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Budget simulator on the Banipierduti.ro website

In Romania, BaniPierduti Brings a "Funky" Approach to Budget Awareness

Thursday, February 26 2015

In every country, fiscal policies are a mystery for the majority of citizens. This often generates the feeling that, somehow, the tax money is not well used by the public administration. BaniPierduti (Romanian for "lost money") is the name of a project that aims to increase awareness and understanding about local budgets.

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[Op-Ed] We Need a Yelp for Civic Engagement to Get the 21st Century Democracy We Want

BY Matt Leighninger | Thursday, February 26 2015

"Citizens could be assessing all kinds of civic opportunities." (yelp.com)

We have more opportunities to get involved in our communities, through a wider array of tools, processes, meetings, and apps than ever before. Some of these opportunities are interesting and beneficial, while others—especially the ones supported by governments in the name of public participation—can be frustrating and may even be harmful. So how should we judge? What kinds of public engagement are helpful?

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Mark Pesce on "Hypercivility" at @CivicHall

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, February 26 2015

Mark Pesce speaking at Civic Hall in NYC Feb 26 2015

A week ago, digital ethnologist Mark Pesce gave a talk here at Civic Hall on the topic of "Hypercivility." As you will see from watching the video, it's an extension of years of research and thinking he has done on the effects of hyperconnectivity on our world. Be forewarned, this is not an "easy" talk to watch or digest. While Pesce definitely has our social-media-powered "Age of Outrage" on his mind, he grounds his talk in a much more serious place: post-genocide Rwanda, which he recently visited. Read More

Scoring for Livability: How Place I Live Wants to Empower Homebuyers and Renters

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, February 25 2015

Screenshot of Place I Live ratings for a house in Bedford-Stuyvesant

Nobody ever says “I want to live somewhere with lots of pollution, crime and a high unemployment rate.” That, at least, is the assumption behind Place I Live, a website that aggregates, parses and creates visualizations with open data so potential homebuyers and renters can better understand different neighborhoods. Place I Live relaunched on Open Data Day, February 21, with new data and improved functionality.

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Notes From a Weekend of Cross-Country Civic Hacking

BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, February 24 2015

Civic hackers gather at Civic Hall for CodeAcross NYC (Photo: Civic Hall)

Code for America's fourth annual CodeAcross civic hacking event took place this past weekend, February 20 – 22, bringing together civically-minded technologists, designers, activists, organizers, and city government in roughly 60 communities around the world. The organizing theme for all events was “Principles for 21st Century Government,” although events varied in terms of duration and content. From Civic Hall in New York City to the National Science Foundation in Arlington, Virginia, to the University of Washington in Seattle, people gathered for data jams, hackathons, unconferences and collaboration.

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On Jackie Robinson West and Coming to Terms With the Use (or Misuse) of Public Data

BY Jessica McKenzie | Friday, February 13 2015

These are boundaries in Chicago. (urbanoasis.org)

Earlier this week a Little League baseball team was stripped of their championship title because of a whistleblower. That is what Chris Janes is: a concerned citizen who perceived an injustice and acted accordingly, trawling through public records until he had the evidence to take to the appropriate authorities. So why does his triumph make people feel so bad?

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Lessons From Paris, Home to Europe's Largest Participatory Budget

BY Antonella Napolitano | Thursday, February 12 2015

The City of Paris helps citizens assess the cost of their PB ideas (Source: City of Paris)

Last fall, Parisian voters decided how to spend 20 million euros of their city budget, the city's first participatory budgeting (PB) experience. This year there is more than triple that at stake, and the process of crafting proposals for funding has been opened to the general public. As host to Europe's largest PB experiment, Paris is leading by example. Read More

[Op-Ed] Full Spectrum Open Data

BY Matt Stempeck | Thursday, February 12 2015

Transparency and open government advocates have been successful in convincing governments around the world to share some of their data with society at large. (And thanks to the Sunlight Foundation, we'll soon know which data they're not sharing, as well). But there is plenty of important civic information that isn't collected or maintained by governments. We need to supplement open government data with data from others to give nonprofits, governments, and researchers a more holistic understanding of reality.

