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Tripping the Switch from Organizing for America to OFA '12

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, May 2 2011

Politico's Ben Smith details the reconversion of Organizing for America into the online army of the Obama '12 presidential campaign: President Obama ’s aides have quietly turned the key in the engine of the massive ... Read More

Rep. DeLauro Signs Change.org's Call for Clinton to Condemn China DDoS Attacks

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, April 26 2011

Change.org, the increasingly high-profile political petitioning site, has really banging pots around the story that its systems are being targeted by "Chinese hackers" angered by the more than hundred thousand ... Read More

Avaaz vs. Murdoch

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, April 25 2011

The Guardian's Ed Pilkington profiles "Internet campaigner" Avaaz's on-going "Stop Rupert Murdoch" campaign in the UK. The campaign is centered around a letter to British leaders: "At this time ... Read More

Republicans Find Digital Motivation in Obama '08

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, April 20 2011

Having gotten a drubbing in 2008, Republicans have ramped up their digital game, reports the New York Times Jen Preston: What Republicans recognized after Senator John McCain’s bruising defeat in 2008 is that Mr. ... Read More

Palin Upgrades SarahPAC Site

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, April 18 2011

Politico's Andy Barr reports: Sarah Palin rolled out a new website for her PAC on Monday with significantly more content and features, along with a vehicle for Palin to start gathering email addresses and information ... Read More

MoveOn Tests Open Petition Platform

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, April 18 2011

Now in beta is MoveOn do-it-yourself online petition tool. Meet SignOn. It's being used in Maine to demand the creation of a recall process, for one thing, but according to the site's FAQ, the use of SignOn isn't limited ... Read More

The One Where Greenpeace Claims a World Record By Getting People to Comment on Facebook Ditching Coal

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, April 15 2011

Photo credit: Kim White/Greenpeace Greenpeace is claiming a Guinness World Record in the 'most Facebook comments in a 24-hour period' with its "Unfriend Coal" campaign directed at the company, an effort that ... Read More

Axelrod Previews a Seriously Upgraded Obama '12 Digital Operation

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, April 15 2011

Team Obama has plans in the works to raise the bar it set online in '08, reports Politico's Mike Allen: President Barack Obama’s fledgling reelection campaign is building a volunteer network with the audacious ... Read More

MoveOn and Moby Want You to Stop Eating Because of the Budget

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, April 13 2011

MoveOn is conducting a "rolling fast to protest the immoral budget cuts Republicans are pushing in Washington." They say 30,000 people are participating. Moby made a video. Discuss. Read More

A Look at Your Nuclear Neighborhood

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, March 30 2011

Greenpeace's Nuclear Power Plant Locator Map showing reactors near Boston, MA. Greenpeace has rolled out an improved version of its Nuclear Plant Locator Map; punch in your address, and out pops a listing of the ... Read More

News Briefs

RSS Feed 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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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.

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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

YouTube Still Blocked In Turkey, Even After Courts Rule It Violates Human Rights, Infringes on Free Speech

Reuters reports that even after a Turkish court ruled to lift the ban on YouTube, Turkey's telecommunications companies continue to block the video sharing site.

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