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With Open Data, The Transparency Medium Can Matter As Much as the Message

BY David Eaves | Wednesday, January 30 2013

This is going to sound crazy, but bear with me: Transparency matters, even when no one seems to be watching. Read More

Government Transparency Sites: Moving into the 21st Century

BY David Eaves | Monday, September 10 2012

The new Italian open data portal, OpenCoesione, represents a genuine effort by governments to recognize how an online medium should be used, even if in a narrow context. These sites are never going to attract a million page views, and I don’t think they should be judged by that standard. What they are really doing is replacing the linear, often opaque, and almost always boring PDF or printed reports that detail how a program is delivered. Read More

Oversight Committee Hearing Explores the Future of Transparency in Federal Spending

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, June 14 2011

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Ca.) at today's hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Screen capture from oversight.house.gov The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform just concluded a ... Read More

Edward Tufte: Saving America from "Intellectually Impoverished" Data Design

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, May 11 2011

Edward Tufte; photo by Nancy Scola. Over in the Washington Monthly, Joshua Yaffa has a deep profile of information design legend Edward Tufte that includes a look at how he answered his country's call to service and got ... Read More

Recovery.gov's Stimulus Spending Tracker is Now Location-Aware, and Mobile

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, April 28 2011

The team behind the federal government's much-critcized Recovery.gov site recently rolled out a pair of mobile versions of the site, customized for the iPhone and iPad. The pair of Recovery.gov apps make use of the fact ... Read More

Two Years Later: Recovery.gov Still Sucks At Public Engagement

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, February 28 2011

Two years ago, Barack Obama promised the public that he was going to run government in a more transparent and interactive way. Read More

WeGov

New Pew Report on "Govt Online" Shows Big Citizen Participation But Little Govt Engagement

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, April 27 2010

"The more we can enlist the American people to pay attention and be involved, that's the only way we are going move an agenda forward. That's how we are going to counteract the special interests." --Barack Obama, ... Read More

Transparency and Public Shaming: Pakistan Tackles Tax Evasion

In Pakistan, where only one in 200 citizens files their income tax return, authorities published a directory of taxpayers' details for the first time. Officials explained the decision as an attempt to shame defaulters into paying up.

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wednesday >

Facebook Seeks Approval as Financial Service in Ireland. Is the Developing World Next?

On April 13 the Financial Times reported that Facebook is only weeks away from being approved as a financial service in Ireland. Is this foray into e-money motivated by Facebook's desire to conquer the developing world before other corporate Internet giants do? Maybe.

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The Rise and Fall of Iran's “Blogestan”

The robust community of Iranian bloggers—sometimes nicknamed “Blogestan”—has shrunk since its heyday between 2002 – 2010. “Whither Blogestan,” a recent report from the University of Pennsylvania's Iran Media Program sought to find out how and why. The researchers performed a web crawling analysis of Blogestan, survey 165 Persian blog users, and conducted 20 interviews with influential bloggers in the Persian community. They found multiple causes of the decline in blogging, including increased social media use and interference from authorities.

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tuesday >

Weekly Readings: What the Govt Wants to Know

A roundup of interesting reads and stories from around the web. GO

Russia to Treat Bloggers Like Mass Media Because "the F*cking Journalists Won't Stop Writing"

The worldwide debate over who is and who isn't a journalist has raged since digital media made it much easier for citizen journalists and other “amateurs” to compete with the big guys. In the United States, journalists are entitled to certain protections under the law, such as the right to confidential sources. As such, many argue that blogging should qualify as journalism because independent writers deserve the same legal protections as corporate employees. In Russia, however, earning a place equal to mass media means additional regulations and obligations, which some say will lead to the repression of free speech.

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Politics for People: Demanding Transparent and Ethical Lobbying in the EU

Today the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU) launched a campaign called Politics for People that asks candidates for the European Parliament to pledge to stand up to secretive industry lobbyists and to advocate for transparency. The Politics for People website connects voters with information about their MEP candidates and encourages them to reach out on Facebook, Twitter or by email to ask them to sign the pledge.

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monday >

Security Agencies Given Full Access to Telecom Data Even Though "All Lebanese Can Not Be Suspects"

In late March, Lebanese government ministers granted security agencies unrestricted access to telecommunications data in spite of some ministers objections that it violates privacy rights. Global Voices reports that the policy violates Lebanon's existing surveillance and privacy law, Law 140, but has gotten little coverage from the country's mainstream media.

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friday >

In Google Hangout, NYC Mayor de Blasio Talks Tech and Outer Borough Potential

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio followed the lead of President Obama and New York City Council member Ben Kallos Friday by participating in a Google Hangout to help mark his first 100 days in office, in which the conversation focused on expanding access to technology opportunities through education and ensuring that the needs of the so-called "outer boroughs" aren't overlooked. GO

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