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Digital Technology and the Two Cambodias: Have and Have Not

BY Anne Nelson | Wednesday, August 21 2013

The price of dissent (credit: Anne Nelson)

While visitors to Phnom Penh might be impressed by the glass-and-steel towers and the rapid Internet access, the truth is that most Cambodians have no access to electricity, let alone WiFi. What does this mean for the development of this emerging Southeast Asian economy? Read More

#PDF13

Personal Democracy Forum 2013, held June 6 and 7 at New York University, is organized around a central theme: "Think Bigger." We've chosen it in part to honor our late friend Aaron Swartz. In a conversation with PDM co-founder Micah Sifry, he asked, "Why not harness the power of the Internet to work on the larger-scale problems?"

Why not, indeed. So the 2013 Forum convenes practitioners, academics and close observers of the way people are applying technology to difficult issues from election reform to public health.

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BackChannel

TechPresident's BackChannel series is an ongoing conversation between practitioners and close observers at the intersection of technology and politics. Contributors are academics, political operatives, entrepreneurs, activists, and other people with ideas to bring back from their work wherever theory meets practice.

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Timeline

Technology is changing politics, government and civic life. We built this timeline to show the accelerating pace of change in the United States, in the international arena, and online. The initial research was done by Kristina Redgrave, Diane Chang, Becky Kazansky, Andrew Seo and Micah Sifry, and edited by Micah Sifry. It is a work-in-progress. To view the actual timeline, visit this page: www.techpresident.com/timeline. This topic page aggregates our ongoing updates to the timeline.

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News Briefs

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Beyond @Congressedits, Capitol Hill Looks for Entry to Wikipedia

As he recently told techPresident, the creator of Congressedits did not aim to make Members of Congress look bad, but said he hoped that they would recognize the importance of Wikipedia as a public space and engage more with its community. "If staffers and politicians identified as Wikipedians, that would be super. You could imagine politicians' home pages with a list of their recent edits, that they would be proud of the things that they are doing." On Capitol Hill, there is in fact interest in making that vision a reality, starting off with an initial conversation that could create a framework for more Wikipedians in Congress. GO

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In the Philippines, Citizens Go Undercover With Bantay to Monitor Public Offices

The Philippines, a country of almost 100 million, is considered among the most corrupt country in Southeast Asia, despite a boost in Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index in the past few years (from 134th in 2010 to 94th in 2013 out of 175.) Corruption involves all levels of government, but benefits also from a mindset of tolerance, says Happy Feraren, the co-founder of Bantay.ph, an anti-corruption educational initiative that teaches citizens how to monitor the quality of government services, sometimes by going undercover. GO

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