Commission's Internet proposals and kept up their pressure on Governor Andrew Cuomo. GO

friday >

NYC Politicians and Advocacy Groups Say Airbnb Misrepresents Sharing Economy

A coalition of New York election officials and affordable housing groups have launched an advocacy effort targeting Airbnb called "Share Better" that includes an ad campaign, a web platform, and social media outreach. GO

First POST: Data Dumps

The Internet Slowdown's impact on the FCC; Uber drivers try to go on strike; four kinds of civic tech; and much, much more. GO

thursday >

First POST: Positive Sums

How Teachout won some wealthy districts while Cuomo won some poor ones; DailyKos's explosive traffic growth; using Facebook for voter targeting; and much, much more. GO

wednesday >

First POST: Emergence

Evaluating the Teachout-Wu challenge; net neutrality defenders invoke an "internet slowdown"; NYC's first CTO; and much, much more. GO

tuesday >

De Blasio Names Minerva Tantoco First New York City CTO

Mayor Bill de Blasio named Minerva Tantoco as first New York City CTO Tuesday night in an announcement that was greeted with applause and cheers at the September meeting of the New York Tech Meet-Up. In his remarks, De Blasio said her task would be to develop a coordinated strategy for technology and innovation as it affects the city as a whole and the role of technology in all aspects of civic life from the economy and schools to civic participation, leading to a "redemocratization of society." He called Tantoco the perfect fit for the position as a somebody who is "great with technology, has a lot of experience, abiltiy and energy and ability to create from scratch and is a true New Yorker." GO

First POST: Fusion Politics

The Teachout-Wu Cuomo-Hochul race as it comes to a close; more criticism for Reddit as it prepares a major new round of funding; First Lady Michelle Obama as an Upworthy curator; and much, much more. GO