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First POST: Nerds Biting Back

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, May 12 2014

The latest on the FCC's rulemaking on net neutrality; tracking the details of the USA Freedom Act; Ecuador's push toward a commons-based peer production economy; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Oligarchs for a Little Less Corruption

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, April 21 2014

Sean Parker's plans to change US politics; the New York Times' front-pages mesh networking; the Pirate Times reviews the party's impact on the European Parliament; and much, much more. Read More

WeGov

The Largest Loomio Project Yet

BY Rebecca Chao | Thursday, March 13 2014

Loomio goes to Greece (credit: screenshot of www.eda.org)

In many ways, open source is like a sperm bank: you never know what your offspring will look like or where they will end up unless they take the initiative to reach out. Benjamin Knight, a founder of the open source group decision-making platform known as Loomio, had his own Vince Vaughn "Delivery Man" moment when he got a call from Giorgio Mariotti from the Pirate Party of Hellas. Mariotti says he had used Loomio's open source to create 461 Loomio groups for each of the municipal to national levels of government in his country. Mariotti wanted to kickstart a process of direct democracy and needed to know: could Loomio's servers handle this many groups? Knight reassured Mariotti it could but that it was certainly the largest Loomio project to date. Read More

What Swartz, Lessig, Assange & Snowden Have to Teach Us

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, January 27 2014

Is the lone hacker-whistleblower model of change working? (flickr: Meet the Media Guru/biatch0r/Robert Douglass/Doc Searls)

The following is the text of the remarks I made yesterday at "As Darkness Falls," an international conference that took place this past weekend in Berlin, which was focused on "Theory and Practice of Self-Empowerment in the Age of Digital Control." (People here are taking the NSA surveillance revelations very seriously.) One of my co-panelists was Jacob Applebaum, an independent hacker and security expert who works on Tor, whom I refer to as Jake at one point in my comments. Video of our full panel should be posted online soon. Read More

WeGov

Can the Internet Improve Democracy? Thoughts on the 2013 World Forum for Democracy

BY WeGov | Friday, December 6 2013

Just another gathering? (Credit: Wikimedia)

The list of online democratic platforms has swelled in just the last few years. Germany's Pirate Party, Italy's Five Star Movement and Iceland's Citizens Foundation are just a few examples of civic groups that have expressed dissatisfaction with the status quo and have attempted to solve the inadequacies and inefficiencies of government through technology. Over Thanksgiving weekend, the Council of Europe held its second annual World Forum for Democracy, gathering over thousands from civil society, government and the media to discuss the effect of the Internet on democracy. What exactly did the forum accomplish? Did it have a productive impact on the discussion of democracy and the Internet? Two practitioners who attended the forum weigh in. Read More

First POST: Transitions

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, November 7 2013

Which political technology firms came out on top in this week's elections; Al Gore's outspoken views on Edward Snowden; Google's director of charitable giving explains its "moon shots"; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Bad Boys

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, September 26 2013

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers: Understanding the Internet's role in the ongoing Republican crack-up; Cory Booker's Twitter flirtations; how email has changed your workplace for the better; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Nihilists

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, August 8 2013

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers: The latest twists in the NSA scandal, advice for Republican would-be techies and wannabe innovative cities; why Samantha Power will break our hearts; and much, much more from around the web. Read More

WeGov

Ahead of September Elections, German Pirate Party Picks Its Platform

BY Miranda Neubauer | Monday, May 13 2013

New Pirate Party Political Director Katharina Nocun (Facebook)

The German Pirate Party held its election year convention over the weekend and approved its party platform, following lengthy debate over the role that online decision-making should have within the party, as German news sources reported and the party outlined on its own web platforms. Read More

The Pirate Party Has A Brazilian Chapter

BY Antonella Napolitano | Monday, July 30 2012

Last Friday, Rick Falkvinge, founder of the Pirate Party, announced the birth of the Brazilian chapter of the movement. The “Partido Pirata do Brasil” may have soon the chance of raising its voice, as Brazil is also in the process of discussing an advanced law on net neutrality and Internet access, Falkvinge added. Read More