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First POST: Half-Orcs and Whips

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, November 6 2013

Two Google network security engineers vent their anger at the NSA's hacking of their systems; the President and First Lady as White House ushers on YouTube; the Amazon book review war heats up on Amazon; and much, much more. Read More

On Syria Fight, OFA is Missing in Action

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, September 9 2013

The White House is making a huge effort to convince Congress to support President Obama's request for authorization to attack Syria, but one big piece of its political machine is conspicuously absent from the field: Organizing for Action, the nonprofit "grassroots" continuation of the 2012 campaign. On BarackObama.com, which functions as the group's online front-page, the top issues OFA is working on are climate change, immigration reform and reducing gun violence. All of OFA's upcoming actions are on defending Obamacare, pressing gun violence prevention and the like. The group's Twitter account is similarly focused on those domestic battles. Read More

Organizing for Action Says It Can’t Move Climate Change Legislation In Congress

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Friday, May 24 2013

Beleaguered on one side by pressure to take a stand on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline and hoping, on the other, to hang on to the activist energy of the president's progressive base, Organizing for Action leadership and partners aren't holding out much hope for the power of grassroots organizing to motivate action in Congress. Read More

Organizing For Action Doubles Down On Push For Gun Control

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Thursday, May 9 2013

Dozens of volunteers for President Obama's advocacy group Organizing for Action on Thursday delivered the 1.4 million signatures that they gathered over the past 10 days to the leaders of the House. Kelly Byrne, OFA's ... Read More

Upcoming Weeks Will Test Organizing for Action's Influence

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Monday, April 8 2013

Sharing stories: OFA has built pages with thousands of individuals' stories sortable by state, and media type

The upcoming weeks will be a proving ground of sorts for the second iteration of President Obama's issue advocacy group Organizing for Action, as Congress reconvenes to debate hot button issues such as immigration reform, the federal budget, and gun control. Read More

Organizing for Action Tries To Guilt Members Into Donating

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Monday, April 1 2013

President Obama's advocacy group Organizing for Action stepped up its campaign to raise money online last week by blasting the subscribers of its e-mail list at least seven times over the course of five days asking them ... Read More

Organizing for Action Is Ramping Up

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Thursday, March 21 2013

Organizing for Action isn't wasting time letting the lessons of 2012 languish. The campaign is ramping up and just sent out a list of positions that it's looking to fill. Among those wanted: e-mail strategists and ... Read More

Organizing for Action Solicits Stories On Impact of Sequestration

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Wednesday, February 27 2013

The Obama administration is trying to mobilize the public with a push to tell them about the impact of the looming automatic budget cuts that are scheduled to go into effect Friday. But the public doesn't seem to be listening. Read More

Friday Was Organizing For Action's First 'Day of Action'

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Friday, February 22 2013

Organizing for Action volunteers were scheduled to swing into gear Friday in 80 congressional districts to promote President Obama's push to enact new legislation to crack down on gun violence. Read More

Organizing for Action Files To Trademark Its Name, Tries To Reclaim Its Domains

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Wednesday, February 13 2013

Art: Courtesy IvanPw/Flickr

Someone, presumably Jon Carson over at Organizing for Action, has filed a complaint with the National Arbitration Forum to reclaim the Web addresses organizingforaction.com, organizingforaction.net and ... 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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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

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