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How Does Lebanese Censorship Stack Up Against Chinese, Iranian and Russian?

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, March 12 2014

Kiss: banned (Wikipedia)

Since 2011 the NGO March Lebanon has been curating examples of censorship in Lebanon in a Virtual Museum of Censorship.

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WeGov

A Burgeoning Hacker Culture in Haiti

BY Jessica McKenzie | Thursday, January 23 2014

A scene from the 2013 Haiti hackathon (EricGoldhagen/Flickr)

Haiti's first hackathon ever took place only one year ago, in February 2013, but since then students at the Ecole Supérieure d'Infotronique d'Haiti (ESIH) have held two more hacking events and are even now forming a coding club called Enjoy.code. More than 100 students have applied to be a part of the new club. In an interview with techPresident, the Directeur Général of ESIH Patrick Attie talked about the burgeoning hacker culture in his school.

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WeGov

Why Did "I Paid A Bribe" Fail In China? It's More Complicated Than You Think

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, January 8 2014

Report corruption here. (Flickr/WatchSmart)

A paper by Yuen Yuen Ang, Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Michigan, explains“Why 'I-Paid-A-Bribe' Worked in India but Failed in China.”

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WeGov

Nonprofits Should Share Their Data, Too

BY David Eaves | Thursday, January 24 2013

Whenever I'm at a hackathon — or any discussion about open data, really — I'm always disappointed to see that there are few people there from the non-profit sector. Obviously this is a sector with limited resources and capacity, but not without a history of effective open data use. For example, some nonprofits — particularly those that provide housing for the elderly, or engage in advocacy around homelessness — are big consumers of census data as it helps them either plan or spot longer term trends that impact their core issues. Such analysis can help ensure scarce resources are allocated more effectively, enhancing the organization's impact. But there's more that nonprofits could be doing. Rather than just use data others create, shouldn't more nonprofits be sharing their data for like-minded organizations to re-use? Read More

Egypt's Election Turns Into a Battle of Multiple Ushahidis

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, November 23 2010

The Muslim Brotherhood has launched an instance of Ushahidi, one of several launched to monitor Egypt's upcoming parliamentary election. Read More

What Does " Civil Society" Mean in 2010? 2050?

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, November 5 2010

Gathered today at the World Bank in DC are people interested in figuring out what "civil society" -- that swath of human life that exists apart from, or at least complementary to, what governments do and what ... Read More

Transparency and Public Shaming: Pakistan Tackles Tax Evasion

In Pakistan, where only one in 200 citizens files their income tax return, authorities published a directory of taxpayers' details for the first time. Officials explained the decision as an attempt to shame defaulters into paying up.

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wednesday >

Facebook Seeks Approval as Financial Service in Ireland. Is the Developing World Next?

On April 13 the Financial Times reported that Facebook is only weeks away from being approved as a financial service in Ireland. Is this foray into e-money motivated by Facebook's desire to conquer the developing world before other corporate Internet giants do? Maybe.

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The Rise and Fall of Iran's “Blogestan”

The robust community of Iranian bloggers—sometimes nicknamed “Blogestan”—has shrunk since its heyday between 2002 – 2010. “Whither Blogestan,” a recent report from the University of Pennsylvania's Iran Media Program sought to find out how and why. The researchers performed a web crawling analysis of Blogestan, survey 165 Persian blog users, and conducted 20 interviews with influential bloggers in the Persian community. They found multiple causes of the decline in blogging, including increased social media use and interference from authorities.

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tuesday >

Weekly Readings: What the Govt Wants to Know

A roundup of interesting reads and stories from around the web. GO

Russia to Treat Bloggers Like Mass Media Because "the F*cking Journalists Won't Stop Writing"

The worldwide debate over who is and who isn't a journalist has raged since digital media made it much easier for citizen journalists and other “amateurs” to compete with the big guys. In the United States, journalists are entitled to certain protections under the law, such as the right to confidential sources. As such, many argue that blogging should qualify as journalism because independent writers deserve the same legal protections as corporate employees. In Russia, however, earning a place equal to mass media means additional regulations and obligations, which some say will lead to the repression of free speech.

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Politics for People: Demanding Transparent and Ethical Lobbying in the EU

Today the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU) launched a campaign called Politics for People that asks candidates for the European Parliament to pledge to stand up to secretive industry lobbyists and to advocate for transparency. The Politics for People website connects voters with information about their MEP candidates and encourages them to reach out on Facebook, Twitter or by email to ask them to sign the pledge.

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monday >

Security Agencies Given Full Access to Telecom Data Even Though "All Lebanese Can Not Be Suspects"

In late March, Lebanese government ministers granted security agencies unrestricted access to telecommunications data in spite of some ministers objections that it violates privacy rights. Global Voices reports that the policy violates Lebanon's existing surveillance and privacy law, Law 140, but has gotten little coverage from the country's mainstream media.

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friday >

In Google Hangout, NYC Mayor de Blasio Talks Tech and Outer Borough Potential

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio followed the lead of President Obama and New York City Council member Ben Kallos Friday by participating in a Google Hangout to help mark his first 100 days in office, in which the conversation focused on expanding access to technology opportunities through education and ensuring that the needs of the so-called "outer boroughs" aren't overlooked. GO

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