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First POST: Role Models

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, March 24 2014

Role Models

  • Among the tech execs who met with President Obama Friday to get an update on his NSA reforms: Google's Eric Schmidt, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Netflix's Reed hastings, Box's Aaron Levie, DropBox's Drew Houston and Palantir's Alexander Karp, “While the U.S. government has taken helpful steps to reform its surveillance practices, these are simply not enough,” Facebook said in a statement released after the meeting, Bloomberg's Roger Runningen and Chris Strohm report. “People around the globe deserve to know that their information is secure and Facebook will keep urging the U.S. government to be more transparent about its practices and more protective of civil liberties.”

  • George Washington University--a school that attracts a lot of students interested in politics and government service--asks college applicants to list a role model as part of their application. This year, they're "seeing a lot of Edward Snowden citations," reports Nick Anderson in the Washington Post.

  • Glenn Greenwald explains that Snowden isn't managing the reporting of news stories based on the NSA documents he leaked nine months ago, in response to some critics who didn't like Saturday's New York Times story by David Sanger and Nicole Perloth describing how the NSA has spied on the Chinese telecom giant Huawei.

  • Hamilton Nolan of Gawker has the best write-up of Friday's Sources and Secrets Conference.

  • First Lady Michelle Obama praised the free Internet while in China.

  • The White House is asking visitors to its website to take an online survey about their attitudes about big data and privacy. Since the website collects visitors' IP addresses, the Administration could theoretically connect those responses to specific computers. We're just 'saying.

  • In The Nation, Julia Carrie Wong weighs in on the "don't quote our Tweets without permission" controversy by suggesting that women of color take "collective action to block journalists from reading their tweets." Apparently, getting mainstream attention for one's ideas is a form of exploitation.

  • Meanwhile, over at In These Times, Lindsay Beyerstein writes "Twitter is Public. Deal with It."

  • Mark Headd, Philadelphia's first Chief Data Officer, is stepping down. In this valedictory post, he maps out what the city has accomplished with open data so far, and where it's going.

  • AxisPhllly's Patrick Kerkstra reports that footdragging on opening up data by Philadelphia's Department of Revenue and Office of Property Assessment may have been a factor in Headd's decision.

  • A cave in rural Pennsylvania where the federal government processes and stores its employees' retirement files is a case study in why it remains so hard to fix government IT programs, as reported by David Fahrenthold for the Washington Post.

  • Early adopters rule: One quarter of Twitter accounts opened in 2008 are still active today, while only about 11% of those opened in 2012 still are, according to Twopcharts.

  • Twitter is experimenting with showing you how many people saw your tweet, Casey Newton reports for The Verge.

  • On Shareable, Douglas Rushkoff sings Loomio's praises as a decision-making tool.

  • Paul Krugman thinks Nate Silver's data-driven journalism is going to "run aground very fast" if he doesn't start taking expertise a little more seriously.

  • Do you run a think-tank? The top 150 think-tanks are being rated on the transparency of their funding by Transparify.org.