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First POST: Rumblings

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, May 30 2014

Edward Snowden and the NSA duke it out; Google pushed for improvements in the USA Freedom Act; tech moguls come out as backers of Lawrence Lessig's SuperPAC; and much, much more Read More

The Day We - But Not Wikipedia - Fight Back Against Mass Surveillance

BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, February 11 2014

Screen shot of the defunct Wikipedia planning page for The Day We Fight Back

Drop by the Wikipedia main page today and you will find a featured article on the constellation Perseus. Conspicuously absent is The Day We Fight Back banner so many other websites like reddit, Boing Boing, and Upworthy are flying. Nor did they set Edward Snowden as the featured article, as someone suggested in a thread on what, if any, action should be taken today. Although it was discussed in multiple Wikipedia forums, no consensus was ever reached, and so Wikipedia is sitting this one out.

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Tomorrow the Internet Puts Collective Foot Down to Say "No" to Mass Surveillance

BY Jessica McKenzie | Monday, February 10 2014

Just over two years after the successful action against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA), Internet companies are banding together once again to protest mass surveillance by the National Security Agency (NSA). The Day We Fight Back was announced January 10, the eve of Aaron Swartz's death, and will take place February 11. More than 5,000 websites will participate tomorrow in a concerted effort to get people to tell Congress to protest mass surveillance, oppose the FISA Improvements Act and support the USA Freedom Act. The Day We Fight Back is an even more ambitious campaign than Stop SOPA; participants are not trying to stop legislation, they're trying to pass it, no small feat in today's political climate.

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Democratic Promise: Aaron Swartz, 1986-2013

BY Micah L. Sifry | Saturday, January 12 2013

Aaron Swartz at a Boston Wikipedia Meetup, August 2009, By Sage Ross.

Aaron Swartz, a leading activist for open information, internet freedom, and democracy, died at his own hand Friday January 11. He was 26 years old. There is no single comprehensive list of his good works, but here are some of them: At the age of 14 he co-authored the RSS 1.0 spec--taking brilliant advantage of the fact that internet working groups didn't care if someone was 14, they only cared if their code worked. Then he met Larry Lessig and worked closely with him on the early architecting of Creative Commons, an immense gift to all kinds of sharing of culture. He also was the architect and first coder of the Internet Archive's OpenLibrary.org, which now has made more than one million books freely available to anyone with an internet connection. "We couldn't have come this far without his crucial expertise," Open Library says on its about page. He also co-founded Reddit.com, the social news site, and Demand Progress, an online progressive action group that played a vital role in the anti-SOPA/PIPA fight. He also contributed occasionally to Personal Democracy Forum, writing this article on why wikis work and this essay on "parpolity" or the idea that nested councils of elected representatives could be used to represent a whole country, for our 2008 book, Rebooting America. He was a fellow traveler. Read More

Hey: We're Working with Fight for the Future on "The #InternetVotes"

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, September 19 2012

Last winter, networked citizens, organizations and internet platform providers used the power of the web to engage their members and organize their users around their concerns over the proposed Stop Online Piracy and Protect IP Acts. Millions of people responded by calling, faxing and emailing their representatives in Congress and the bills were dropped. Now all kinds of groups are working to use the power of the Internet to help Americans register and turn out to vote this November. As part of that effort, Personal Democracy Media is pleased to be partnering with Fight for the Future, with the support of the Ford Foundation, on a nonpartisan initiative called "The Internet Votes" that will use social media and open data to increase voter registration and turnout among the constituency that many people have started calling "the Internet public." Read More

Copyright, the Internet, and Congressional Palace Intrigue

BY Nick Judd | Friday, July 13 2012

TechPresident escapee former associate editor Nancy Scola drills in to the Intellectual Property Attaché Act, a bill Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tex.) seemed poised to include in a Tuesday markup session at his House Judiciary Committee before tech blogs and Internet people freaked out. The bill has not made it to markup. She writes that the bill seemed like a post-SOPA trial balloon from Smith, a hard-liner when it comes to copyright and the chairman of one of the most powerful committees in the House. And he was floating it into an uncertain atmosphere — air that longstanding supporters of the old-guard content industry might not find as breathable as they have in the past. Read More

Mike Masnick: Accidental Activist to Some, "Demagogue" to Others

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Thursday, May 10 2012

Mike Masnick, founder and CEO of Techdirt and Floor64, Photo: Flickr/Dennis Yang

Mike Masnick runs Techdirt.com, one of the most popular hubs on the web for news and opinion about innovation policy and the Internet. His uncompromising views on copyright have made him one of the most controversial and widely-read voices in a sprawling international conversation about the future of creative industry. Read More

As Controversial Cybersecurity Legislation Moves Through House, Activists Make a Quiet Start

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Wednesday, April 18 2012

Image: The growing Internet citizenry is using sarcasm, wit and Twitter to draw attention to a controversial cybersecurity bill

After Internet businesses and activists forced the halt of the Stop Online Piracy Act, it seemed as if a new political force had come alive to advocate on Capitol Hill for an Internet with hard limits on government surveillance and a structure that favored free access to information over centralized control. But faced with new cybersecurity legislation that civil liberties groups say would contribute to exactly the opposite, the headline-grabbing protests that defeated SOPA are nowhere to be seen. So what's happening? Read More

House Intelligence Committee Restructures Cybersecurity Bill 'CISPA:' Drops Language On Intellectual Property

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Friday, April 13 2012

The House Intelligence Committee moved to address some of the concerns voiced by civil liberties advocates and a group representing Silicon Valley startups this week and dropped some of the language that the groups had ... Read More

Google Tries to "Start Something" Post-SOPA/PIPA

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, April 9 2012

This morning somewhere between two and four million people got an email in their inbox from Vint Cerf, Google's official "Internet evangelist," asking them to complete the following sentence: "The Internet is the power to …" and to share their answers with the tag #ourweb. The effort is a direct outgrowth of the seven million-plus petition drive Google ran last January 18th against the Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA), with the people being emailed the ones who opted in to getting more information on the issue. With this move, the other shoe that hadn't dropped since January's legislative battle is now in motion. Read More

News Briefs

RSS Feed wednesday >

First POST: Responding

The aftermath of Ferguson continues to reverberate; how one Senate campaign took advantage of Facebook's micro-targeting tools; the new Congress' tech agenda; and much, much more GO

tuesday >

First POST: Sad Reality

How social media changed the course of the Ferguson story; Ready for Hillary's 3-million-member email list; why Mark Cuban opposes net neutrality rules; and much, much more. GO

monday >

First POST: All Against All

Why Uber isn't "the future" of cities; why journalists lost control of journalism; how Sean Parker is spending his political money; and much, much more. GO

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