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DemocracyOS To Launch Online Platform in March

BY Jessica McKenzie | Thursday, February 5 2015

Screenshot of the DemocracyOS live demo

"You are here to make decisions with others." That is the raison d'être of DemocracyOS: to help groups of people come to a decision in a democratic fashion. The team behind the software began working on the code in April 2012, and it has been available on Github for almost as long, but users had to be relatively savvy. The open-source platform they are currently developing, with support from Y Combinator, will allow anyone to launch a “democracy” in minutes, just as someone without any knowledge of code can launch a blog on Wordpress. That platform will launch in March.

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Civic Tech and Engagement: How and Why Nextdoor Brings Neighborhoods Online

BY Denise Cheng | Monday, February 2 2015

Nextdoor released a neighborly index report in 2013 (Nextdoor)

Nothing brings people together on the social network Nextdoor like a lost dog. "If Tahoe Park had a crest, it would be a running chihuahua,” joked Isaac Gonzalez, a site moderator for Nextdoor Tahoe Park, a neighborhood in Sacramento, California. "What galvanizes a lot of people is lost pets, but mainly dogs. Every time a chihuahua gets loose, there’s going to be a message about it." To Gonzalez, Nextdoor both exemplifies and amplifies what it means to have an involved, hyperlocal community.

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[Op-Ed] Bill Gates's Database of Global Citizens Will Not Be "Moneyball" for Activism

BY David Karpf | Monday, January 26 2015

The Gnomes' business plan (Wikipedia)

The World’s Richest Person has ideas for how to revolutionize social activism...as far as I can tell, it involves underpants gnomes.

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Civic Hall Launch: City Officials, Corporate Reps & Civic Technologists Offer Best Wishes

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, January 21 2015

NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer (Photo: Marina Villela)

A whopping 23 guests spoke at a packed Civic Hall launch event last night, beginning with New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer and closing with the CEO of Do Something, Nancy Lublin. Speakers included representatives from financial supporters Microsoft, Google and the Omidyar Network, as well as from Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo's administrations.

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Beta Members Lead Civic Hall Open House "Unconference"

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, January 21 2015

Session on "measurable emotional resonance," led by Deanna Zandt (Marina Villela)

After attending several of the unconference sessions at the Civic Hall open house, which were for the most part all run by beta members, a theme emerged. Feelings.

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Solving Social Problems One Design at a Time

BY Jessica McKenzie | Monday, January 19 2015

Some of the designs featured in "Fix!" (Photo: Maia Kaufman)

Picture “a screwdriver that could turn back the effects on climate change” or a “level for leveling social injustice.” Science fiction? No: the inspiration for an exhibit at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. The artists, all first-year MFA students in the Design for Social Innovation program, were asked to create tools to solve social problems.

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Civic Hall Beta Member: Simone Rothman, FutureAir

BY Jessica McKenzie | Monday, January 19 2015

Simone Rothman in Civic Hall (Photo: Marina Villela)

This month Civic Hall, the new home for civic tech in New York City, opened its doors to beta members like Simone Rothman, the founder and CEO of FutureAir. Beta members are people working in the civic tech space who have been invited to try out Civic Hall for the month of January: to work in the space and see what it is like, and in turn provide feedback to the Civic Hall team. We caught up with Rothman to ask about her work and find out what she hopes to see and do here at Civic Hall. Read More

Civic Hall Beta Member: Jeanne Brooks, Hacks/Hackers

BY Jessica McKenzie | Friday, January 16 2015

Jeanne Brooks at work in Civic Hall (Photo: Marina Villela)

This month Civic Hall, the new home for civic tech in New York City, opened its doors to beta members like Jeanne Brooks, executive director of Hacks/Hackers. Beta members are people working in the civic tech space who have been invited to try out Civic Hall for the month of January: to work in the space and see what it is like, and in turn provide feedback to the Civic Hall team. We caught up with Brooks to ask about her work and find out what she hopes to see and do here at Civic Hall. Read More

Civic Tech and Engagement: How Front Porch Forum Makes Stronger Communities

BY Allison Fine and Sam Roudman | Thursday, January 15 2015

Valerie and Michael Wood-Lewis (Photo courtesy Michael Wood-Lewis)

