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First POST: Peak Open?

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, November 1 2013

Peak Open?

  • Reporting from the Open Government Summit in London, where sixty countries are represented along with 300 representatives from civil society organizations, Susannah Vila and Christopher Wilson cover how those non-governmental groups are trying to use the summit to pressure their governments to actually live up to the nice promises they keep mouthing.

  • Sir Tim Berners-Lee and his Open Data Institute issue a new report ranking how countries around the world are progressing with their open data policies.

  • Have we hit "peak" open government yet? Panthea Lee of Reboot asks, "Too much 'open government,' not enough openness?"

  • Alex Howard reports on the Obama Administration's latest victory lap in the open government sweepstakes, noting that "yet again" it has committed itself to modernizing how FOIA is administered. Third time is the charm?

  • Elizabeth Fraser takes a close look at the latest open government push in Ontario, Canada.

  • Big Tech is responding to the NSA scandals by toughening the security of its networks and data, The New York Times reports. But here's only so far they can go to really protect their users. Says Christopher Soghoian, senior analyst at the ACLU:

    "The companies, some more than others, are taking steps to make sure that surveillance without their consent is difficult. But what they can’t do is design services that truly keep the government out because of their ad-supported business model, and they’re not willing to give up that business model."

  • Veteran Atlantic journalist James Fallows shares an email from a "national-security professional" reader of his: "Let me just stress how shocking these NSA revelations are."

  • Engineers from Google, Red Hat, Oracle and other Silicon Valley companies are part of the so-called "tech surge" to fix Obamacare, Bloomberg reports.

  • Politico notes that some of these folks have political ties to Obama-land. For example, Google engineer Michael Dickerson worked on the Obama 2013 analytics team.

  • After backing Christine Quinn, the New York City Council speaker, and independent tech entrepreneur Jack Hidary, tech money is now flowing to Democratic mayoral candidate Bill De Blasio, the Times finds. Among those maxing out to the frontrunner: Fred Wilson, Ron Conway, Reid Hoffman, Shervin Pishevar, and the three co-founders of Airbnb.

  • A Palestinian hacker discovered a Facebook security flaw that allowed him post to a user's wall without permission, but after trying to report the problem to the company's program for rewarding white-hat hackers and getting ignored, he went so far as to post a note on Mark Zuckerberg's own page. Wired's Alice Su has the story of what happened next.

  • Finally, a website for tech conference curators who can't seem to find women to speak at their events.