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With Kickstarter Funding, FOIA Machine Wants to Help Fix Public Records

BY Miranda Neubauer | Friday, July 19 2013

(Kickstarter)

FOIA Machine, a platform that aims to streamline the process of tracking of filing and tracking public record requests, has raised more than $29,000 on Kickstarter — exceeding its funding goal by more than $10,000. 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 Guns and Gun Data Debate, Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying And Love the End of Privacy

BY Nick Judd | Friday, January 11 2013

Public equals online. We just don't yet understand what that means. Read More

In Public Records Fight, Are Reporters And Their Publishers On Opposite Sides?

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, March 28 2012

The Columbia Journalism Review's Steven Waldman notes that a fight over proposed rules that would put records online showing who's paying for local TV ads — including political campaigns — is putting news organizations on one side of the table and their reporters on the other.

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One of the People Who Challenges The Internet Powers-That-Be

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, November 23 2011

Go read this profile of Chris Soghoian, a security researcher with a knack for navigating the paper trail, whose constant badgering of the new Internet powers-that-be have been changing policies in boardrooms and on ... Read More

As Mayors Check In to Foursquare, Checking Out Their Transparency

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, November 23 2011

Earlier this week, Tampa, Fla. Mayor Bob Buckhorn announced he was joining Foursquare, to the expected sound of ink hitting newsprint. Mayor Mike Bloomberg of New York and Mayor Rahm Emanuel of Chicago are already ... Read More

Mitt Romney's Gubernatorial Email Trail Has Been Erased

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, November 17 2011

The Boston Globe reports: Just before Mitt Romney left the Massachusetts governor’s office and first ran for president, 11 of his top aides purchased their state-issued computer hard drives, and the Romney ... Read More

When an Email Chain Should Have Been a Public Meeting, Laws Could Have Been Broken

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, July 21 2011

Prosecutors in Burlington County, Penn. are investigating if an email thread among public officials about a development project proposed by "a politically connected insurance firm" violated public records laws, the ... Read More

The iPads For City Halls Craze Catches On in Michigan

BY Nick Judd | Friday, July 15 2011

The "magical, revolutionary" device that is cause for controversy in town halls nationwide. Photo: Sean MacEntee / Flickr While some Michigan towns are banning electronic devices in public meetings, Bay City is going ... Read More

For Some Michigan Communities, Public Equals Not Online

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, July 7 2011

CivSource Online editor Bailey McCann catches this Detroit News item about communites in southeastern Michigan who are barring public officials from electronic communications at public meetings: Supporters say the issue ... Read More

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NYC Open Data Advocates Focus on Quality And Value Over Quantity

The New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications plans to publish more than double the amount of datasets this year than it published to the portal last year, new Commissioner Anne Roest wrote last week in an annual report mandated by the city's open data law, with 135 datasets scheduled to be released this year, and almost 100 more to come in 2015. But as preparations are underway for City Council open data oversight hearings in the fall, what matters more to advocates than the absolute number of the datasets is their quality. GO

Civic Tech and Engagement: Announcing a New Series on What Makes it "Thick"

Announcing a new series of feature articles that we will be publishing over the next several months, thanks to the support of the Rita Allen Foundation. Our focus is on digitally-enabled civic engagement, and in particular, how and under what conditions "thick" digital civic engagement occurs. What we're after is answers to this question: When does a tech tool or platform enable actual people to make ongoing and significant contributions to each other, to a place or cause, at a scale that produces demonstrable change? GO

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Tweets2Rue Helps Homeless to Help Themselves Through Twitter

While most solutions to homelessness focus on addressing physical needs -- a roof over the head and food to eat -- one initiative in France known as Tweets2Rue knows that for the homeless, a house is still not a home, so to speak: the homeless are often entrenched in a viscous cycle of social isolation that keeps them invisible and powerless. GO

Oakland's Sudo Mesh Looks to Counter Censorship and Digital Divide With a Mesh Network

In Oakland, a city with deep roots in radical activism and a growing tech scene at odds with the hyper-capital-driven Silicon Valley, those at the Sudo Room hackerspace believe that the solution to a wide range of problems, from censorship to the digital divide, is a mesh net, a type of decentralized network that is resilient to censorship and disruption and can also bring connectivity to poor communities.

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