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First POST: Cycles

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, February 5 2015


  • Writing for Wired, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler explains his proposed new rules "to preserve the internet as an open platform for innovation and free expression." By classifying internet service under Title II of the Communications Act, he says "enforceable, bright-line rules will ban paid prioritization, and the blocking and throttling of lawful content and services" and these rules will also fully apply to mobile broadband.

  • In the Atlantic, Robinson Meyer charts how activists managed to make Title II reclassification into a politically feasible, even desirable, approach for the FCC to take when a year ago it seemed like a fantasy.

  • In the Hill, Mario Trujillo highlights six key points about the FCC chairman's proposal. A few details we'd like fleshed out: what is the "general open Internet conduct standard" the agency is seeking? How much leniency will it give ISPs for "reasonable network management"?

  • How Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) uses Twitter to troll his rivals and, in the Senator's mind, reach out to new constituencies, by Katie Glueck in Politico. "We live in a 24-second news cycle," says Vincent Harris, Paul's chief digital strategist. And it's important to insert yourself into that news cycle." He said 24-second, not 24-hour.

  • Kashmir Hill takes a close look for Fusion at Facebook's cross-functional privacy team, which has skeptics like James Grimmelman impressed. Says Grimmelman: “Facebook is not my go-to suspect when I open up the news and look for privacy problems. In 2008 and 2009, they did something wrong like clockwork every few months. It was a nasty cycle. Facebook moves carefully now. It doesn’t want to move fast and break things anymore.” Hill notes that the Federal Trade Commission's crackdown on the company was a major factor in the shift.

  • "Brown Moses" blogger Eliot Higgins has started crowdsourcing information about military activity in Ukraine, reports Matthew Ingram for GigaOm.

  • NYU's GovLab is launching a series of coaching programs on topics ranging from civic tech for local legislators to fixing tech procurement, taught by people including NYC councilor Ben Kallos, Beth Novek, Tiago Peixoto, Clay Johnson, and Brian Behlendorf.

  • The new issue of Civic Quarterly is out and it's chock a block with good stuff, including Greg Bloom on community (not government) as the platform, Diana Nucera on lessons from Detroit on making civic tech more participatory, and Andrew Schrock on designing with, not for, communities.