Front Porch Forum creates online communities for real-life neighborhoods. We have an excerpt about FPF from Allison Fine's new book, Matterness, and an interview with the founder, Michael Wood-Lewis. Read More

Civic Hall Beta Member: Erin Vilardi, VoteRunLead

BY Jessica McKenzie | Thursday, January 15 2015

Erin Vilardi at work in Civic Hall (Photo: Marina Villela)

This month Civic Hall, the new home for civic tech in New York City, opened its doors to beta members like Erin Vilardi, the founder of VoteRunLead. Beta members are people working in the civic tech space who have been invited to try out Civic Hall for the month of January: to work in the space and see what it is like, and in turn provide feedback to the Civic Hall team. We caught up with Vilardi to ask about her work and find out what she hopes to see and do here at Civic Hall. Read More

Civic Hall Beta Member: Tim Karr, Free Press

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, January 14 2015

Tim Karr hanging out at Civic Hall

This month Civic Hall, the new home for civic tech in New York City, opened its doors to beta members like Tim Karr, of Free Press. Beta members are people working in the civic tech space who have been invited to try out Civic Hall for the month of January: to work in the space and see what it is like, and in turn provide feedback to the Civic Hall team. We caught up with Karr to ask him about his work and find out what he hopes to see and do here at Civic Hall. Read More

Announcing Personal Democracy Forum 2015 Early Bird Tickets! And Speakers!

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, January 13 2015

Edward Snowden and John Perry Barlow in conversation at PDF 2014

Believe it or not, it isn't too soon to start planning to attend Personal Democracy Forum 2015, taking place June 4-­5 at New York University's Skirball and Kimmel Halls. This is our twelfth annual conference and we've got a terrific group of speakers already confirmed--it's time to take advantage of our early-bird rates, and tickets are limited. Read More

Civic Tech and Engagement: How NationBuilder Helps Organizations Recruit and Mobilize

BY Eilis O'Neill | Tuesday, January 13 2015

I Am That Girl uses NationBuilder

NationBuilder officially launched in 2011, and, since then, it has grown from a start-up to a company that employs 70 people and from a beta platform to one used by over 1,000 organizations—from civic activists to gelato shops—to find new members, track their involvement, and then encourage them to meet in person. In 2014, NationBuilder’s customers used the platform to raise over $200 million and to recruit nearly 900,000 new volunteers.

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How Mobile Apps Can Combat Police Brutality

BY Jason Tashea | Friday, January 9 2015

"Film the police." (Steven Sweetleaf/Flickr)

The grand jury tasked with deciding whether to indict the officer who shot and killed Michael Brown heard 70 hours of testimony. The 60 witnesses and three medical examiners gave conflicting accounts about Brown’s last minutes. Ultimately, the grand jury opted not to indict. Their decision left many asking: What if there was a video? What if there was better oversight of police misconduct? Was Michael Brown a unique tragedy or part of a larger trend? The ACLU’s Mobile Justice App and Five-0 are technologies that will hopefully help answer these questions and protect communities from police misconduct.

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Civic Hall is Open for Membership Applications!

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, December 22 2014

Civic Hall's entrance at 156 Fifth Ave, NYC

Civic Hall, our new collaborative community center for civic tech innovators will be opening in “beta” mode in late January. If you want to get in on Civic Hall's ground floor--well, literally we're on the second floor--send in your application now. Read More

Pan-African Whistleblowing Platform AfriLeaks Launched

BY Philip DiSalvo | Monday, December 15 2014

In 2007, WikiLeaks received and published documents revealing corruption and misconduct perpetuated by the former Kenyan President Daniel Arap Moi and his family. The case, which was then picked up by the Guardian, helped Julian Assange’s nascent whistleblowing platform gain crucial momentum]. Now, history is coming full circle asThe African Network of Centers for Investigative Reporting (ANCIR) has launched afriLeaks, a pan-African whistleblowing platform, by gathering together a dozen partner media companies. Read More

Bad News Bots: How Civil Society Can Combat Automated Online Propaganda

BY Sam Woolley and Phil Howard | Wednesday, December 10 2014

Clever Script Kiddies (by DeNovo Broome, CC BY 2.0)

t’s no secret that governments and political actors now make use of social robots or bots—automated scripts that produce content and mimic real users. Faux social media accounts now spread pro-governmental messages, beef up web site follower numbers, and causeartificial trends. Bot-generated propaganda and misdirection has become a worldwide political strategy. In this guest post, Sam Woolley and Phil Howard suggest some ways to fight back. Read More

