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First POST: Root Causes

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, October 10 2013

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus: Just how far has the Obama administration strayed from its promise to be the most open and transparent in history?; how government procurement practices led to the HealthCare.gov mess; Ari Fleischer's Twitter meltdown; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: #DearCongress

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, October 1 2013

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers: Public protest at the government shutdown starts to surface via the #DearCongress hashtag; the health insurance exchanges launch; Occupy Wall Street launches a debit card; and much, much more. Read More

Drones and Aerial Robotics Conference Coming Oct. 11-13 to NYC

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, September 30 2013

By Sarah Lovejoy (Own work)

Now's the time to register for the Drones & Aerial Robotics Conference, taking place October 11-13 at NYU and co-curated by PDF co-curator Christopher Wong (who is also the executive director of the Engleberg Center on Innovation Law & Policy at NYU School of Law). Imagine a near future in which autonomous robots roam the skies, performing everything from law enforcement, to communications, to crop dusting, shipping and logistics. Sound implausible? Perhaps—but that is the future that the aerospace industry and a new class of entrepreneurs are busy preparing. Read More

WeGov

Worried About The NSA? Be Glad You Don't Live In India

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, September 11 2013

Last week The Economic Times reported that India's massive surveillance apparatus known as the Centralised Monitoring System (CMS) will be “operational soon”—this in spite of the fact that some believed it to be at work as early as May of this year. When CMS finally made headlines, activists worried that India's existing privacy laws wouldn't be enough to protect consumers from snooping government officials abusing their powers. Low and behold—on September 9 The Hindu reported that India's 160 million Internet users are already being thoroughly surveilled, and that the government's activities violate laws meant to ensure “privacy of communications.”

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WeGov

The Hunt for Open Data in China

BY Rebecca Chao | Wednesday, September 11 2013

No data in this stack of hay. (Perry McKenna/flickr)

Like water and oil, ‘open data’ and ‘China’ that take a bit of engineering if you want them to mix. Stories like those of human rights advocate Xu Zhiyong, arrested for rallying citizens to demand public disclosure of their officials’ wealth, are more the norm. But rather than ask for information, a group of young techies are going out and finding it, despite the challenges in its use and the risks of digging too deep. Read More

WeGov

The Mumbai Gang Rape and the Digital Fingerprints of a Crime

BY Rebecca Chao | Monday, August 26 2013

CPOA/flickr

Last week in Mumbai, five men dragged a 23-year-old magazine intern behind a broken wall in the deserted Shakti Mills and raped her, documenting the brutality on their cell phones through video and photos. They then threatened to publicize the footage if she tattled and forced her to clean up the crime scene. But even before they committed the heinous act, they had paved a digital trail of evidence. Read More

What Electronic Surveillance Would Mean in James Comey's FBI

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, July 9 2013

At his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing today, nominee for director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation James Comey said that the collection of metadata is an important tool for counterterrorism efforts, but suggested that a different standard applied to the content of communications. The secret court that authorizes counterterorrism surveillance, he said, is "anything but a rubber stamp." Read More

[BackChannel] Few Consequences When Cybersecurity Contractors Go Bad

BY Josh Glasstetter | Thursday, June 27 2013

In this piece for techPresident's Backchannel series, an ongoing conversation about technology and politics, blogger and researcher Josh Glasstetter describes the vastly different consequences for Edward Snowden compared to the cybersecurity contractors allegedly involved in a scheme to discredit the opponents of private clients. Read More

Internet Policy Experts Call for More Oversight of Surveillance

BY Miranda Neubauer | Friday, June 21 2013

A group of Internet policy and privacy experts urged Congress to take a more active role in ensuring oversight and transparency of government surveillance efforts as they explored the mechanics of those programs, how they aid law enforcement and how they impact the privacy of every-day Americans at a panel geared towards Congressional staff. Read More

Parsing David Simon on the Price of Security

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, June 20 2013

David Simon, whose entire career has revolved around the drug-ridden streets of Baltimore's poorest and most heavily surveilled neighborhoods, provocatively suggests in a recent post that what's going on here is that the rest of America is suddenly and hypocritically rejecting a call to ante in on the security apparatus that keeps the country safe.

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