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Messin' with Lamar Smith, Revisited

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, May 22 2012

Remember that grassroots fundraising campaign to put a "Don't Mess with the Internet" billboard in the home district of Rep. Lamar Smith, Republican of Texas and sponsor of the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act? All of the money required came in, and Fight for the Future, the advocacy group opposing more stringent copyright protections online, writes that the billboard went up. Read More

Messin' With Lamar Smith

BY Nick Judd | Monday, March 12 2012

Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian is leading a grassroots fund-raising campaign to place a "Don't Mess with the Internet" billboard in the home district of Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tex.), a sponsor of the stalled-in-committee Stop Online Piracy Act. Read More

Germany Delays ACTA Ratification

BY TechPresident Staff | Friday, February 10 2012

It appears that the federal government in Germany will delay ratification of the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, a sweeping international treaty that includes provisions about intellectual property and online copyright infringement along with stifling the flow of counterfeit goods and pharmaceuticals, according to reports in Der Spiegel and elsewhere. The German government will not act on ACTA until European Parliament makes a move on the treaty, according to reports. Read More

"Power Politics in the Age of Google"

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, February 9 2012

TechPresident's editorial director, Micah Sifry, will be speaking this afternoon on a panel at Harvard University called "Power Politics in the Age of Google," alongside Susan Crawford, Nicco Mele, Elaine Kamarck and Alexis Ohanian. The panel will be moderated by Harvard Shorenstein Center Director Alex Jones, and will be live-streamed here. Read More

First POST: Fallout from SOPA, ACTA, and Megaupload

BY Miranda Neubauer | Monday, January 30 2012

Photo: Elsie Esq.

In today's First POST:

  • As a Mitt Romney campaign ad has NBC News executives up in arms, an FCC proposal would ask local television stations to post online disclosures about the political ads they're airing;
  • Voters overseas may have a greater influence in this year's elections thanks to technology;
  • How the Megaupload case has spawned a lawsuit against the FBI abroad, according to reports.
All this and more in today's First POST, your daily round-up of news about technology in politics from around the web. Read More

In Germany, SOPA, PIPA and Megaupload Spark Debate in Merkel's Party

BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, January 26 2012

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's political party is split internally over a recent statement in support of controversial American anti-piracy legislation — and the fight is playing out on Twitter. Two officials in Merkel's conservative CDU Party recently released a statement with a title that translates from the German as "The American SOPA-legislation points in the right direction." Then, several members of the same party took to Twitter to voice their disagreement with the statement. The statement references the Stop Online Piracy Act, legislation stalled in the U.S. House, and related legislation in the Senate, called the Protect IP Act and further shortened to PIPA in favor of an even longer and more unwieldy name. Those bills were put on hold last week after widespread protest spurred by a nationwide coalition of online businesses. Read More

Young Adults Were Fixated On Fight Over Anti-Piracy Legislation, Pew Says

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, January 24 2012

The Pew Research Center on People & the Press notes today that young adults followed the battle over the Stop Online Piracy Act more closely than any other news story, according to new survey results. A survey conducted Jan. 19-22 among 1,002 adults by the Pew center found that while 26 percent of all respondents were interested in news about a cruise ship that ran aground off the coast of Italy and only 7 percent were interested in online piracy legislation, the figures were drastically different for adults age 18-29. Read More

Public Knowledge Statement: Start Over On Anti-Piracy Legislation

BY Nick Judd | Friday, January 20 2012

Public Knowledge legal director Harold Feld says, in a statement, that Congress should start from scratch on anti-piracy legislation to replace a now-stalled pair of bills in the Senate and House. Earlier today, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced that Senate legislation would be delayed, and Rep. Lamar Smith, Republican of Texas, House Judiciary Committee chairman and the key sponsor of related House legislation, also agreed to postpone movement on his bill, too. House Speaker John Boehner had previously called for "consensus" on the bill before bringing it to the floor. Read More

MPAA's Dodd: Time to Change "Dynamics of the Conversation" About Piracy

BY Nick Judd | Friday, January 20 2012

Motion Picture Association of America Chairman and CEO Chris Dodd just released a statement calling the delay of controversial anti-piracy legislation a "failure to act" but, at the same time, seeming to ask Internet industry back to the table. "With today’s announcement," he said, per the statement, "we hope the dynamics of the conversation can change and become a sincere discussion about how best to protect the millions of American jobs affected by the theft of American intellectual property." Read More

In the Senate, Anti-Piracy Legislation Is Delayed

BY Nick Judd | Friday, January 20 2012

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's office is circulating a statement today in which the Democrat of Nevada announces he will delay action on controversial anti-piracy legislation until the bill can be changed. 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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