A Behind the Scenes Look at Expunge.Maryland, Your Automated Expungement Paralegal

BY Jason Tashea | Tuesday, December 9 2014

The Expunge Maryland app (Jason Tashea)

This past summer my colleague Jon Tippens and I forked Smart Chicago’s Expunge.io to create ExpungeMaryland.org. Since ExpungeMaryland’s launch in July, there has been interest in how we created the app. This post provides background to other jurisdictions looking to replicate the expungement app model. Read More

[Op-Ed] Your In-Box is Personal, and That's What Makes Email Powerful

BY Martha Patzer | Wednesday, December 3 2014

Joe Rospars recently wrote in Time about the perceived “creative crisis" in the Democratic Party, a debate about online fundraising, and the responsibility writers, digital directors, and even candidates have to the creative direction of a campaign. Joe's answer -- “Don’t be lame” -- is a great place to start. But it doesn’t answer the why: Unlike those TV ads, email is personal. Read More

How Brigade is Taking Shape: An Interview with James Windon

BY Alex Howard | Tuesday, November 25 2014

James Windon speaking at Fusion Riseup 2014

The following is an edited transcript of an interview that Alex Howard conducted with James Windon, the president of civic engagement startup Brigade, last Wednesday November 19 at the Fusion RiseUp event in Washington, DC. That morning, Brigade had announced that it was partnering with a “carefully curated” set of organizations: Rainforest Action Network, Americans for Tax Reform, the Drug Policy Alliance, Represent.Us, Generation Opportunity, Forecast the Facts, FreedomWorks and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. With more than $9 million in venture funding from Napster co-founder Sean Parker, Brigade has been amassing a staff of more than 50 while remaining quiet about how it plans to launch and grow a new social network for civic engagement. In this interview, Windon explains why he thinks there’s still room for “yet another social network” and how Brigade will attract users: “one of the biggest reasons that people have stopped participating civically is because their civic lives have become decoupled from their social lives,” noting that the company will be primarily focused on people’s relationship to local issues and down-ballot representatives. He also addresses the inevitable questions about a for-profit business entering the civic space, saying,“our best bet at how we will monetize is through advertising.” Read More

WeGov

Mob Rule, Vigilante Behavior and Blasphemy in Pakistan's Digital Age

BY Nighat Dad | Wednesday, November 26 2014

London's Pakistani community protests Pakistan's blasphemy law (helen.2006/flickr)

Blasphemy cases in Pakistan are considered a norm these days. However, the latest incident of a mob beating to death a Christian couple is the most gruesome manifestation of this sensitive issue. The couple in Punjab was alleged to have desecrated a copy of the Qur’an. The mob attacked the couple, killed them, and later burnt their bodies in the brick kiln where they worked. The blasphemy law presents a frightening level of vigilante violence where prison and private guards, neighbors and colleagues turn into mobs killing those accused of blasphemy. Unfortunately, this mob behavior is being strengthened by the increasing adoption of technology in the country like mobile phones and the internet.

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Civic Tech and Engagement: Can Hollaback's Storytelling Make For Safer Streets?

BY Rebecca Chao | Monday, November 24 2014

In the 1920s there was the Anti-Flirt Club. Now there's Hollaback! (Wikimedia)

An in-depth look at how Hollaback!, a global anti-street harassment movement, goes from telling stories online to actually stopping harassment on the streets. Read More

WeGov

Creating Bottom-Up Tech Tools to Fight Ebola

BY Rebecca Chao | Friday, November 21 2014

Liberian youths flash their mobile phones in support of UNICEF's U-Report (UNICEF Liberia)

The fight against Ebola in West Africa is far from over. TechPresident recently covered New York Tech Meetup’s Ebola Hackathon and wrote about what technology can and can’t do. But what emerged from these discussions is that technology needed to be more responsive -- designed after community input and not before. Here are a few systems that were built in just that manner. Read More

Jersey Shore Hurricane News: Using Facebook and Crowdsourcing to Build a News Network

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, November 19 2014

Jersey Shore Hurricane News has grown into a news outlet for much more than just severe weather updates (credit: Robert Siliato)

When Hurricane Irene barreled down on the East Coast in 2011, one news source had some irregular advice from one New Jerseyan to another: "Fill up some Ziploc bags with water NOW and freeze....keep them on hand for when we lose power and you need that ice to keep the beer cold." The tip was punctuated not with a period but with a smiley face, and it was first posted to Facebook, the home of a new citizen journalism outlet: Jersey Shore Hurricane News.

