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WeGov

Pakistanis Show Their Love For YouTube in Vimeo Video

BY Jessica McKenzie | Thursday, December 5 2013

Screenshot from the Hugs for Youtube! video

Although YouTube (the website) has been banned in Pakistan for more than a year now, that didn't keep YouTube (the mascot) from walking the streets of Karachi last month, asking for hugs from Pakistanis who want the video sharing site back. The self-described citizens resistance forum Pakistan for All filmed the stunt as part of their #KholoBC campaign, which opposes Internet censorship and content regulation by the government.

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First POST: Malala, Malia

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, October 14 2013

The Snowden backlash is getting bigger; Malala tells the Obamas (and Malia) what she thinks of US drone strikes; and HealthCare.gov mess gets the New York Times' front-page treatment; and much, much more. Read More

WeGov

Making All Voices Count: Getting Governments to Respond to Citizen Feedback

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, October 2 2013

Government transparency and civic engagement are all well and good, of course, but it's only when governments respond to citizen feedback that palpable change can take place in societies. That is the driving idea behind Making All Voices Count, an initiative backed by a consortium of civil society organizations which will provide funding for projects tackling “citizen action and government responsiveness" in order to "close the feedback loop." This initiative will pack a punch: they have $45 million bucks behind them. They are soliciting the first round of proposals now, due by November 8, so we contacted director Marjan Besuijen to learn more.

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WeGov

Petition to Unblock YouTube in Pakistan Basically Ignored By Minister of IT

BY Jessica McKenzie | Monday, August 12 2013

The organization challenging Pakistan's YouTube ban in court claimed last month that a meeting with the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA), moderated by the Lahore High Court, was biased and unfair in its execution and in its portrayal by the media. Only last week the Minister of IT failed – once again – to appear in the Lahore High Court. The counsel for the petitioner, Bytes for All, asked that the court temporarily lift the ban but the request was denied.

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First POST: Corrosion

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, August 9 2013

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers: Two encrypted e-mail providers go down; Mitch McConnell's alliance with the Tea Party gets messy; charity: water gets its 15 minutes of fame; and much, much more. Read More

WeGov

Mapping Technology Helps Pakistan Track and Prevent Epidemics

BY Jessica McKenzie | Monday, June 3 2013

The map that changed epidemiology and paved the way, eventually, for data visualization via smartphone

By mapping an 1854 cholera outbreak in London, Doctor John Snow changed epidemiology forever. He discovered the source of contamination was in the water from a pump on Broad Street, not from 'bad air' as previously believed. He also pioneered the field of data journalism and data visualizations, now a staple for public health organizations. In Pakistan, data collected on smartphones by city employees has been mapped and used to target sources of the potentially deadly dengue fever and is possibly keeping infection and mortality rates down. The same technology was repurposed to combat corruption in the Pakistan election this May.

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WeGov

Female Organizer of Pakistan's First Hackathon Stresses Collaboration Over Competition

BY Jessica McKenzie | Thursday, May 16 2013

Downtown Karachi via Wikipedia

After Pakistan banned Valentine's Day this year, Sabeen Mahmud started an online protest in which people uploaded photos to mock the government ban. In the weeks following she received death threats and menacing phone calls, and early on she had to stay home from work. That did nothing, however, to keep her from further organizing. Last month, the café she started in Karachi hosted Pakistan's first ever hackathon, which tackled problems including sanitation, crime, disaster management, and education. She even invited a government representative to observe the initial conversations, tackling sensitive areas like government inefficiency and elections.

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WeGov

Pakistanis Take Refuge in Social Media Campaigning Before Election

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, May 8 2013

Screengrab from the Official MQM Twitter page

In the days leading up to Pakistan’s general election on May 11, politicians from the three major secular parties have been forced, by violent attacks on political rallies that have caused more than a hundred deaths, to stop holding political events in public areas. Instead, they have come to rely on Facebook and Twitter as a campaign platform. Read More

WeGov

Finding Names of the Dead in Pakistan's Drone War

BY Naheed Mustafa | Thursday, March 7 2013

Dronestagram of North Waziristan, following a January 3 drone strike that killed 3-4 people.

America's secret drone campaign in Pakistan's remote tribal areas is meant to target militants, but frequently kills civilian bystanders as well. The White House argues that the campaign is a necessary and effective means of fighting terror, while watchdog groups struggle to learn more about how and why American intelligence officials kill with "aerial vehicles." But both sides predicate their arguments on one deeply flawed assumption: That we cannot know the names of the dead. Read More