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First POST: Impacts

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, February 9 2015


  • Harvard professor Jonathan Zittrain writes an "open letter" to British PM David Cameron, explaining why the British government's insistence on banning the use of strong encryption so as to be able to eavesdrop on online communications is a "very bad idea."

  • The EFF's Jillian York explains why it is important to develop alternative funding streams for privacy software, noting that much of the field is dependent of money from the US government, with paradoxical results.

  • BuzzFeed is interviewing President Obama Tuesday and its editor-in-chief, Ben Smith, wants your questions.

  • Why the recommendations of Google's advisory panel on the right to be forgotten will probably be forgotten.

  • The Oscar's of Tech? Katie Jacobs Stanton, the VP of global media at Twitter, went to the Crunchies last week to represent her company and receive the award for Social Impact, and was appalled by the host, TJ Miller, who called a woman a "bitch" from the stage, and the audience's response.

  • Ned Desmond, the COO of Techcrunch, sort of apologizes here.

  • Writing for Fast Company, Daniela Velazquez assesses the impact of Google Fiber on Kansas City, three years after its first "fiberhoods" went live. She finds that customers for fiber are mainly the already well-off and well-connected, but local nonprofits like Connecting for Good are also stepping into the gap.

  • Why the ongoing secret Justice Department investigation of WikiLeaks should concern all journalists, by Kelly O'Brien for Columbia Journalism Review.

  • Six key leadership lessons from Code for America founder Jen Pahlka, as captured by Jane Porter in Fast Company.

  • This is civic tech: Reviewing a great deal of recent reporting and conversation about the overlapping fields of government tech, civic tech and consumer tech, techRepublic's Alex Howard writes that "the common thread that differentiates civic technology from government technology is not just a focus upon citizen-facing software -- mirroring the consumer-facing software and apps that have exploded in use over the past decade -- it's a focus upon connecting people to communities and one another."

  • NPR digital strategist Melody Kramer and her friends have come up with an absolutely delightful list of 64 inventive ways to think about a news homepage. (One of my favorites, #63).

  • Might the fluid direct democracy model being charted by Podemos in Spain and DemocracyOS in Argentina come to Australia? That's the argument made by Tim Flannery and Catriona Wallace in The Monthly.