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At PDF Italia, Tom Steinberg Explores Five Digital Asks We Should Make To Our Government

BY Antonella Napolitano | Thursday, November 20 2014

As the first edition of PDF Italia revolved around "the data society" we live in, there was probably no better person to start the conversation than mySociety's founder Tom Steinberg. Here's a writeup of his speech, ... Read More

The Guardian's Alan Rusbridger on the Post-Snowden Agenda

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, November 14 2014

Alan Rusbridger's slide from Open Up? 2014

Wednesday in London, as part of the annual Open Up? conference hosted by the Omidyar Network, I had the opportunity to interview Alan Rusbridger, the longtime editor of The Guardian newspaper, about the impact of Edward Snowden's revelations of massive government surveillance programs in the United States and United Kingdom. To my surprise, he was much more optimistic about the impact of the stories published in his paper and elsewhere, like the Washington Post and New York Times, than I expected. And he laid out an extraordinarily ambitious agenda of unfinished work that Snowden has prompted. Read More

Revealing Anonymous: An Interview With Gabriella Coleman

BY Carola Frediani | Tuesday, November 11 2014

Fred Benenson/flickr

Carola Frediani discusses Gabriella Coleman's new book on Anonymous, one of the most comprehensive ones on the hacktivist collective to date. Read More

Announcing Civic Hall

BY Andrew Rasiej and Micah L. Sifry | Friday, November 7 2014

Here at Personal Democracy Media, we have some big news. We're launching a major new project called Civic Hall. It's a vibrant, collaborative community center and event space in the Flatiron District of Manhattan where civic tech innovators from diverse backgrounds can work, network, learn and organize together to tackle and solve civic problems at scale. With the generous support of our founding sponsors Microsoft, the Omidyar Network and Google, and founding partners like New America, The New York Tech Meetup and others, we are excited to tell you that we're on our way! Read More

WeGov

After Sunflower Movement, Taiwan's g0v Uses Open Source to Open the Government

BY Sonia Roubini and Jason R. Tashea | Wednesday, November 5 2014

g0v took the lead in organizing Taiwan's Sunflower movement (speedbug/flickr)

This past March, the online community g0v helped organize hundreds of protestors to storm Taiwan’s parliament, the Legislative Yuan, in opposition to a pending trade deal with China. Now g0v wants to make the government more transparent and accessible. By doing so, it hopes to help citizens understand both how government works and how to make it better. Read More

Help Us #FactcheckFacebook's Election Efforts Today

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, November 4 2014

Master OSM 2011/flickr

Today is Election Day in the United States, and along with the many efforts by campaigns and advocacy groups to get out their voters, Facebook is taking a big step to push people to the polls. As I reported last week for Mother Jones, for the first time in six years, Facebook says it is rolling out its "voter megaphone"--a banner across the top of each user's page like the one shown above--to all of its users above the age of 18 in the United States. That's somewhere upwards of 150 million people, if all goes according to plan. Will it work? And will the company do it in a neutral manner? We're asking readers to help answer those questions. Read More

WeGov

Uploading Democracy

BY La Netscouade | Wednesday, October 29 2014

Kevin Law/flickr

TechPresident partnered with La Netscouade to feature an in-depth multimedia report on how the Hong Kong protestors are utilizing technology in the Umbrella Movement. Read More

WeGov

Anti-Corruption Alert, a Secure Platform For Public Servants Willing to Blow the Whistle

BY Antonella Napolitano | Tuesday, October 28 2014

The homepage of the Anti-Corruption Alert (ALAC) launched last week in Italy.

