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WeGov

Right2Water Citizens’ Initiative Gets Unsatisfactory Response: A Failure For Participation in the EU?

BY Antonella Napolitano | Wednesday, March 26 2014

The Right2Water campaigners [Flickr: gruenebayern (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)]

"Water and sanitation are a human right! Water is a public good, not a commodity!" This is not a sign that could be seen in a street protest, but the title of a petition that recently gathered 1.6 million online signatures among European citizens and was presented to the European Commission earlier this year. This was also the first official effort of the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI), a petition instrument created by the EU in order to give citizens a way to push requests and issues that they care about to the attention of the EU institutions. But, as the European Commission issued an official response that proved non-committal and unsatisfactory to the committee, the issue also seem to now extend to the effectiveness of the ECI itself. Read More

WeGov

More Fodder For Social Media Activism Pessimists

BY Jessica McKenzie | Monday, March 10 2014

A recent study of the Save Darfur Facebook campaign found that the massive participation online gave the “illusion of activism rather than facilitating the real thing.” More evidence, if it was needed, that the “revolution will not be tweeted.”

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Edgeryders: how sharing and collaboration can build a vision for the European young generation

BY Antonella Napolitano | Tuesday, January 10 2012

Edgeryders, a project of the Council of Europe and the European Commission

In times of crisis the younger generation seems to be the one that is and will be most affected and without any clue on how to face unprecedented challenges. The Council of Europe and the European Commission are trying to help them by creating a think tank on youth’s transition to an independent active life. They’re doing in an unusual way, though, with a project where the transition experts are young people themselves. Read More

The World's Greatest YouTubing Body

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, April 25 2011

Think a contentious episode of Bloggingheads meets the United States Senate. National Journal's Dan Friedman reports: Congressional offices are working with YouTube on an unusual new initiative that may mark a new step ... Read More

What's a Smartphone City If You Don't Have a Smartphone?

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, April 20 2011

"The Future of Cities, Information, and Inclusion" map from the Institute for the Future. Technology Review's Erica Naone warns that if the future of urban life is data-driven digital one, there's a risk that ... Read More

Austan Goolsbee Reveals Advice America Gave

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, February 24 2011

Last week, it was Austan Goolsbee's turn to take a spin at Advise the Advisor: Read More

WhiteHouseLeaks?

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, February 9 2011

Oversight's Issa Opens Online Cattle Call for Nettlesome Regs

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, January 25 2011

It's quite nearly a poetic setting. Chairman Darrell Issa stands amidst the wreckage of an Oversight and Government Reform committee hearing room under renovation to make a pitch for the House's chief watchdog body to ... Read More

Building a Public Policy Community of "Citizen Experts" Might Require Translation

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, December 10 2010

U.S. patent application no. 6,655,077 for, yes, a better mousetrap; via IPWatchdog. 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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