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Civic Hackers in the U.S. and Russia Asked to 'Code4Country'

BY Nick Judd | Friday, September 9 2011

In the past few years, groups of civic-minded programmers have shown that when they get together to write code, they can build things that change anything from the way people respond to natural disasters to how they ... Read More

Departures Continue Among White House Tech Staff

BY Nick Judd | Friday, July 8 2011

Politico notes the rising unease about the recent string of departures among the White House's tech staff. White House Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra will leave in August. Deputy chief technology officer Beth ... Read More

Civic Commons Gets Funding, Andrew McLaughlin

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, June 1 2011

Andrew McLaughlin, Civic Commons' new executive director, in 2008. Photo: Joi Ito/Flickr The fledgling open-source-for-governments project Civic Commons will launch as a nonprofit with the help of a $250,000 grant from ... Read More

Lessig, Zittrain, McLaughlin, and Solomon Talk Internet Off Buttons

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, April 1 2011

Over on Al Jazeera, Larry Lessig, Jon Zittrain, Andrew McLaughlin, and Access's Brett Solomon discuss "the politics of the 'Internet Kill Switch,'" as in the idea that a society could have one or a few ... Read More

Deputy U.S. CTO McLaughlin Leaves White House Post

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, December 23 2010

Photo credit: Elon University Read More

Consumer Watchdog Reacts to McLaughlin Reprimand

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, May 20 2010

Consumer Watchdog's reaction to Deputy U.S. CTO Andrew McLaughlin's limited, though inappropriate, contact with his former colleagues at Google is to say that the McLaughlin's Google ties alone were never the problem. Read More

Google All the Way Down

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, May 18 2010

Ben Smith, as per usual, applies a refreshing, clarifying lens to the news of the day. It's the irony that I left out of yesterday's look at Deputy U.S. CTO Andrew McLaughlin's reprimand: that it involved a former Google ... Read More

White House Deputy CTO Andrew McLaughlin Slapped for Gmailing with Googlers

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, May 17 2010

A 2008 photo of Andrew McLaughlin taken by Joi Ito, used under a Creative Commons license. Read More

Deputy CTO's Buzz Contacts Set Off FOIA Request

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, April 12 2010

Today is "Better Know Your Social Media Settings" on the blog, it seems. Read More

White House Deputy CTO Challenges Republicans, Tea Party to Openness Competition

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, February 22 2010

A fast tip of the hat to White House deputy CTO Andrew McLaughlin, who had this to say Friday at a forum on open government: “I would be thrilled to make this a type of political competition ... to see who can be more ... 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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