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The Europe roundup: Pdfleaks - a symposium on Internet freedom

BY Antonella Napolitano | Monday, December 13 2010

  • Pdfleaks: a symposium on Internet freedom
    Have you followed our symposium on Wikileaks and Internet freedom that took place last Saturday in New York? Sessions archives are now available!
    Useful related material includes a list of essential readings on current Wikileaks controversy and a post by our associate editor Nick Judd who reports on professor Zeynep Tufekci's speech:

    States and corporations, she argued, simply move away from a jurisdiction where they could be held to account when they want to act in a way that's not consistent with the rule of law — or the oversight of their publics — in their home nation. Likening it to colonialism, she continued:
    "States have moved extra territorial ... in which an actor was not necessarily responsible, could not be held responsible, in the jurisdiction it was represented in," she said, later continuing, "actors are acting on a global scale to constrict us in a national one."

    (the hashtag was #pdfleaks)

  • UK | Wikileaks in the UK blogosphere
    PdF Europe curator Jon Worth notices that just a few left leaning UK bloggers have dealt with the Wikileaks issue. Why is that?
  • Open Data Day& the International Hackathon
    How did the Open data day/Hackaton go? Here's a post by David Eaves explaining the results, what you can do right now and what's next:

    I hope we can develop tools and resources to enable participants to engage with politicians and public servants on the importance of open data. The projects we hack on are powerful examples of what can be, but we also need to become more effective at explaining why open data matters in a language everyone understands. I’m hoping we’ll have resources to help us with this important task.

  • EU | Bloggers united and a good advice
    MEP Kristalina Georgieva had a chat with a few Bulgarian bloggers to ask them for advices:

    I learned that the common denominator for them was the disappointment with traditional media, which apparently does not offer enough reliable and relevant information. To my mind, not finding what you want to read about is a very good reason to write it yourself. This made me think – what is my reason to write?

    "Don’t blog just for the sake of having a new post here, do it when you want to share something" was the main suggestion. And Georgieva shares an example from her job on International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, and then a list of the expected challenges for 2011 in her area.

Plus:
EU Career opportunities - via Writing for (y)EU
Developers needed at MySociety
EU officials, English proverbs and Latin words

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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