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First POST: Long Games

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, March 9 2015

Long Games

  • The White House and State Department both knew that Hillary Clinton's personal email usage while Secretary of State had become known to House Republicans as early as last August, but as Edward-Isaac Dovere reports for Politico, they deferred to Clinton's staff, which "made the decision to keep quiet" about the issue.

  • Republicans and some Democrats are not happy about the issue, with Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) saying Sunday on Meet the Press that “I think that she needs to step up and come out and state exactly what the situation is. From this point on, the silence is going to hurt her.”

  • BREAKING: Hillary Clinton has changed her Twitter avatar from a photo of her reading her Blackberry to a silhouette with text highlighting NoCeilings, a group fighting for women's equal rights, reports Justin Worland for Time.

  • Republican message strategist Rick Wilson urges his party and the conservative movement to not blow the scandal, writing in Politico, "An intemperate remark from Congressman Jackass would fit the bill perfectly." He adds:

    Let’s try something new: maintain message discipline, hold focus and keep an eye on a bigger objective than your daily press release, social media hits or email fundraising drops. This is about her, not us, so unless GOP elected and opinion leaders are smart and subtle, and execute with the right timing and tone, she wins. Try for once to play the long game and help Hillary Clinton take on water.

    Don't you love Washington?

  • Saturday Night Live isn't playing down the Clinton email story, making it the subject of Kate McKinnon's cold open this past Saturday.

  • In Esquire magazine, Jason Zengerle buys the unproven assumption that the Clinton email server was running from her Chappaqua home. You can take the rest of his interview with Dickie George, a cybersecurity expert who engineered President Obama's "super-secure" BlackBerry, with a grain of salt.

  • The Daily Beast's Shane Harris also adopts the "home-brew" server assumption in his story profiling Marcel-Lehel Lazar, a Romanian hacker who broken into Sidney Blumenthal's AOL account in 2013, uncovering Clinton's private email address.

  • Among Politico's "five big questions" about the Clinton email account, listed by Tarini Parti: Who gave her the green light to use a private account; what's in the emails (and what wasn't turned over to State), is Benghazi involved, and will congressional committees force their release. Not among Politico's questions: did Clinton's use of a private email account to conduct state business endanger anyone's security?

  • John Ellis (Jeb) Bush told some Iowa voters that he opposed the new net neutrality rules from the FCC, Zeke Miller reports for Time, saying they would "stiff competition, stifle innovation."

  • MIT Center for Civic Media's Ethan Zuckerman profiles how Loveland Technologies' "Holy shit visualization" of Detroit's foreclosure crisis could transform the city.

  • Read John Borthwick's essay on Medium on the rapidly advancing age of augmented and artificial intelligence, "There Will Be No Line Between Us and Our Devices," and then give Cory Doctorow 15 minutes of your attention to watch his talk at last week's Freedom to Connect 2015, on the dangers of the Internet of Things and devices that are programmed to treat their owners as attackers.

  • If you live in the UK, the Voter Power Index tells you how powerful your vote is based on your post-code. Since there are only a few districts where the parliamentary election is competitive, voters in those districts have more power, says Martin Petts, the maker of the site, who describes himself as a "passionate supporter of electoral reform."

  • In the Columbia Journalism Review, Clay Shirky says that Edward Snowden, even more than WikiLeaks and Chelsea Manning, shows both the increased leverage of sources in the digital age but also the rise and normalization of trans-national news networks capable of evading national controls.

  • In case you needed to be reminded of the Internet's ability to enable amazing acts of altruism, read this story about how a group of body-positive women and singer Pharrell Williams came to the aid of one overweight man being shamed on social media.