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First POST: Waking Up

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, March 31 2015

Waking Up

  • Hillary Clinton's deleted emails may be recoverable, computer forensics experts tell Joseph Marks and Rachael Bade of Politico. Her attorney David Kendall has declined a request from Benghazi committee chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) to turn her server over to an independent third party, saying that it was pointless because the records were deleted.

  • Many of the members of the House Appropriations Committee in charge of overseeing the FBI and its director, James Comey, and his proposals for requiring flaws be built into encryption tools, openly admit they know nothing about encryption, The Intercept's Glenn Greenwald points out.

  • Google's senior VP for communication and policy, Rachel Whetstone, literally uses a laughing baby gif to take News Corporation's Rupert Murdoch down a notch for his company's overheated coverage of Google's connections to the Obama administration.

  • DJ Patil, the White House's first chief data scientist, gets profiled by the Washington Post's Amrita Jayakumar.

  • Meerkat is already dead, claims tech writer Tero Kuittinen, crushed by users flocking to Twitter's new Periscope tool. I am awaiting Dylan Byers' breathless coverage of this news.

  • New qualitative research on Facebook users, led by a team from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, finds that more than 60 percent have no idea their News Feeds are being filtered, reports Alexis Madrigal for Fusion. One participant in the study said learning this was like "waking up in 'the Matrix' in a way." Many of them said they blamed themselves for the apparent change in their social lives, until they saw the stories from their friends at Facebook had been leaving out of their feeds.

  • This is civic tech: A group of 25 cities, working with the Jumpstart Foundry of Nashville, are pooling $220,000 to award to health-related civic apps, Jason Shueh reports for GovTech.

  • Global Integrity's Monika Shepherd guest posts on DC, arguing that civic tech has a long-term funding dilemma, and offering some creative solutions.

  • British tech entrepreneur Martha Lane Fox is calling for the creation of "a new kind of digital organisation, diverse and independent but with a strong mandate from government [that] would fight for civic, public projects to balance the power of the commercial internet" that she is calling Dot Everyone. Its priorities, she says, should be to educate the entire country about the internet, put women at the heart of the tech sector, and sort out the complex ethical issues presented by the continued spread of the Internet into all facets of life.

  • BBC News tech correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones says he admires Fox's call to arms but predicts British voters will pay little attention to it as national elections unfold.

  • Speaking of defending civic space, Nathaniel Heller puts his finger on a challenge the Open Government Partnership has yet to take up: protecting the privacy and civil liberties of citizens against bulk data collection efforts.

  • This long essay on the rise of Spain's Podemos party and its charismatic leader Pablo Iglesias, by Giles Tremlett in The Guardian, does a good job at getting at the contradiction embedded in a project that claims to be about bottom-up democracy but that has vested a great deal of power in Iglesias and a tight circle around him.

  • In Mexico, the whistleblowing platform MexicoLeaks is already controversial even before anyone has leaked anything to it, reports Cora Currier for The Intercept.