Last week, the Italian chapter of Transparency International launched Anti-Corruption Alert, a platform aimed mainly at public servants willing to denounce malpractice in the public administration. The platform uses GlobaLeaks, an open-source software specifically designed to protect the identity of the whistleblower and the receiver in the exchange of confidential material. Read More

WeGov

Italy Pioneers An Internet Bill of Rights

BY Fabio Chiusi | Monday, October 27 2014

Italy thinks we need a Magna Carta for the Internet (James Joel/flickr)

Do we need another Internet Bill of Rights? Fabio Chiusi talks to a number of experts about Italy's new project. Read More

The Most Tech Savvy Candidate Running for Statewide Office This Year is a Republican

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Friday, October 24 2014

CA State Sen. Alex Padilla (left,) Davenport Institute's Pete Peterson (right.)

A California Republican who is a civic engagement expert is running a grassroots campaign to become secretary of state. He's been outraised by Democratic State Senator Alex Padilla by almost eight to one, but has received endorsements from most of the state's leading newspapers as well as a weekly progressive outlet. Here are some of his ideas for improving an office bogged down by procurement, budget and staffing woes. Read More

WeGov

Tunisian Youth Activists Dissect Budget Ahead of Parliamentary Elections

BY Rebecca Chao | Wednesday, October 22 2014

The economic frustrations that led to the revolution still linger (Crethi Plethi/flickr)

Amira Yahyaoui is known for her plucky efforts to monitor the National Constituent Assembly -- turning up at private committee meetings, nettling officials with live tweets, taking their attendance and recording their every vote. Now she wants to open up Tunisia's economy too, starting with the state budget. Read More

Tracking the Pulse of Elections in 2014 and Beyond

BY Dan Ancona | Thursday, October 23 2014

Voting Booths 1966 (Clackamas County Historical Society/flickr)

Dan Ancona, who has been building online tools for empowering people in democracies since 2002, tells us why we should use Pulse. Read More

Civic Tech and Engagement: With Waze, Who's in the Driver's Seat?

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, October 21 2014

Screenshot of Waze.com's live map for Rio de Janeiro

Can you be a "connected citizen" if you don't know that you are connected to government? That's the question that's been on my mind since Waze, the crowdsourced traffic data company recently acquired by Google, announced a major new partnership with ten local cities and governments around the world called "Connected Citizens." Under this program, Waze will be giving city, state and county authorities like the New York Police Department and Rio de Janiero's Operations Center real-time traffic incident data (aggregated and anonymized) and in turn getting timely and relevant data from the authorities about scheduled events (construction, marathons and the like) that can also cause traffic problems. Since the program's announcement, dozens more governments have been applying to join in. At first glance, this can only be seen as a net plus good where everyone wins. But upon further inspection, Waze's new "Connected Citizens" program can teach us a lot about the potential, and limits, of tech-empowered civic engagement when the users aren't really in the driver's seat (pun intended). Read More

What Tech Can and Can't Do to Eradicate Ebola

BY Rebecca Chao | Monday, October 20 2014

Open Street Map assists WHO and MSF in Sierra Leone (Screenshot)

Over the weekend, a group of technologists met in New York City to discuss the limits and potential uses of data in combatting the spread of Ebola in West Africa. Read More

WeGov

[Op-Ed] Policing With Consent Would Require Throwing Away Our Freedoms

BY Guðjón Idir | Wednesday, October 8 2014

Keith Bristow, Director of the UK's National Crime Agency, asks the public to agree to more surveillance (Chatham House/flickr)

Guðjón Idir, the Executive Director of the Icelandic Modern Media Institute, explains why the UK's request for "policing with consent" demands trading in our freedoms. Read More

WeGov

FireChat Wasn’t Meant For Protests. Here’s How It Worked (Or Didn’t) at Occupy Central

BY Rebecca Chao | Friday, October 10 2014

Occupy Central is also known as the Umbrella Movement (hurtingbombz/flickr)

On September 28, the third day of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests known as Occupy Central, one of the movement’s leaders, 17-year-old Joshua Wong, posted a message on Facebook to fellow protestors asking them to download an app called FireChat in case the government decided to shut down phone and wifi connections. A week later, even though the government had not cut off connectivity, downloads had more than quadrupled at 450,000. But so far, there's been little reporting on whether FireChat actually enables useful communications among protesters. Read More

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