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This Week, Congress To Critique Obama On Tech in Government

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Monday, July 8 2013

Sylvia Mathews Burwell, Director Office of Management and Budget (middle) is in charge of Obama's new management agenda

President Obama on Monday touted his administration's use of technology and data analysis for a more efficient government ahead of a mid-week House hearing that is likely to be critical of his administration's performance. Read More

ShareProgress Debuts Social Sharing Optimization Tools

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, June 18 2013

ShareProgress offers campaigners tools to optimize their social sharing strategies

ShareProgress, a left-leaning tech startup in downtown San Francisco, launched its social sharing optimization platform Tuesday after several months of testing with the progressive advocacy group CREDO Action. Read More

Who Is Ro Khanna?

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Wednesday, April 3 2013

Some of President Obama's key 2012 re-election campaign staff and a top Silicon Valley fundraiser have jumped into a 2014 cycle Congressional race to oust longtime Silicon Valley Democrat Mike Honda, and to replace him with the former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce Ro Khanna -- even though Obama and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi have already endorsed the incumbent. Read More

How New York City Might Do to Government what Obama Did to Campaigning

BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, February 28 2013

Photo: Trodel / Flickr

The same idea that revolutionized Barack Obama's 2012 presidential campaign is now being put to use in New York City government. Mayor Michael Bloomberg recently announced that Mike Flowers, director of analytics the mayor's Office of Policy and Strategic Planning, has a new title: chief analytics officer. In an interview, Flowers tells us the role change comes from the growing importance of cross-agency collaboration in the digital city. Read More

Obama: "This is the Most Transparent Administration in History."

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Friday, February 15 2013

President Obama defended his government as "the most transparent administration in history" Thursday afternoon during a White House "fireside hangout" hosted online by Google -- even as dozens of unanswered questions surrounding the decision-making process behind his assassination-by-drone program is swirling in the news. Read More

Was Twitter the TV of 2012? How Barack Obama Tracked Your Tweets

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Monday, December 3 2012

Obama 2012's Michelangelo D'Agostino explained how the Obama campaign monitored Twitter at NOI's Rootscamp last Friday

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers: How Chicago actually used Twitter in the 2012 presidential election, as told by an Obama for America senior analyst for digital analytics. Read More

When Victorious Obama Spoke to “Distant Nations,” China’s Web Users Were Listening

BY David Wertime | Friday, November 9 2012

In his acceptance speech in the early morning of November 7, re-elected U.S. President Barack Obama seemed to be talking to the world when he said: “We can never forget that as we speak, people in distant nations are risking their lives right now just for a chance to argue about the issues that matter, the chance to cast their ballots like we did today.” If the President was attempting to project his words to “distant nations,” he succeeded. People in China, at least, were listening. Read More

Striking Similarity Between Obama and Putin Campaign Videos Raises an Eyebrow (or two)

BY Lisa Goldman | Friday, October 26 2012

Screenshot: YouTube

An Obama campaign video starring Lena Dunham employs suggestive language that is strikingly reminiscent of a video created for Vladimir Putin's campaign last year. Read More

Why the iPhone Economy Is Drawing Silicon Valley Deeper Into Washington Politics

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Friday, September 14 2012

An expected 'spectrum crunch' is spurring Silicon Valley companies to look to Washington for answers.

As management of the country's wireless spectrum becomes more important to business, it's becoming more important in policy as well. And it's attracting the interest of the growing political constituency inside Silicon Valley as efforts continue to change the policies that undergird the way we run our wireless networks to accommodate the explosion in wireless traffic.

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Text Message Donations Might Become a Viable Option for More Campaigns

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Friday, September 7 2012

In 2008, campaigns turned to SMS to ask for votes. In 2012, will they ask for money? Photo: Cazimiro / Flickr

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers:Recent action at the Federal Election Commission could make collecting donations via text message a more realistic proposition for campaigns. The two presidential campaigns are already able to collect donations from clients of several cellphone carriers by having them text a shortcode put to use by their election effort. Now, new FEC opinions and requests for opinions seem to be paving the way for more campaigns to get in on the action. Read More

News Briefs

RSS Feed wednesday >

Another Co-Opted Hashtag: #MustSeeIran

The Twitter hashtag #MustSeeIran was created to showcase Iran's architecture, landscapes, and would-be tourist destinations. It was then co-opted by activists to bring attention to human rights abuses and infringements. Now Twitter is home to two starkly different portraits of a country. GO

What Has the EU Ever Done For Us?: Countering Euroskepticism with Viral Videos and Monty Python

Ahead of the May 25 European Elections, the most intense campaigning may not be by the candidates or the political parties. Instead, some of the most passionate campaigns are more grassroots efforts focused on for a start stirring up the interest of the European electorate. GO

At NETmundial Brazil: Is "Multistakeholderism" Good for the Internet?

Today and tomorrow Brazil is hosting NETmundial, a global multi-stakeholder meeting on the future of Internet governance. GO

Brazilian President Signs Internet Bill of Rights Into Law at NetMundial

Earlier today Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff sanctioned Marco Civil, also called the Internet bill of rights, during the global Internet governance event, NetMundial, in Brazil.

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tuesday >

Ruck.us Reboots As a Candidate Digital Toolkit That's a Bit Too Like Democracy.com

Ruck.us launched with big ambitions and star appeal, hoping to crack the code on how to get millions of people to pool their political passions through their platform. When that ambition stalled, its founder Nathan Daschle--son of the former Senator--decided to pivot to offering political candidates an easy-to-use free web platform for organizing and fundraising. Now the new Ruck.us is out from stealth mode, entering a field already being served by competitors like NationBuilder, Salsa Labs and Democracy.com. And strangely enough, Ruck.us seems to want its early users to ask Democracy.com for help. GO

Armenian Legislators: You Can Be As Anonymous on the 'Net As You Like—Until You Can't

A proposed bill in Armenia would make it illegal for media outlets to include defamatory remarks by anonymous or fake sources, and require sites to remove libelous comments within 12 hours unless they identify the author.

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monday >

The Good Wife Looks for the Next Snowden and Outwits the NSA

Even as the real Edward Snowden faces questions over his motives in Russia, another side of his legacy played out for the over nine million viewers of last night's The Good Wife, which concluded its season long storyline exploring NSA surveillance. In the episode titled All Tapped Out, one young NSA worker's legal concerns lead him to becoming a whistle-blower, setting off a chain of events that allows the main character, lawyer Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies), and her husband, Illinois Governor Peter Florrick (Chris Noth), to turn the tables on the NSA using its own methods. GO

The Expanding Reach of China's Crowdsourced Environmental Monitoring Site, Danger Maps

Last week billionaire businessman Jack Ma, founder of the e-commerce company Alibaba, appealed to his “500 million-strong army” of consumers to help monitor water quality in China. Inexpensive testing kits sold through his company can be used to measure pH, phosphates, ammonia, and heavy metal levels, and then the data can be uploaded via smartphone to the environmental monitoring site Danger Maps. Although the initiative will push the Chinese authorities' tolerance for civic engagement and activism, Ethan Zuckerman has high hopes for “monitorial citizenship” in China.

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The 13 Worst Bits of Russia's Current and Maybe Future Internet Legislation

It appears that Russia is on the brink of passing still more repressive Internet regulations. A new telecommunications bill that would require popular blogs—those with 3,000 or more visits a day—to join a government registry and conform to government-mandated standards is expected to pass this week. What follows is a list of the worst bits of both proposed and existing Russian Internet law. Let us know in the comments or on Twitter if we missed anything.

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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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