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Haiti Disaster Finds Obama Tech Corps in Familiar Territory

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, January 15 2010

With all due sensitivity, the tremendous disaster unfolding in Haiti as a result of Tuesday's earthquake just outside Port-au-Prince is putting the new media and tech experts inside the Obama Administration in what is a ... Read More

Contest Calls for Tweet-Length Odes to Democracy

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, January 11 2010

The more cynical amongst us might have looked at Hillary Clinton's rush to embrace "21st Century Statecraft" when she landed in the Secretary of State seat as a chance to make up for all that wasn't done online ... Read More

Currently on duty: Daniel

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, December 17 2009

An interesting little practice we just noticed at play on the State Department's DipNote Twitter feed: since several different folks regularly tweet on behalf of the institutional behemoth, they try to put a more ... Read More

What a Clinton-ified State.gov looks like

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, December 17 2009

"Smart power meets smart design." How's that for killing two messaging birds with one stone? Read More

Virginia youth's YouTube comments caught attention of Taliban recruiter

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, December 14 2009

For all our talk about celebrating the unifying and empowering potential of technology, we can't ignore the fact that sometimes what is being strengthened is violent, dangerous extremism. We pretend that isn't the case ... Read More

Stanton switches from White House to State

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, December 3 2009

A staffing update: Katie Stanton, whose hiring by the White House we covered earlier this year, will be departing the White House new media team headed by Macon Phillips to join the State Department. 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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