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What's an Evangerealist?

BY Jed Miller | Friday, June 4 2010

Internet evangerealists don't talk at you about what's possible, they talk with you about what's needed. They don't work with products, they work with people. They don't have wireless headsets, they have conversations. ... Read More

The Filter Bubble and the News You Need To Know

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, June 3 2010

(UPDATE: For reference, see this Wired article — thanks @jakebrewer.) At Personal Democracy Forum 2010 earlier this morning, Eli Pariser said that the increasing sophistication with which information is filtered ... Read More

PdF 2010: Cory Booker Joins Stellar Keynote Array

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, May 27 2010

We're pleased to announce that Cory Booker, the mayor of Newark, New Jersey and probably the most net-savvy elected official in America, will be joining Personal Democracy Forum 2010 as a keynote speaker on the final ... Read More

PdF 2010: Announcing This Year's Google PdF Fellows

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, May 24 2010

We're pleased to announced this year's group of Google Personal Democracy Forum Fellows, who will be attending the conference thanks to the support of Google. As with past years, there were many highly qualified ... Read More

PdF 2010: Announcing the Developer Track

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, May 18 2010

We're doing something new this year at Read More

PdF 2010: Newt Gingrich and Daniel Ellsberg Join Keynoters

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, May 13 2010

We're pleased to announce that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and America's most famous whistleblower, Daniel Ellsberg, the man who leaked the Pentagon Papers, will be keynoting at PdF 2010. Read More

PdF 2010: Preview of the Plenary Sessions and Keynotes

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, April 28 2010

We have an amazing array of keynote talks planned for Personal Democracy Forum this year. While we're still tinkering with the exact schedule, here's an advance look at what to expect on each day of the event. This isn't ... Read More

New PdF 2010 Speakers: Julian Assange, Bryan Sivak, and Many More!

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, April 19 2010

With the seventh annual Personal Democracy Forum conference just over six weeks away, here’s an update on some exciting new keynoters and panels. We’re still juggling some speakers and breakout sessions, and I’ll ... Read More

Announcing PdF Europe (Nov 20-21) and PdF 2010 Special 2-For-1 Offer

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, June 29 2009

Big news! Personal Democracy Forum Europe, our first conference overseas, is happening November 20-21 in Barcelona, at the Torre Agbar (pictured below). To get on the mailing list for more details, go to ... Read More

News Briefs

RSS Feed today >

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

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

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