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Drezner's Guide to Thinking About Civil Society 2.0

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, November 9 2010

Tufts international relations professor and master blogger Dan Drezner has a paper in the latest issue of the Brown Journal of World Affairs that lays out constructive ways for us to start thinking about the impact of ... Read More

What Does " Civil Society" Mean in 2010? 2050?

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, November 5 2010

Gathered today at the World Bank in DC are people interested in figuring out what "civil society" -- that swath of human life that exists apart from, or at least complementary to, what governments do and what ... Read More

Talkin', and Not, About the New Wired World Order

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, October 25 2010

Ciudad Juarez, where the U.S. State Department is working to build a mobile narco-violence reporting tool; Photo credit: pmoroni. Read More

Who's at Fault for Hyping Haystack?

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, September 13 2010

Over on her personal blog, the Berkman Center's Jillian York tears into "the media" for its part in selling the story of Haystack, a much-discussed online circumvention software project that bubbled up from the ... Read More

Meet the New Statecraft, Same as the...

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, September 8 2010

Some context for the news that the State Department's Jared Cohen is indeed headed to Google: frequent critic Evgeny Morozov homes in on the question of whether the benefits for free expression associated with tech ... Read More

The Idea that Is Google

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, August 31 2010

Evgeny Morozov emerges from three months in the Belorussian forest no more enamored with the U.S. State Department's vision of "digital diplomacy" than when he went in: 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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