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First POST: Data Dumps

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, September 12 2014

Data Dumps

  • The Internet Slowdown appears to have generated at least 111,000 new public comments to the FCC on its "Open Internet" proposal, with Fight for the Future--one of its organizers--claiming that actually more than 500,000 were submitted through, reports Alex Howard.

  • During Yahoo's losing fight in 2008 against a secret court order demanding it turn over customer data, the US government threatened to fine it $250,000 a day, newly declassified documents reveal. As Vindu Goel and Charlie Savage report for the New York Times, "The records … provide perhaps the clearest corroboration yet of the Internet companies’ contention that they did not provide the government with direct access to vast amounts of customer data on their computers."

  • Extending the civic tech conversation further, Forest Gregg of DataMade proposes four ways of categorizing civic apps, by their purpose--be it to inform, to persuade, to provide access, or to change the way democracy works. Each, he suggests, corresponds to a genre: "news, propaganda, access, and system plumbing."

  • As many as 1000 Uber drivers in New York City are trying "to organize a strike against the booming taxi company over complaints of falling ares and unfair working conditions," reports Johana Bhulyan for BuzzFeed.

  • From libertarian VC Peter Thiel's "Ask Me Anything" on reddit: "It was inappropriate that the US was tapping Angela Merkel's cell phone. But I suspect that this was news to Obama as well. And more generally: the NSA has been hovering up all the data in the world, because it has no clue what it is doing. 'Big data' really means 'dumb data.'"

  • MoveOn is crowdsourcing questions that its members wants answered "before moving forward with military action in Iraq or Syria."

  • How U-2's massive promotion of its new album as a data-dump to everyone of the 500 million people who use iTunes is actually "rock-and-roll as dystopian junk mail," per Chris Richards of the Washington Post.

  • The Atlanta Center for Civic Innovation is opening its doors today. The center will focus "on supporting and investing in ideas that improve the service delivery and efficiency of public organizations and finding new ways to engage local communities in decision making on the future of the city."