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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

News Briefs

RSS Feed tuesday >

Ruck.us Reboots As a Candidate Digital Toolkit That's a Bit Too Like Democracy.com

Ruck.us launched with big ambitions and star appeal, hoping to crack the code on how to get millions of people to pool their political passions through their platform. When that ambition stalled, its founder Nathan Daschle--son of the former Senator--decided to pivot to offering political candidates an easy-to-use free web platform for organizing and fundraising. Now the new Ruck.us is out from stealth mode, entering a field already being served by competitors like NationBuilder, Salsa Labs and Democracy.com. And strangely enough, Ruck.us seems to want its early users to ask Democracy.com for help. GO

Armenian Legislators: You Can Be As Anonymous on the 'Net As You Like—Until You Can't

A proposed bill in Armenia would make it illegal for media outlets to include defamatory remarks by anonymous or fake sources, and require sites to remove libelous comments within 12 hours unless they identify the author.

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monday >

The Good Wife Looks for the Next Snowden and Outwits the NSA

Even as the real Edward Snowden faces questions over his motives in Russia, another side of his legacy played out for the over nine million viewers of last night's The Good Wife, which concluded its season long storyline exploring NSA surveillance. In the episode titled All Tapped Out, one young NSA worker's legal concerns lead him to becoming a whistle-blower, setting off a chain of events that allows the main character, lawyer Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies), and her husband, Illinois Governor Peter Florrick (Chris Noth), to turn the tables on the NSA using its own methods. GO

The Expanding Reach of China's Crowdsourced Environmental Monitoring Site, Danger Maps

Last week billionaire businessman Jack Ma, founder of the e-commerce company Alibaba, appealed to his “500 million-strong army” of consumers to help monitor water quality in China. Inexpensive testing kits sold through his company can be used to measure pH, phosphates, ammonia, and heavy metal levels, and then the data can be uploaded via smartphone to the environmental monitoring site Danger Maps. Although the initiative will push the Chinese authorities' tolerance for civic engagement and activism, Ethan Zuckerman has high hopes for “monitorial citizenship” in China.

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The 13 Worst Bits of Russia's Current and Maybe Future Internet Legislation

It appears that Russia is on the brink of passing still more repressive Internet regulations. A new telecommunications bill that would require popular blogs—those with 3,000 or more visits a day—to join a government registry and conform to government-mandated standards is expected to pass this week. What follows is a list of the worst bits of both proposed and existing Russian Internet law. Let us know in the comments or on Twitter if we missed anything.

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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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