Personal Democracy Plus Our premium content network. LEARN MORE You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

PdF Question: How Did the Internet Affect the Health Care Battle of 2009-10?

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, March 22 2010

With the year-long debate over health care reform now entering its denouement (or a new chapter), how do you think the internet affected the course of the political battle? That's the question I just sent to several ... Read More

Organizing for America's Role in the Health Care Battle

BY Micah L. Sifry | Sunday, March 21 2010

Ben Smith of Politico has a good point about the role of Organizing for America in the fight over Obama's health care reform. He writes: "Obama hasn't, as some hoped and feared, transformed the political landscape and ... Read More

Hope vs Power: The PhRMA Deal That Was and the OFA Campaign That Wasn't

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, February 24 2010

"These dudes are old school communications people. They're playing the game the way they know how because it's been lucrative for them. And they're destroying the whole promise of the Obama Administration in the ... Read More

Plouffe to OFA: Time to "Regroup, Refocus, and Re-engage" Around SOTU [UPDATED 2X]

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, January 25 2010

David Plouffe is out with an email to Organizing for America's massive list, calling on Obama supporters to "regroup, refocus, and re-engage on the vital work ahead." The focal point of his missive: to attend State of ... Read More

Understanding the OFA Report

BY Nick Judd | Friday, January 15 2010

It's been a whirlwind couple of days for Ari Melber since we released his report on Organizing for America's first year of action. As folks start to really get into the meat of Melber's research, here's a list of places ... Read More

Respect, Empower, Include, Unfriend? The Story of One Disillusioned Obama Organizer [UPDATED]

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, January 6 2010

Marta Evry is a 45-year-old film editor who works on television shows and movies in Hollywood. She took off six months in 2008 to volunteer full time on the Obama campaign, ultimately working as a Regional Field ... Read More

The Right Gets the Obama Disconnect Wrong

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, January 4 2010

I hate to break it to my friend Mark Tapscott, who I have made common cause with (and broken bread with) over the issues of government transparency and accountability, but my end-of-the-year post on the Obama Disconnect ... Read More

One More Response to Karoli on the Obama Disconnect

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, January 4 2010

Dear Karoli: Obviously, we don't know each other. I didn't know if Karoli was your real name or your nom-de-blog; thanks for clearing up that confusion with your latest post. You clearly don't know me or my work, or you ... Read More

Responding to Karoli About Hope, Cynicism and the Obama Disconnect

BY Micah L. Sifry | Sunday, January 3 2010

A blogger who goes by the name named Karoli has posted a long critique of my Obama Disconnect post entitled "The Sifry Disconnect: When cynicism kills hope." It's fundamentally a sentimental post, arguing that it makes ... Read More

The Obama Disconnect: What Could Have Been?

BY Micah L. Sifry | Sunday, January 3 2010

One question that a number of people have raised in response to my post on The Obama Disconnect is essentially, "What's your alternative? What should the Obama team have done to keep the new political movement it had ... Read More

News Briefs

RSS Feed today >

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.

GO

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.

GO

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.

GO

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.

GO

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.

GO

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.

GO

friday >

In Google Hangout, NYC Mayor de Blasio Talks Tech and Outer Borough Potential

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio followed the lead of President Obama and New York City Council member Ben Kallos Friday by participating in a Google Hangout to help mark his first 100 days in office, in which the conversation focused on expanding access to technology opportunities through education and ensuring that the needs of the so-called "outer boroughs" aren't overlooked. GO

thursday >

In Pakistan, A Hypocritical Gov't Ignores Calls To End YouTube Ban

YouTube has been blocked in Pakistan by executive order since September 2012, after the “blasphemous” video Innocence of Muslims started riots in the Middle East. Since then, civil society organizations and Internet rights advocacy groups like Bolo Bhi and Bytes for All have been working to lift the ban. Last August the return of YouTube seemed imminent—the then-new IT Minister Anusha Rehman spoke optimistically and her party, which had won the majority a few months before, was said to be “seriously contemplating” ending the ban. And yet since then, Rehman and her party, the conservative Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N), have done everything in their power to maintain the status quo.

GO

The #NotABugSplat Campaign Aims to Give Drone Operators Pause Before They Strike

In the #NotABugSplat campaign that launched this week, a group of American, French and Pakistani artists sought to raise awareness of the effects of drone strikes by placing a field-sized image of a young girl, orphaned when a drone strike killed her family, in a heavily targeted region of Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province. Its giant size is visible to those who operate drone strikes as well as in satellite imagery. GO

Boston and Cambridge Move Towards More Open Data

The Boston City Council is now considering an ordinance which would require Boston city agencies and departments to make government data available online using open standards. Boston City Councilor At Large Michelle Wu, who introduced the legislation Wednesday, officially announced her proposal Monday, the same day Boston Mayor Martin Walsh issued an executive order establishing an open data policy under which all city departments are directed to publish appropriate data sets under established accessibility, API and format standards. GO

More