Russia wants to protect children. That is their excuse for a law that gives them the power to selectively censor Internet content. Information about homosexuality or suicide, which Russia refers to as propaganda, are among the banned subjects deemed harmful to children. Earlier this year a Russian prosecutor asked a court to block the website Pobedish.ru (“you win”), part of the suicide prevention resource group Perezhit.ru, which incorporates input from psychologists, psychiatrists, forensic experts and the clergy. Because that makes sense.
For two years now, Ruck.us, the political social network start-up founded by political scions Nathan Dasche (aka Abu Tom, former Senate majority leader), and Raymond Glendening (aka Abu Parris, former Maryland governor) has gotten an unearned and adoring press from the usual places. But today, it's announcing a pivot, away from being a political social network for independent voters, and toward being a digital toolkit for political candidates. GO
In August I wrote about a citizen journalism project in India called CGNet Swara, which residents of the central Indian state Chhattisgarh were using as a kind of government watchdog/accountability site. Since then, reports per day have nearly doubled, up to 400 a day, and a Global Post story highlights how the tool is being used by women to combat rampant rape and domestic violence.
New York City on Monday unveiled the first iteration of an online platform designed to track the city's dissemination of federal disaster recovery and resilience funds in connection with the aftermath from Superstorm Sandy. While advocates expressed concerns that not enough of the data was available in a disaggregated, accessible and downloadable format, city officials told techPresident they are working to make as much underlying data available as they could through New York City's Open Data portal. GO
Transparency International just released their Corruption Perceptions Index 2013, and the prognosis is not looking good. Of the 177 ranked countries, more than two-thirds scored less than 50 out of a max score of 100. Not a one got a perfect score, with Denmark and New Zealand tying for first with scores of 91. On the other end of the spectrum, Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia squeaked out measly eights.