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Zittrain Appointed FCC Distinguished Scholar

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, May 31 2011

Jonathan Zittrain, a leading academic voice on the future of the Internet, has been named the Federal Communication Commission's "Distinguished Scholar." Zittrain will serve in the agency's Office of Strategic ... 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

PdF '10: John Perry Barlow Predicts the Rise of the City-State

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, June 9 2010

John Perry Barlow has been thinking about the interplay between cyber space and our offline civic spaces since before most of us had a clue about what "cyber space" meant. Read More

"'I Make Websites' is No Longer Sufficient"

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, June 4 2010

Susan Crawford told the crowd assembled at PdF '10 this morning that the days of technologists ignoring the politics of the technology landscape are over. "The Jimmy Wales response [of] 'I make websites,'" said ... Read More

The Future of Net Neutrality

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, May 5 2010

Worth mentioning here on the blog that there's a battle brewing this week over whether the Federal Communications Commission is going to assert some authority over broadband Internet or chose to accept a diminished ... Read More

UK's New "Digital Economy" One Step Closer to Law

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, April 8 2010

While noting that the pared-down version of the Digital Economy Bill that passed through the House of Commons under wash up last night might be a damp squib, the Guardian (UK) is still generally up in arms abou Read More

White House Has Vision of Open Internet, Talkie Boxes

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, September 22 2009

Barack Obama made his first public comment on Julius Genachowski's proposed open Internet -- a.k.a. net neutrality -- regulations, in a speech announcing the White House's new national innovation strategy delivered in ... Read More

Open Internet Has a Posse

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, September 21 2009

We mentioned this down below, but it's worth devoting its own post to. In conjunction with chairman Julius Genachowski speech on net neutrality at Brookings this morning, the Federal Communications Commission launched a ... Read More

Slaying the Cookie Monster

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, July 24 2009

How to make use of the plus side of web cookies -- the nearly magical way they know where you've been and where you might like to go next -- without the unpleasant privacy implications is a question the Obama White House ... Read More

Obama's Patent Chief Choice Has Known Collaborative Tendencies

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, June 19 2009

The White House has made an intriguing pick with nominating David Kappos to head up the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Kappos is well-known in the patent world as both a patent reformer in general and, from his ... Read More

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China's Porn Purge Has Only Just Begun, And Already Sina Is Stripped of Publication License

It seems that China is taking spring cleaning pretty seriously. On April 13 they launched their most recent online purge, “Cleaning the Web 2014,” which will run until November. The goal is to rid China's Internet of pornographic text, pictures, video, and ads in order to “create a healthy cyberspace.” More than 100 websites and thousands of social media accounts have already been closed, after less than a month. Today the official Xinhua news agency reported that the authorities have stripped the Internet giant Sina (of Sina Weibo, the popular microblogging site) of its online publication license. This crackdown on porn comes on the heels of a crackdown on “rumors.” Clearly, this spring cleaning isn't about pornography, it's about censorship and control.

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wednesday >

Another Co-Opted Hashtag: #MustSeeIran

The Twitter hashtag #MustSeeIran was created to showcase Iran's architecture, landscapes, and would-be tourist destinations. It was then co-opted by activists to bring attention to human rights abuses and infringements. Now Twitter is home to two starkly different portraits of a country. GO

What Has the EU Ever Done For Us?: Countering Euroskepticism with Viral Videos and Monty Python

Ahead of the May 25 European Elections, the most intense campaigning may not be by the candidates or the political parties. Instead, some of the most passionate campaigns are more grassroots efforts focused on for a start stirring up the interest of the European electorate. GO

At NETmundial Brazil: Is "Multistakeholderism" Good for the Internet?

Today and tomorrow Brazil is hosting NETmundial, a global multi-stakeholder meeting on the future of Internet governance. GO

Brazilian President Signs Internet Bill of Rights Into Law at NetMundial

Earlier today Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff sanctioned Marco Civil, also called the Internet bill of rights, during the global Internet governance event, NetMundial, in Brazil.

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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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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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