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WeGov

On Their Terms: A Digital Project to Give Inuit Say in Developers' Arctic Ambitions

BY Elisabeth Fraser | Thursday, September 12 2013

It's walrus season in Nunavut. (j.slein/flickr)

A new project in Canada’s north is attempting to bridge the digital divide facing Inuit communities. In doing so, it hopes to give them a say as developers move to take advantage of their resource-rich land. The idea is to provide high-speed Internet access to Inuit living in northern communities, where extremely low bandwidth access makes surfing the net a slow and cumbersome task. “These people, who most need access to these networks, have the worst cost-per-bandwidth in the civilized world,” says Cohn. Read More

WeGov

The Hunt for Open Data in China

BY Rebecca Chao | Wednesday, September 11 2013

No data in this stack of hay. (Perry McKenna/flickr)

Like water and oil, ‘open data’ and ‘China’ that take a bit of engineering if you want them to mix. Stories like those of human rights advocate Xu Zhiyong, arrested for rallying citizens to demand public disclosure of their officials’ wealth, are more the norm. But rather than ask for information, a group of young techies are going out and finding it, despite the challenges in its use and the risks of digging too deep. Read More

WeGov

Citizens Create Open Data Tools to Drive Transparency in Hong Kong

BY Rebecca Chao | Thursday, August 8 2013

The Legislative Council Building in Hong Kong (source: Martin Schiele/flickr)

Edward Snowden might have thought otherwise, but Hong Kong residents find their city-state pretty opaque when it comes to access to information about their own government's activities. A group of open data activists are trying to change that, kicking off several initiatives and creating new tools. Read More

WeGov

A Skill Share on Transparency & Accountability in Service Delivery

BY Susannah Vila | Thursday, August 8 2013

(image: cogdogblog/flickr)

In collaboration with WeGov, the engine room is coordinating some online skill shares for people using technology in transparency and accountability to learn from one another. We’re excited to announce that our first virtual event in this series will focus on the use of citizen reporting to improve delivery of basic services like water, healthcare, education and electricity. Read More

WeGov

An Online Platform From China's Internet Giants Targets The Virtual Rumor Mill

BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, August 6 2013

While China has long known how to manage state media, social media has been harder to control. Blocking search terms has had mixed results, and is hardly foolproof. Bloggers in China have learned to avoid the censors using coded or humorous language. In a new attempt to manage social media, six Chinese Internet companies have partnered with the Beijing Internet Information Office on an online platform meant to debunk rumors (or “rumors”) and false (“false”) informations.

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WeGov

Can a New Tool Help Contain the Deadly MERS Virus?

BY Rebecca Chao | Monday, August 5 2013

source: Al Jazeera English

A number of digital health tools have emerged of late, from Google Flu and now a mega data collecting platform called BioMosaic. Can these new technologies really help us predict outbreaks and prevent their spread? Read More

WeGov

Ethical Disruptions in the Developing World

BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, July 30 2013

It can be tempting to treat technology as the Band-Aid of choice for problems that need solving in the developing world. That eagerness could contribute to the explosion of mobile and ICT initiatives. Unfortunately, some put the failure rate for ICT initiatives in developing countries as high as 85 percent. That is in part because of weaknesses in the initiatives, but also, perhaps, because technology is overused.

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WeGov

Coding for a Greener, Safer China

BY Rebecca Chao | Friday, July 26 2013

Coding for Green Life Hackathoners (image: Sunny Gao)

Concerned techies in China have developed a number of "green" applications to help their city breathe, eat and access public services more easily. Read More

WeGov

Google’s ‘White Space’ Experiment in South Africa a Boon for Local Schools

BY Rebecca Chao | Monday, July 22 2013

(image: teachandlearn/flickr)

Back in March, Google began testing a new broadband Internet service in Cape Town, South Africa, and now hopes it can power products in the United States. But it might also be a way to deliver low-cost wireless Internet access to remote areas that wouldn't be connected otherwise. Gigaom reporter David Meyer recently traveled to Cape Town and reports that the six-month experiment is benefiting local schools. Read More

WeGov

Obeying French Courts, Twitter Hands Over Identities of Users Who Employed Anti-Semitic Hashtag

BY Jessica McKenzie | Monday, July 22 2013

Screenshot of a #UnBonJuif tweet by @mafiacorsica

On July 12, Twitter gave the French authorities the necessary data to identify the authors of anti-semitic tweets accompanied by the hashtag #UnBonJuif (#AGoodJew). The decision officially ends a lengthy legal battle with France's Union of Jewish Students (UEJF) and several anti-racism groups. The case pitted hate speech laws against free expression and privacy on the Internet. Hate speech laws triumphed, but the outcome has reignited public debate on the subject of rights and responsibilities of both Internet users and companies.

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