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First POST: Disclosures

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, July 17 2014


  • Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) is in the Bay Area hunting for libertarian techie donors, reports Darren Samuelsohn for Politico.

  • The odds of the USA Freedom Act making it through the Senate aren't high, meaning the chances of improving its privacy features also aren't very good, reports Alex Byers for Politico.

  • The UN's human rights chief says Edward Snowden shouldn't be prosecuted because he helped disclose many human rights violations, reports the Agence France Press.

  • In an exclusive interview with the Guardian's Alan Rusbridger and Ewen MacAskill, Snowden says if he ended up in Guantanamo, he could "live with that" but that he still wanted a jury trial in the United States with an opportunity to present a full defense.

  • A Swedish judge upheld the arrest warrant for Julian Assange, but the Wikileaks founder's lawyers said they would appeal.

  • Why is the Federal Election Commission lagging so severely on processing the reporting of congressional campaign contributions, the Center for Responsive Politics' Bob Biersack asks in a New York Times oped.

  • It's National Brotherhood Week: Republicans dislike Muslims far more than Democrats do, according to the Pew Research Center's latest survey, which asked people to give a 0 to 100 thermometer rating of how negatively or positively they viewed various religious groups. White evangelicals rate Jews much more highly than Jews rate white evangelicals (69 on the thermometer vs 34). And younger people rate Muslims more highly than older people, while older people rate Jews more highly than younger people.

  • Full disclosure: Among the people backing Fordham law professor and former Howard Dean internet director Zephyr Teachout's effort to challenge sitting NY Governor Andrew Cuomo in the Democratic primary, according to the filings by her and her running mate Tim Wu with the state board of elections: Union Square Ventures' Brad Burnham ($20,000), Tumblr founder David Karp ($20,000) WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg ($5,000), Netflix VP Chris Libertelli ($5,000), Kickstarter's Fred Benenson ($5,000), campaign finance reform activist Arnold Hiatt ($2,500), Lawrence Lessig ($2,500), Reddit's Alexis Ohanian ($2,500), our own Andrew Rasiej ($1,500), Digg's Andrew McLaughlin ($1,000), Open Technology Institute's Sascha Meinrath ($1,000), Harvard Law School's Jonathan Zittrain ($1,000), Duke law prof Jedediah Purdy ($1,000), Ben & Jerry's Ben Cohen ($1,000), EchoDitto founder and former Dean webmaster Nicco Mele ($600), net neutrality campaigner Marvin Ammori ($500), Blue State Digital's Joe Rospars ($500), Progressive Strategies' Mike Lux ($450), former Dean data-wiz Kenn Herman ($300), former Dean developer Josh Koenig ($250), Fight for the Future's Tiffiniy Cheng ($250), MIT's Ethan Zuckerman ($250), Brooklyn law prof Jonathan asking ($250), Public Campaign's David Donnelly $250), former Dean developer Zack Rosen ($250), the ACLU''s Christopher Soghoian ($100), Sunlight Foundation's Ellen Miller ($100), former Dean blogger Mathew Gross ($100), and yours truly ($100). According to the July filings, she and Wu have raised $280,000 so far.

  • The Teachout campaign points out that she has received more individual contributions in just one month than Governor Cuomo has in six.

  • Handup, the "Kickstarter for the homeless" startup that our Sam Roudman profiled recently, has raised $850,000 in seed funding.

  • Is it just me, or does Airbnb founder Brian Chesky's new blog post aiming to define his billion-dollar company and its new branding, the "Belo," read like something Mr. Rogers could have written, but with a special visit to "the Magic Kingdom" first?

  • In an innovative partnership with the Environmental Defense Fund, some Google Street View cars have been outfitted to sniff for gas leaks, and they found one per mile as they traversed Boston, EDF's Fred Krupp blogs.

  • Open Data Institute co-founder Nigel Shadboltis going to be the next Principal of Jesus College Oxford. He will remain chairman of ODI and continue to advise the UK government on data-related topics.

  • Food for thought: John Borthwick, the CEO of Betaworks, has a must-read essay on Medium analyzing tons of data his company has on internet media use, offering the following optimistic conclusion: while a lot of people are grazing lightly on listicles and sharing newsy tidbits that they never actually read, long-form content--the kind you might find in a New York Times investigation or in a John Oliver 10-minute rant--is also gaining mind-share too.