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Egyptian Authorities Extend Detainment of Prominent Activist and Blogger

BY Jessica McKenzie | Monday, December 2 2013

Alaa Abd El Fattah speaking at the 2011 Personal Democracy Forum

On the night of November 28, well-known Egyptian blogger and activist Alaa Abd El Fattah was arrested by Egyptian security forces for his involvement in a demonstration against a new law meant to repress political protests. Fattah and fellow activist Ahmad Maher were arrested for allegedly organizing the demonstration without the requisite three day advance notice to the Interior Ministry, a stipulation of the new law they were protesting. On December 1, a prosecutor ordered the release of Ahmed Maher, but renewed Alaa Abd El Fattah's detention for 15 days.

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Anne Marie Slaughter on the 'Foreign Policy Frontier'

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, July 28 2011

Anne Marie Slaughter at Personal Democracy Forum 2011, held in June at New York University. Photo: Esty Stein / PdF Writing for The Atlantic yesterday, international affairs professor and former Director of Policy ... Read More

PdF11 Post-Mortem: What Rough Beast Slouches Our Way?

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, June 16 2011

The scene at a Personal Democracy Forum 2011 cocktail party held in NYU's Kimmel Center. Photo: fabola / Flickr It's difficult to sum up a two-day conference like Personal Democracy Forum in one blog post. Read More

Personal Democracy 2011: a view from Europe

BY Antonella Napolitano | Monday, June 13 2011

[Picks for people across the pond] Personal Democracy Forum 2011 was focused on agents of change: people and movements that are changing the world using technologies to get together, share and organize. And change it is ... Read More

Jim Gilliam's Viral Video as 'Radical Sincerity'

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, June 8 2011

Jim Gilliam. Photo: Esty Stein / Personal Democracy Forum Yesterday, Jim Gilliam demonstrated the power of something one could maybe call "radical sincerity." Read More

Reading Your Inbox for Political Dollars

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, June 7 2011

You know how Rapportive can serve up social data keyed off your Gmail inbox? Meet Inbox Influence. It does the same thing, basically, but with details on the political money tied to the people and organizations in your ... Read More

Jim Gilliam Explains: 'The Internet is My Religion'

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, June 7 2011

A few minutes ago, Jim Gilliam stood up in front of the crowd of about 900 800 people here at Personal Democracy Forum 2011 and shared a personal story about how the Internet helped him restore his faith — and his ... Read More

At PdF11, Vivek Kundra Reiterates Open Government Cost Savings, Importance of the Cloud

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, June 7 2011

The federal government should continue its move to cloud computing and hosting services, for cost savings and to avoid a reliance on outdated infrastructure, U.S. Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra said earlier this ... Read More

News Briefs

RSS Feed 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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wednesday >

Everything You Need to Know About Social Media and India's General Election

The biggest democratic election in the world to date is taking place in India from April 7 to May 14, and, for the first time in India, the results might hinge on who runs a better social media campaign. The Mumbai research firm Iris Knowledge Foundation has said that Facebook will “wield a tremendous influence” but Indian politicians are not limiting their attentions to India's most popular social media platform. In addition to virtual campaigning are initiatives to inform, educate and encourage Indians to participate in their democracy.

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EU Court Rejects Data Retention Law, But Data Retention Won't End Overnight

The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg struck down a data retention law Tuesday that required telecoms to keep customers' communications data for up to two years, declaring it violated privacy rights. However, experts warn that the ruling will have no automatic effect on relevant laws in member states, which could lead to “messy consequences.”

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