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First POST: Boom

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, October 16 2013


  • BuzzFeed's Ben Smith reports that Glenn Greenwald is leaving The Guardian to start a "brand new, large-scale, broadly-focused media outlet." The details, Greenwald told Smith, will be "unveiled very shortly." The venture will be based in New York City, Washington, DC and San Francisco, Greenwald said, and will be "a general media outlet and news site — it’s going to have sports and entertainment and features. I’m working on the whole thing but the political journalism unit is my focus.”

  • Reuters reports that Greenwald's financial backer is Pierre Omidyar, the founder of e-Bay. Back in 2011, Omidyar's Civil Beat news-site in Hawaii editorialized strongly against the decision of Amazon, Visa and Mastercard to cut off service to WikiLeaks, and in recent months Omidyar's personal twitter feed has been full of strong criticism of the NSA's bulk surveillance programs. (Full disclosure: Omidyar Networks funds part of techPresident's WeGov section.)

  • The Washington Post says that the new, as-yet-unnamed news site also sought to hire Laura Poitras, the documentary filmmaker, and Jeremy Scahill, a crusading national security reporter for The Nation.

  • The Freedom of Press Foundation is taking over the management of the DeadDrop project, an open-source anonymous submission system originally coded by the late Aaron Swartz. The system is being renamed SecureDrop, and has been audited by an array of independent security experts including Bruce Schneier and Jacob Applebaum. The New Yorker magazine, which was the first to use the underlying code, will continue to operate its StrongBox project.

  •'s analysis of traffic to various pages on says that of the 9.47 million unique visitors to the site in its first week of operation, just 271,000 successfully logged in after completing their registration and only 36,000 of those managed to complete their enrollment.

  • Launched at this week's Code for America Summit:, documenting stories of open source, open data, and open government.

  • Philadelphia Chief Data Office Mark Headd offers his "five ways to make government procurement better."

  • Shareable's Map Jam has just kicked off, a distributed effort that, over the next two weeks, is working to flesh out the specifics on all the cowering, backspaces, public parks, lending libraries, carsharing, bikesharing and collaborative projects bubbling up around the world.

  • 100,000 cattle were killed in South Dakota due to a early winter blizzard, "but the news isn't covering the story," writes Carrie Mess on the Guardian's Comment is Free section. "Instead, it is spreading around on social media, and bloggers are writing from their ranches in South Dakota."

  • "I don't want a Google car. I want a train." Go read Ethan Zuckerman's meditation on how the lack of a public transit option for beleaguered commuters like him is just one symptom of a much larger problem: the obsession with privatization that Reagan and Thatcher popularized has choked off nearly all discussion of public solutions, from health care to transport, and thus we fantasize about technological leapfrogs rather than common-sense answers to some of our most pressing problems.