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Hadrian's Firewall: UK's New Internet Filter or Censor?

BY Wendy M. Grossman | Wednesday, January 22 2014

The UK Internet is getting its own Hadrian's Wall, an ancient fortification in Northern England (quisnovus/flickr)

"Hadrian's Firewall," the veteran journalist Guy Kewney called it in 2006, the first time I wrote about plans for UK-wide content blocking. The term is much more valid now: just before Christmas British ISPs turned on a system that requires subscribers to actively choose whether they want filtering that will block material in broad categories such as sex, alcohol, violence, and hate speech. In response, the Open Rights Group is gearing up to collect evidence of whether and how the filters work. Of particular concern to ORG is the problem of over-blocking with little redress available to site owners, as well as the dangers inherent in over-confidence in the technology. Read More

First POST: Transitions

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, November 7 2013

Which political technology firms came out on top in this week's elections; Al Gore's outspoken views on Edward Snowden; Google's director of charitable giving explains its "moon shots"; and much, much more. Read More

WeGov

At "Peak Open," Open Government Partnership Faces Default States of Closed

BY Alex Howard | Wednesday, November 6 2013

Incoming civil society chair of the OGP, Rakesh Rajani, far left (Photo: Alex Howard)

With the second annual Open Government Partnership summit now concluded, one longtime observer of the "open government" movement, Alex Howard, offers his overview of its achievements, shortcomings and challenges ahead. Read More

First POST: Sabotage

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, October 8 2013

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers: The latest explanations for HealthCare.gov's troubled start; why journalists need to reverse engineer algorithms; how fact-checking sites may be improving the behavior of politicians; and much, much more. Read More

British PM Cameron Joins Twitter

BY Antonella Napolitano | Monday, October 8 2012

British Prime Minister David Cameron joined Twitter on Saturday afternoon. His account, @David_Cameron, gathered 50,000 followers in the first few hours, the Guardian reports. As of Monday evening, he has more than 96,000. His first steps, though, show some flaws in the communications strategy. Read More

U.K. Imposes Export Restrictions on Spyware Used by Authoritarian Regimes

BY Lisa Goldman | Friday, September 14 2012

Gamma, the company that exports the surveillance software called FinSpy, will have to adhere to export restrictions according to a new directive issued by the U.K. Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills. The company will be required to seek a license in order to sell the software outside of the EU, following revelations that it had been used by authoritarian regimes to spy on dissidents. Read More

The Europe Roundup: Cybercrime in the UK, Ushahidi in Serbia, Big Data in Norway

BY Antonella Napolitano | Friday, February 10 2012

Photo: Ian Muttoo / Flickr

New anti-cybercrime units in the UK, Ushahidi deployed to track incidents related to severe weather in Greece and Serbia, and a fascinating animation from Norway based on migration data, all in today's roundup of news about technology in politics from around Europe. Read More

The Europe Roundup: More Protests and Halts to ACTA Ratifications

BY Antonella Napolitano | Tuesday, February 7 2012

Anti-ACTA protest, Slovenia. Photo: Šiško

In Europe, protests against the ratification of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement are not stopping, while some EU countries are instead halting the ratification of the treaty. In the UK, the Supreme Court is using Twitter to update on the Supreme Court's judgments in real time. Read More

The Europe Roundup: Introducing GOV.UK

BY Antonella Napolitano | Friday, February 3 2012

The UK government launched the beta version of GOV.UK

The UK government has recently launched the beta version of GOV.UK as a "first step towards a single government website.", in Italy the Parliament has rejected a SOPA-alike bill, in Ukraine a charity develops an interactive map to fight AIDS. And if you're getting confused with ACTA, here's a list of the most useful resources. Read More

The Europe Roundup: A FixMyStreet Milestone for mySociety

BY Antonella Napolitano | Monday, January 30 2012

Photo: Todd Mecklem / Flickr

Another milestone for FixMyStreet, open data in Finland and privacy issues in Germany. And don't miss today's tweetchat with Commissioner for Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes Read More

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Mark Pesce on "Hypercivility" at @CivicHall

A week ago, digital ethnologist Mark Pesce gave a talk here at Civic Hall on the topic of "Hypercivility." As you will see from watching the video, it's an extension of years of research and thinking he has done on the effects of hyperconnectivity on our world. Be forewarned, this is not an "easy" talk to watch or digest. While Pesce definitely has our social-media-powered "Age of Outrage" on his mind, he grounds his talk in a much more serious place: post-genocide Rwanda, which he recently visited. GO

First POST: Impossibles

The FCC vote; a proxy Democratic primary battle in Chicago; Gov Andrew Cuomo begins deleting all state employee emails more than 90 days old; men talking about women in tech; and much, much more. GO

wednesday >

First POST: Off the Books

Chicago's "black site"; The New York Times reports "little guys" like Tumblr and Reddit have won the fight for net neutrality but fails to mention Free Press or Demand Progress; Hillary Clinton fan products on Etsy to inspire campaign slogans?; and much, much more. GO

tuesday >

First POST: Challenges

How Silicon Valley donors are thinking about Hillary Clinton 2016; Yahoo's security chief locks horns with the head of the NSA; Instagram location data catches a Congressman with his hand in the till; and much, much more. GO

monday >

First POST: Bows

CitizenFour wins best doc; Ken Silverstein resigned from First Look Media and took to Facebook to vent; why we need more Congressional staffers; who profits from the net neutrality debate; banning PowerPoint presentations; and much, much more. GO

friday >

First POST: Sim Pickings

Using stolen encryption keys, the NSA and GCHQ can intercept and decrypt communications between billions of phones without notifying the service provider, foreign governments or users; get to know Sarah Harrison, the WikiLeaks editor who helped Snowden gain asylum in Russia; a profile of the Fight for the Future leaders; how the new wave of black community organizing is not hashtag activism; and much, much more. GO

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