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First POST: Targeted

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, April 27 2015

The digital humanitarian response to the earthquake in Nepal; the NYPD monitors children as young as age ten on social media; how Wikileaks crossed the line between transparency and an invasion of privacy by posting the Sony Pictures emails; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Hot Seats

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, April 8 2015

Campaign money-bombs; a pre-9/11 surveillance program; a million views of the John Oliver Snowden segment since yesterday; the fight for the soul of the #BlackLivesMatter movement; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Big Things

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, April 2 2015

"The 2016 election will be live-streamed"; 64% Americans now own a smartphone; proposal to classify third-party analytics tools as communications tools; female-run VC funds; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Reaching

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, March 16 2015

The FBI makes communities sign nondisclosure agreements if they want to use this cellphone tracking tool; police really like their automated license plate readers; edits to Wikipedia pages for Eric Garner, Sean Bell and Amadou Diallo traced to the New York City Police Department; it's Sunshine Week; and much, much more. Read More

Civic Tech and Engagement: With Waze, Who's in the Driver's Seat?

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, October 21 2014

Screenshot of Waze.com's live map for Rio de Janeiro

Can you be a "connected citizen" if you don't know that you are connected to government? That's the question that's been on my mind since Waze, the crowdsourced traffic data company recently acquired by Google, announced a major new partnership with ten local cities and governments around the world called "Connected Citizens." Under this program, Waze will be giving city, state and county authorities like the New York Police Department and Rio de Janiero's Operations Center real-time traffic incident data (aggregated and anonymized) and in turn getting timely and relevant data from the authorities about scheduled events (construction, marathons and the like) that can also cause traffic problems. Since the program's announcement, dozens more governments have been applying to join in. At first glance, this can only be seen as a net plus good where everyone wins. But upon further inspection, Waze's new "Connected Citizens" program can teach us a lot about the potential, and limits, of tech-empowered civic engagement when the users aren't really in the driver's seat (pun intended). Read More

First POST: Solely

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, July 10 2014

Human rights and civil rights group call for answers on NSA/FBI spying on American Muslims; Senator Warner asks FTC for new regulations on big data usage; what political uprisings have to do with Brazil's World Cup collapse; and much, much more. Read More

NYPD Among First To Release Detailed Accessible Local Collision Data (Updated)

BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, May 8 2014

NYC Collisions hotpots visualization by Andrew Hill (screenshot)

The New York Police Department has published long-sought motor vehicle collision data in a machine-readable format in connection with the launch of BigApps 2014, the city's annual application development competition that will place a focus on Mayor Bill de Blasio's Vision Zero initiative to eliminate traffic fatalities, setting an example for other cities, according to open data advocates. Read More

First POST: Unfreezing

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, April 28 2014

How to explain the FCC's Internet proposal to your dullest relative; why muni broadband is the next frontier; debating what's powering the rise of the "sharing economy"; and much, much more. Read More

After the #myNYPD "Bash Tag": How and Why Police Should Continue to Engage Online

BY Alejandro Alves | Wednesday, April 23 2014

A Twitter collage of trending #myNYPD photos (credit: Twitter screenshot)

Yesterday the New York City Police Department asked Twitter users to share pictures of themselves with police officers, using the hashtag #myNYPD. Overnight, the solicitation created a social media reaction quite opposite of what the Department intended. There are lessons to be learned from what media outlets are calling a major misstep – the “bash tag” backfire – but one hopes the lesson is not that police should shutter their accounts and shy away from public engagement online.

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First POST: The Fire This Time

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, April 23 2014

The New York City Police Department sets off a social media firestorm; how to address your "pipeline problem"; battling "online thought police" in the GLBTQ world; and much, much more. Read More