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From Killer App to Killed App? UK Debate Interest Swamps Facebook "Dial Test"

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, April 16 2010

Britain was primed and ready for last night's historic, first-ever televised prime ministerial debates. The debates, however, didn't seem to be quite so ready for Britain. Read More

British Politics Tip Toe into the TV Era

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, April 15 2010

It's worth keeping in mind the idea that "technology is changing politics" is all relative. Read More

British 'Net Bill Embiggens Geeks

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, April 12 2010

The passage of the widely-disliked Digital Economy Bill in the UK is, say commentators, having at least one positive, unintended effect: it's sparking a crystallization of what might be called an invigorated geek ... 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

Webbed-Up UK Elections Find Brits Taking the Mickey, Sampling Alinsky

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, April 5 2010

The Times of London's Jonathan Oliver has a extensive piece detailing the Obamafication of the upcoming Parliamentary election in the UK, or at least the attempt by both Labour and the Tories to put a little more zazzle ... Read More

Cameron: Conservatives Will Pull Back the Curtain on Government Contracting

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, February 11 2010

Credit: TED/Richard Lewis In the UK, politicians on the left and right have been scrambling to claim the mantle of transparent government as the battle heats up over who will next lead that country. Read More

"Airbrushed for Change"

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, January 14 2010

Personal Democracy Forum friend in Italy Antonella Napolitano passes along this story from the UK, where the Labour Party there is picking up and running with a spoof that was originally created by political bloggers. ... Read More

UK's Gordon Brown offers sweeping vision of "smarter government"

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, December 7 2009

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is attracting attention with an address delivered in London on "smarter government" that lays out a sweeping vision for a 21st century UK that is savvier about technology, to ... Read More

News Briefs

RSS Feed 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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wednesday >

Everything You Need to Know About Social Media and India's General Election

The biggest democratic election in the world to date is taking place in India from April 7 to May 14, and, for the first time in India, the results might hinge on who runs a better social media campaign. The Mumbai research firm Iris Knowledge Foundation has said that Facebook will “wield a tremendous influence” but Indian politicians are not limiting their attentions to India's most popular social media platform. In addition to virtual campaigning are initiatives to inform, educate and encourage Indians to participate in their democracy.

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EU Court Rejects Data Retention Law, But Data Retention Won't End Overnight

The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg struck down a data retention law Tuesday that required telecoms to keep customers' communications data for up to two years, declaring it violated privacy rights. However, experts warn that the ruling will have no automatic effect on relevant laws in member states, which could lead to “messy consequences.”

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