You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

First POST: Complications

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, March 19 2015

Obama administration sets record for censoring or denying access to files requested under FOIA; hype over Meerkat; French gov't starts to block websites that promote or advocate terrorism; the theme for Personal Democracy Forum 2015; and much, much more. Read More

With Quorum, See What (and Who) Makes Congress Tick

BY Jessica McKenzie | Thursday, March 5 2015

(Wikipedia)

Trying to influence Congress is hard work. You have to know who cares about what issues so you approach the right people. It also helps to know who has the power to actually make waves so you don't waste your time with ineffective members. In January, two Harvard seniors launched an online platform called Quorum that does the bulk of that work automatically, using a number of public data sources.

Read More

On Jackie Robinson West and Coming to Terms With the Use (or Misuse) of Public Data

BY Jessica McKenzie | Friday, February 13 2015

These are boundaries in Chicago. (urbanoasis.org)

Earlier this week a Little League baseball team was stripped of their championship title because of a whistleblower. That is what Chris Janes is: a concerned citizen who perceived an injustice and acted accordingly, trawling through public records until he had the evidence to take to the appropriate authorities. So why does his triumph make people feel so bad?

Read More

WeGov

In Armenia & Georgia, Data Sites Meant to Bring Transparency to Gov't Face Uphill Battles

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, May 7 2014

Young Georgians learn how to file a freedom of information request in the video below

The website OpenData.ge launched at the end of February as a place to store, organize and display freedom of information requests. It is a collaborative effort of four Georgian NGOs with assistance from the international NGO Huridocs, which works with organizations around the globe to harness the power of information to advance human rights. Georgia, however, has the advantage of relative government cooperation. In neighboring Armenia an organization of journalists launched PublicData.am with help from Huridocs in 2011 but have since struggled both against an unresponsive government and an indifferent media.

Read More

First POST: In Transit

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, April 11 2014

Today's Polk Awards ceremony in NYC marks Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras's first visit back to the US since Snowden; Healthcare.gov's chief resigns; the DATA Act heads towards Obama's desk; and much, much more. Read More

What Happens When You Collect "Metadata" On Multinationals Instead of People?

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, June 11 2013

Chris Taggart. Photo: Esty Stein / Personal Democracy Media

"In a highly connected, networked world, where the network's evolving all the time, the power comes from being able to connect the dots," OpenCorporates founder Chris Taggart told me. "And at the moment ... citizens, people, other companies even don't have the ability to connect those dots." That's where OpenCorporates comes in — a vast, freely available database of information about the world's corporate world. Read More

The Europe Roundup: The Pirate Party in the Berlin Parliament: Trolling the Government?

BY Antonella Napolitano | Tuesday, November 29 2011

Germany | The Pirate Party in the Berlin Parliament: Trolling the Government? Two months ago the Berlin chapter of the Pirate Party registered an amazing result by winning 15 seats in the Parliament of the State. The ... Read More

Slovakia: Transparency, Censorship and a Legislation Gap

BY Antonella Napolitano | Wednesday, July 20 2011

Some weeks ago I wrote about ZNasichDani.sk ("From Our Taxes" in Slovak), an application that was among the winning projects of the  Open Data Challenge, a big open data competition promoted by the European Union. ... Read More

Battle over Use of Contributor Data Continues Between Aristotle and NGP

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, July 21 2010

In a complaint sent to the Federal Elections Commission dated July 19, NGP Software resurrected its objections over how Aristotle software makes use of FEC data about political contributors. Read More

Can Public Data Be Too Public? Inside WA's Domestic Partnership Debate

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, November 2 2009

Fascinating little debate happening out in Washington State over just how "public" public data should be. Read More