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New Rapid Response Internet Task Force Builds Congress Contact Tool Around Amash Roll Call Vote

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Thursday, July 25 2013

Wednesday's floor vote on House Republican Justin Amash's amendment to withhold funding from the National Security Agency unless it curtails its surveillance techniques was one of the most closely-watched and lobbied ... Read More

The Fight To Rein In National Security Surveillance -- Will This Time Be Different?

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, July 23 2013

Verizon Wireless is one of the phone companies that has worked with the NSA, according to The Guardian.

When members of the House vote on a controversial amendment to curtail the National Security Agency's big data approach to domestic terrorism Wednesday evening, it'll be a big test of sorts of modern day Internet-empowered activism. Read More

Controversial Cybersecurity Legislation CISPA Sails Through The House

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Thursday, April 18 2013

A controversial bill aimed at encouraging the private sector to be more forthcoming with the sharing of potential threat information with U.S. military entities sailed through the House Thursday by a vote of 288 to 127, ... Read More

Building on White House Petition Momentum, 'Fix the DMCA' Campaigns Get Rolling

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Wednesday, March 6 2013

The White House has spoken on the issue of cell-phone unlocking. Now the petitioners who rounded up more than 114,000 signatures at the "We The People" site want Congress to take action to update the landmark digital ... Read More

White House: "It's Time To Legalize Cell Phone Unlocking"

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Monday, March 4 2013

Photo: Flickr/Yutaka Tsutano

The White House agrees that it shouldn't be a crime to unlock your cell-phone. Activists praise their response, and use it to kick off effort to fix a landmark digital copyright law. Read More

With Online Petition, Activists Hope to Open a New Front For Copyright Reform

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Wednesday, February 20 2013

A growing fight over what you are legally allowed to do with the electronic devices you buy is making strange bedfellows. 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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