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First POST: Exposures

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, April 6 2015


  • John Ellis (Jeb) Bush, who speaks fluent Spanish and is married to a Mexican woman, listed himself as "Hispanic" on his 2009 voter registration form, The New York Times Alan Rappeport reports.

  • Poor Edward Snowden. Shown some person-on-the-street interviews by John Oliver highlighting Americans who don't know who he is, or believe he is the guy running Wikileaks, he rubs his eyes and grimaces, realizing that the issues raised by his whistleblowing are too complicated for many people to understand Then Oliver asks about the NSA's viewing of naked photos--which Snowden says is commonplace--and shows Snowden that people on the street would be very upset if they knew the government had a "dick-pic" program. Or, as Oliver puts it: "Bulk collection? Now we're talking about my dick." It's all quite relevant as Congress has to take up the authorization for the NSA's bulk collection programs by the end of May, or they will expire. Here's the video.

  • SnapChat has issued its first transparency report, detailing government requests for its users' information.

  • Code for America founder Jen Pahlka, interviewed in the San Jose Mercury News, on what's driving the civic hacking boom: "There's still a really strong set of values in the Bay Area that say: 'Hey, the tech industry has created a lot of value and wealth, but there are people who've been left behind.'"

  • When the "FabLab" movement came to Barcelona, and in particular to one of the city's poorest neighborhoods, it collided with reality, Adrian Smith reports for the Guardian. "The people of Ciutat Meridiana needed food, not 3D printers," he writes, "and the project didn’t help itself by siting the workshop in a building that neighbours were already using as a food bank."

  • This is civic tech: Over the month of March, Laurenellen McCann, a fellow at the Open Technology Institute and a consultant for the Smart Chicago Collaborative (and PDM pal) has published a series of five posts sharing the results of her ongoing research into community-driven processes for the creation of public-interest technology. Read as a whole, her report does a great job in explaining why some civic tech projects really serve communities (and by inference, why we shouldn't be so easily seduced by the "shiny! new!" thing). This introductory post takes you into the series. The whole thing fed a weekend convening at the Chicago Community Trust this past Saturday (live notes here.)

  • New research from the BBC finds that men in the UK are three times as likely as women to tweet using a political party hashtag, and in the Guardian Laura Bates explores why. She notes, "When you consider that men make up around four-fifths of MPs, two thirds of local government officials and the majority of political journalists, it all becomes clear."

  • An opposition journalist and activist in Kuwait had his two-year jail sentence upheld by the country's Supreme Court, reports the Agence France Presse. His crime: retweeting poetry critical of Arab rulers.

  • A Turkish journalist received a suspended prison sentence for "liking" a remark criticizing the country's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Facebook, reports Hurriyet.