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Timeline Update: Why TCP/IP Is Inherently Political, According to Vint Cerf, One of Its Inventors

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, August 15 2012

Since yesterday afternoon, when we launched the "Politics and the Internet" timeline here at techPresident, we've been getting emails and tweets suggesting additions and corrections. So, I'm going to start blogging the changes as we make them, starting with this one, and we're going to compile those changes on this page, as the timeline grows. Read More

Where Did the Internet Really Come From?

BY Steve Crocker | Friday, August 3 2012

Steve Crocker (foreground, and in the illustration) in 2007. Photo: Veni Markovski

Gordon Crovitz has argued that the government really played no role in the creation of the Internet, and others are looking to renegotiate the role of government in its future. To properly understand where the Internet is going, and maybe where it should, techPresident asked Steve Crocker to give his account of the global network's true origins.

Crocker was a UCLA graduate student who helped create the ARPANET back in the late 1960s, and is today the chair of the board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, ICANN.

He writes, "Could the Internet have been created by private industry? Without government’s help as funder and convenor? I don’t think so. Here’s why."

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ITU Chief Calls Fears Of The "UN Takeover" Of The Internet "Frankly Ridiculous"

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Thursday, June 7 2012

ITU Secretary-General Dr. Hamadoun I. Touré Photo: Flickr/ITU

The chief of the United Nations' special telecom agency on Wednesday called recent characterizations of its negotiation process as an attempt by the agency to "take over" the Internet "frankly ridiculous." The U.N.'s International Telecommunications Union's Secretary-General Dr. Hamadoun I. Touré delivered a speech to his staff in Geneva, Switzerland Wednesday in an apparent attempt to reframe the basis of the long-running international conversation about how best to expand and build upon the broadband Internet infrastructure as it grows up. Read More

Google Tries to "Start Something" Post-SOPA/PIPA

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, April 9 2012

This morning somewhere between two and four million people got an email in their inbox from Vint Cerf, Google's official "Internet evangelist," asking them to complete the following sentence: "The Internet is the power to …" and to share their answers with the tag #ourweb. The effort is a direct outgrowth of the seven million-plus petition drive Google ran last January 18th against the Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA), with the people being emailed the ones who opted in to getting more information on the issue. With this move, the other shoe that hadn't dropped since January's legislative battle is now in motion. 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

Daily Digest: Obama's Surveillance Stand Shakes the Netroots

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, June 26 2008

As Barack Obama's support for a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that includes telecom immunity causes, in the words of one blogger, "a shift in the zeitgeist online," can his online fundraising hold up?; John ... Read More

Daily Digest: PdF '08 Day Two -- Power Corrupts. PowerPoint Corrupts Absolutely.

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, June 24 2008

This second and final day of Personal Democracy Forum '08 saw the presentations from the likes of John Zittrain, Larry Lessig, Mark Pesce, and many others; the launch of a new universal broadband initiative; that ... Read More

Bite-Sized Broadband: Your Quick Guide to the Launch of "Internet for Everyone"

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, June 24 2008

I'm here at PdF '08 at a press conference marking the launch of InternetforEveryone.com, a coalition pushing for universal high-speed Internet, centered around four core tenets: access, choice, openness, and innovation. ... Read More

Daddy Digi-Bucks and Election 2008

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, April 16 2007

Obama got Chad Hurley and Ted Leonsis's checks. Clinton got Terry Semel's. Edwards got Michael Eisner's. And uber-venture-capitalist Vinod Kholsa invested in three presidential candidates: Obama, Edwards and McCain. A ... Read More

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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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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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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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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