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NY Health Data Draws Journalists, Researchers and Coders

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, December 17 2013

New York transparency advocates are praising the state's leadership role in making health data accessible as the New York State Department of Health is organizing a health-data focused Codeathon later this week. Read More

A New Open Data Push from the Governor in New York State

BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, January 10 2013

In his State of the State speech Wednesday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that he would implement a comprehensive statewide open data portal as part of a renewed focus on transparency. Called Open New York and culled from his list of campaign promises, the initiative aims to "harness technology to show how taxpayer money is being spent, showcase the great resources of the state, and foster productive engagement with government," Cuomo promised in his prepared remarks. Read More

Here's the Future of Open Government, Courtesy of ... The Environmental Protection Agency?

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Monday, March 26 2012

Image: Shutterstock

Several members of Congress got a tantalizing glimpse of one possible model of the future of open government recently, and it didn't come from the Justice Department, the agency at the federal level that is primarily in charge of ensuring agencies' compliance with Freedom of Information Act. Instead, the model came from the Environmental Protection Agency. Read More

Civic Groups To NY State: We Need An Open Government Roadmap

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Thursday, March 22 2012

Several leading civic groups on Thursday dropped a short but ambitious open government "to-do" list on the doorsteps of New York State government officials, saying that it's high time that they accelerated open ... 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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