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WeGov

In Denmark, Online Tracking of Citizens is an Unwieldy Failure

BY Torben Olander | Wednesday, May 22 2013

Screenshot from European Commission video advocating Internet privacy.

Six years after Denmark passed a law mandating that telecommunication companies retain and store their customers' personal data for up to two years, local advocacy groups and the telecom industry are pushing for immediate changes to the legislation. The practice of keeping records of private citizens' Internet use is an unjustifiable invasion of privacy, they say. The police, meanwhile, have concluded that requiring telecoms to store subscriber data has not helped them track criminals, which was the the ostensible purpose of the practice. But the Danish government still wants to postpone an evaluation of the law for another two years. Read More

WeGov

How Open Is China's Homegrown "Open-Source" Initiative?

BY David Eaves | Friday, March 29 2013

China is not the first emerging power to see open source as a way to enhance its autonomy and diminish the leverage of foreign stakeholders. Brazil has which began to aggressively invest in and implement open source solutions around 2003, also saw it as a strategic choice. Yes, reducing software costs of government played a role, but it too wanted to boost the develop its IT sector - which it sees as being strategically important - as well as reduce its dependency on American software companies. The question of course, is how effective will these strategies be? Read More

WeGov

Where in the World is Eric Schmidt? This Week, Myanmar and India

BY Julia Wetherell | Thursday, March 21 2013

Eric Schmidt at the G8 Summit in 2011 (Wikimedia Commons).

After breaking ground for American corporate executives in North Korea this January (and taking his highly observant daughter along for the ride), Eric Schmidt is continuing his world tour of digitally repressive regimes this week.  Google’s executive chairman will visit Myanmar tomorrow, in the wake of the country’s first hesitant steps to Internet freedom.   Schmidt began his Southeast Asian trip with a pit stop in India yesterday, where the government has been pushing a tech agenda over the past year.

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WeGov

Hacking Cities With Open Data and Minecraft

BY David Eaves | Tuesday, February 19 2013

I'm excited about how a new set of low cost tools — Minecraft and open data — seem to be increasing the opportunity space for people to rethink their city. Read More

WeGov

CivicOpen: New Name, Old Idea

BY David Eaves | Monday, February 11 2013

Here are a few things open government advocates should remember if they don't want their open-source efforts to repeat past failures. Read More

In Uruguay, Quesabes.org Helps Citizens Use Their Right to Open Government

BY Elena Casas-Montanez | Tuesday, January 29 2013

Screenshot from Quesabes.org

When Uruguay passed a freedom of information law in October 2008, international watchdogs applauded. The country of just 3 million people, squeezed in between Argentina and Brazil, became a regional leader in freedom of information. Citizens could access nearly any piece information held by the government, with exceptions for issues like national security. There was just one problem — nobody was actually using their rights under the law. That's where www.quesabes.org came in. Read More

WeGov

Google's Eric Schmidt Is Going to North Korea

BY Julia Wetherell | Thursday, January 3 2013

Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt (Wikimedia Commons)

Reports that Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt will be taking a trip to North Korea sometime early this year have led many to speculate how information technology will play a role in the isolated nation’s future. Read More

WeGov

Cambodia Could Worsen Its Digital Divide By Banning Internet Cafés Near Schools

BY Julia Wetherell | Friday, December 21 2012

An order from the Cambodian government to keep students out of Internet cafés could spell inaccessibility for many in a country where few have personal computers. Read More

WeGov

Questions of Privacy, Politics and Murder in Lebanon Text-Message Row

BY Lisa Goldman | Wednesday, December 19 2012

In the wake of a high-profile car-bombing in Lebanon, text messages might finger the killers — or they might just be a useful diversion. Read More