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As Citizens Look for Hurricane Information Online, Governments Scramble to Deliver

BY Nick Judd | Friday, August 26 2011

NASA footage of astronauts observing Hurricane Irene on Thursday from the International Space Station. Just one day before a major hurricane is expected to rake the entire U.S. Eastern Seaboard and days after the ... Read More

Accidental Transparency and Institutional Change

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, July 7 2011

After Republicans took over both houses of the North Carolina General Assembly, N.C. Coalition on Lobbying and Government Reform Director Jane Pinsky writes today in a Charlotte Observer op-ed, they promised to be open, ... Read More

North Carolina Town Commission Swaps Paper for iPads

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, June 30 2011

The town commission of Cornelius, N.C., has gone completely paperless: each commissioner now has a town-owned iPad, with meeting agendas, maps and worksheets served up through proprietary software. The Herald Weekly of ... Read More

The Political Fight Over Public Broadband Arrives in Wisconsin

BY Nick Judd | Monday, June 13 2011

Ars Technica has an in-depth look at a legislative battle now in progress over the fate of a public broadband network for Wisconsin's state schools and libraries: As we go to press with this story, WiscNet is negotiating ... Read More

Daily Digest: The Online Cacophony Gets the Vanity Fair Treatment

BY Joshua Levy | Thursday, May 1 2008

A fury over robo-calls in NC; Slate's history of the Democratic race; James Wolcott on the growing schism in the Democratic party; a March Madness-inspired game lets you pick McCain's running mate; Lookforgood.org wants ... Read More

Daily Digest: Who Wants Obama's Waffles?

BY Joshua Levy | Thursday, April 24 2008

An eager diner-goer auctions off Barack Obama's half-eaten waffle; Google bombing the truth about Obama; Steve Grove starts blogging; John McCain fights the North Carolina GOP about a new TV ad; a prescient Obama memo ... Read More

Yahoo Buzz: Nationwide, PA, NC

BY Joshua Levy | Tuesday, April 8 2008

I got my meathooks on some juicy new Yahoo! Buzz data showing voters’ searching trends nationally, in Pennsylvania, and in North Carolina. Also, to get a sense of how the web aligns with offline opinion and how it ... Read More

Transparency and Public Shaming: Pakistan Tackles Tax Evasion

In Pakistan, where only one in 200 citizens files their income tax return, authorities published a directory of taxpayers' details for the first time. Officials explained the decision as an attempt to shame defaulters into paying up.

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wednesday >

Facebook Seeks Approval as Financial Service in Ireland. Is the Developing World Next?

On April 13 the Financial Times reported that Facebook is only weeks away from being approved as a financial service in Ireland. Is this foray into e-money motivated by Facebook's desire to conquer the developing world before other corporate Internet giants do? Maybe.

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The Rise and Fall of Iran's “Blogestan”

The robust community of Iranian bloggers—sometimes nicknamed “Blogestan”—has shrunk since its heyday between 2002 – 2010. “Whither Blogestan,” a recent report from the University of Pennsylvania's Iran Media Program sought to find out how and why. The researchers performed a web crawling analysis of Blogestan, survey 165 Persian blog users, and conducted 20 interviews with influential bloggers in the Persian community. They found multiple causes of the decline in blogging, including increased social media use and interference from authorities.

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tuesday >

Weekly Readings: What the Govt Wants to Know

A roundup of interesting reads and stories from around the web. GO

Russia to Treat Bloggers Like Mass Media Because "the F*cking Journalists Won't Stop Writing"

The worldwide debate over who is and who isn't a journalist has raged since digital media made it much easier for citizen journalists and other “amateurs” to compete with the big guys. In the United States, journalists are entitled to certain protections under the law, such as the right to confidential sources. As such, many argue that blogging should qualify as journalism because independent writers deserve the same legal protections as corporate employees. In Russia, however, earning a place equal to mass media means additional regulations and obligations, which some say will lead to the repression of free speech.

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Politics for People: Demanding Transparent and Ethical Lobbying in the EU

Today the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU) launched a campaign called Politics for People that asks candidates for the European Parliament to pledge to stand up to secretive industry lobbyists and to advocate for transparency. The Politics for People website connects voters with information about their MEP candidates and encourages them to reach out on Facebook, Twitter or by email to ask them to sign the pledge.

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monday >

Security Agencies Given Full Access to Telecom Data Even Though "All Lebanese Can Not Be Suspects"

In late March, Lebanese government ministers granted security agencies unrestricted access to telecommunications data in spite of some ministers objections that it violates privacy rights. Global Voices reports that the policy violates Lebanon's existing surveillance and privacy law, Law 140, but has gotten little coverage from the country's mainstream media.

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