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Teen Texts May Be Preserving Endangered Languages

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, June 29 2011

McClatchy Newspapers' Tim Johnson writes that teenagers using regional languages in text messages may keep them from "forsaking their native tongues for dominant languages:" Linguist Samuel Herrera said he was elated to ... Read More

Do Lawmakers' Texts During Public Meetings Become Public Documents?

BY Nick Judd | Monday, June 27 2011

The New Hampshire Union Leader's Beth LaMontagne Hall reports on some navel-gazing in Manchester, N.H., over texting during public meetings: During the June 12 Board of School Committee meeting, [Mayor Ted] Gatsas ... Read More

A Call for Saner Texting Economics

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, June 9 2011

The folks over at Revolution Messaging, which grew out of the Obama campaign and has come specialize in using mobile communications and other digital tools to advance political causes, are aruging that in the United ... Read More

Mobile Lobby Asks FEC to Okay Donation-by-Text

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, September 17 2010

Photo credit: Moritz Petersen Politico's Kim Hart reports that the cellular lobby is asking federal regulators to okay the collection of Read More

"This is Jerry McEntee"

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, June 29 2010

Here's an update to how mobile is being harnessed in the election of a new Secretary-Treasurer at the AFSCME convention taking place this week in Boston. Read More

Mobile Organizing AFSCME's Big Election

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, June 29 2010

Lee Saunders is, as I mentioned, doing some intriguing stuff with mobile in his bid to grab hold of the Secretary-Treasurer seat with the union behemoth AFSCME. Read More

SCOTUS: Tech-Dumb Like a Fox?

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, April 20 2010

The Wall Stree Journal's Ashby Jones has some fun at the expense of the Supreme Court justices. In yesterday's oral arguments in the case over the privacy of a police officer's texting, some of the berobed nine asked ... Read More

California Reformers Struggle Against Lobbyist-to-Lawmaker Texting

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, March 3 2010

Across the country we've been seeing good government reformers slowly coming to the terms with the fact that existing electronic discolsure laws are about as effective at ensuring transparency as a water gun is at ... Read More

Keeping Up with the JONESES: The State of Texting in 2009

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, February 24 2010

Credit:M+R Strategic Services Read More

Civil Society, Text by Text

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, November 4 2009

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in conjunction with the office of special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke, is about five days into an experiment mobile phones to build civil society in ... Read More

News Briefs

RSS Feed 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

thursday >

In Pakistan, A Hypocritical Gov't Ignores Calls To End YouTube Ban

YouTube has been blocked in Pakistan by executive order since September 2012, after the “blasphemous” video Innocence of Muslims started riots in the Middle East. Since then, civil society organizations and Internet rights advocacy groups like Bolo Bhi and Bytes for All have been working to lift the ban. Last August the return of YouTube seemed imminent—the then-new IT Minister Anusha Rehman spoke optimistically and her party, which had won the majority a few months before, was said to be “seriously contemplating” ending the ban. And yet since then, Rehman and her party, the conservative Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N), have done everything in their power to maintain the status quo.

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The #NotABugSplat Campaign Aims to Give Drone Operators Pause Before They Strike

In the #NotABugSplat campaign that launched this week, a group of American, French and Pakistani artists sought to raise awareness of the effects of drone strikes by placing a field-sized image of a young girl, orphaned when a drone strike killed her family, in a heavily targeted region of Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province. Its giant size is visible to those who operate drone strikes as well as in satellite imagery. GO

Boston and Cambridge Move Towards More Open Data

The Boston City Council is now considering an ordinance which would require Boston city agencies and departments to make government data available online using open standards. Boston City Councilor At Large Michelle Wu, who introduced the legislation Wednesday, officially announced her proposal Monday, the same day Boston Mayor Martin Walsh issued an executive order establishing an open data policy under which all city departments are directed to publish appropriate data sets under established accessibility, API and format standards. GO

YouTube Still Blocked In Turkey, Even After Courts Rule It Violates Human Rights, Infringes on Free Speech

Reuters reports that even after a Turkish court ruled to lift the ban on YouTube, Turkey's telecommunications companies continue to block the video sharing site.

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