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Report: Twitter Helped Put Out Fires in London, Not Start Them

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, August 25 2011

An analysis of Twitter usage during Britain's London riots indicates that Twitter was used more to react to riots and looting than to cause it, The Guardian reports: The unique database contains tweets about the riots ... Read More

The American Angle on David Cameron's Social Media Censorship Moment

BY Nick Judd | Monday, August 22 2011

The "special relationship" between the United States and United Kingdom apparently went unscathed earlier this month when British Prime Minister David Cameron attacked one of the U.S. State Department's pet causes, ... Read More

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Says: Don't Call Riots 'Flash Mobs'

BY Nick Judd | Friday, August 12 2011

Walk into the right church, apparently, and you hear Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter excoriate young black people for the violence that is making some residents of his city afraid to go downtown at night. But while ... Read More

The Greater Manchester Police's New Hashtag Should Be #Jailed

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, August 11 2011

The Greater Manchester Police have taken up the practice of tweeting the names and dates of birth of people convicted of crimes stemming from the recent riots there. "We promised we'd name all those convicted for their ... Read More

On The British Government's Study of Banning Criminal Suspects From Social Media

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, August 11 2011

The British government believes it may be able to prevent the kind of destruction that happened to the Croydon building pictured above during recent riots by banning suspected criminals from social media. Photo: Peter G. ... Read More

The London Riots and Anonymous: Are They Connected?

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, August 10 2011

Writing for Forbes, Parmy Olson notes parallels between the London riots and the online rioting of members of Anonymous and Lulzsec: The former was physical, animalistic and violent, involving young people wearing hoods ... Read More

A Call to Curtail London Rioting Focuses on 'Encrypted' Mobile Messaging Service

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, August 9 2011

A member of British Parliament representing ground zero for the riots now rocking that country on Tuesday called for the maker of the BlackBerry mobile phone to suspend its popular BlackBerry Messaging Service tonight. ... Read More

Amidst Chaos, Britain's Community Newspapers Gather Facts, Clean-up Crews Gather Members, All Online

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, August 9 2011

In the fourth day of unrest in England, residents respond to rioting by organizing clean-up efforts and sharing breaking news online. Photo via Chris Choi / yfrog As riots spread in England and the unrest in that country ... Read More

Tottenham Rioters, BlackBerry Messaging, and the Rise of the 'Flash Mob' As Something Scary

BY Nick Judd | Monday, August 8 2011

In the aftermath of this weekend's riots in London, in which 170 people have been reportedly arrested, some folks are focusing on the role instantaneous communication played in the making of a scene of mayhem. From The ... Read More

In Vancouver, Riot Cleanup -- and Consequences -- on Twitter and Facebook

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, June 16 2011

Flickr user Matthew Grapengieser shares this image of the violence in Vancouver, B.C. after the Canucks lost the Stanley Cup Final on June 15. Sometimes, Internet activists want to protect people who take to the streets ... Read More

News Briefs

RSS Feed 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

thursday >

In Pakistan, A Hypocritical Gov't Ignores Calls To End YouTube Ban

YouTube has been blocked in Pakistan by executive order since September 2012, after the “blasphemous” video Innocence of Muslims started riots in the Middle East. Since then, civil society organizations and Internet rights advocacy groups like Bolo Bhi and Bytes for All have been working to lift the ban. Last August the return of YouTube seemed imminent—the then-new IT Minister Anusha Rehman spoke optimistically and her party, which had won the majority a few months before, was said to be “seriously contemplating” ending the ban. And yet since then, Rehman and her party, the conservative Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N), have done everything in their power to maintain the status quo.

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The #NotABugSplat Campaign Aims to Give Drone Operators Pause Before They Strike

In the #NotABugSplat campaign that launched this week, a group of American, French and Pakistani artists sought to raise awareness of the effects of drone strikes by placing a field-sized image of a young girl, orphaned when a drone strike killed her family, in a heavily targeted region of Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province. Its giant size is visible to those who operate drone strikes as well as in satellite imagery. GO

Boston and Cambridge Move Towards More Open Data

The Boston City Council is now considering an ordinance which would require Boston city agencies and departments to make government data available online using open standards. Boston City Councilor At Large Michelle Wu, who introduced the legislation Wednesday, officially announced her proposal Monday, the same day Boston Mayor Martin Walsh issued an executive order establishing an open data policy under which all city departments are directed to publish appropriate data sets under established accessibility, API and format standards. GO

YouTube Still Blocked In Turkey, Even After Courts Rule It Violates Human Rights, Infringes on Free Speech

Reuters reports that even after a Turkish court ruled to lift the ban on YouTube, Turkey's telecommunications companies continue to block the video sharing site.

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wednesday >

Everything You Need to Know About Social Media and India's General Election

The biggest democratic election in the world to date is taking place in India from April 7 to May 14, and, for the first time in India, the results might hinge on who runs a better social media campaign. The Mumbai research firm Iris Knowledge Foundation has said that Facebook will “wield a tremendous influence” but Indian politicians are not limiting their attentions to India's most popular social media platform. In addition to virtual campaigning are initiatives to inform, educate and encourage Indians to participate in their democracy.

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EU Court Rejects Data Retention Law, But Data Retention Won't End Overnight

The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg struck down a data retention law Tuesday that required telecoms to keep customers' communications data for up to two years, declaring it violated privacy rights. However, experts warn that the ruling will have no automatic effect on relevant laws in member states, which could lead to “messy consequences.”

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