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First POST: Increasing

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, October 3 2014


  • "Occupy Central, aka the Umbrella Revolution," writes Andrew Lih in Quartz, "may be the most high-tech protest ever, using wireless broadband, multimedia smartphones, drone film making, mobile video projectors, and live streaming video to communicate and to broadcast their cause to the entire world in real time." His piece is a bit breathless about tech's role--it's hardly clear that "whoever dominates the digital domain will control the eventual outcome"; nor do we know in any detail how much local hyper-networking tools are helping the protesters reason together about their actions.

  • How the Hong Kong protesters could win.

  • Clay Shirky, who is teaching at NYU's Shanghai campus this year, reports in from Occupy Hong Kong, focusing on its social geography.

  • Sascha Meinrath explains why local mesh networks like FireChat and WiFi Direct, which are in heavy use in Hong Kong, have worrisome security problems.

  • "We're working on adding encryption," Christophe Daligault, marketing director for Open Garden, the maker of FireChat, tells Parmy Olsen of Forbes. "A lot of people in Hong Kong have been asking for it," he adds.

  • The DCCC's email fundraising tactics have clearly jumped the shark.

  • Josh Stearns forks Laurenellen McCann's recent Code for America talk on civic tech, replacing civic with journalistic. The result is equally brilliant.

  • Facebook says it will change how it conducts research on its users, but as Vindu Goel writes for the New York Times, "Facebook's message is the same as it has always been: Trust us, we promise to do better."

  • One modest improvement: you can now find all the published research done at Facebook on a dedicated page. (Note to those who are paying attention: Facebook still hasn't published anything about its continued experiments with the "I Voted" button in 2012.)

  • Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan tells a press freedom conference held with the Committee to Protect Journalists and the International Press Institute: "I am increasingly against the Internet every day."

  • Save this one for the weekend: Puzzle Palace author James Bamford recounts how he dug into the NSA in the 1970s.