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Navigating New York's "Road Map for the Digital City," One Year In

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, February 8 2012

In May 2011, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg revealed a "Road Map for the Digital City," a plan to use technology to make city government more and participatory, and to leverage the city's tech sector for economic and civic gains.

New York City Chief Digital Officer Rachel Sterne will join our editorial director, Micah Sifry, on a conference call this Friday afternoon to discuss the progress on that road map so far. The call is free and open to anyone to join. You can sign up here.

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New Slang: Indian Government Launches a Wiki for Economic Jargon

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, August 31 2011

Photo: Trilok Rangan / Flickr On the occasion of the Indian Economic Service's 50th anniversary, the government agency has launched Arthapedia, a wiki to define obscure economic terms. Launched yesterday, Arthapedia is ... Read More

Get Your Nerd On: Aspen Institute's #FOCAS11

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, August 3 2011

Watch live streaming video from aspeninstitute at livestream.com The Aspen Institute's Forum on Communications and Society, a four-day event on the way governance and civic life is changing in the networked world, began ... Read More

White House Applauds Technological 'Champions of Change'

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, August 3 2011

In Virginia, residents can go online to watch hundreds of hours of footage of floor speeches from the state legislature. A tool to analyze data on asthma attacks is expanding use, providing medical information that could ... Read More

From Tracking Fires to Fixing Potholes, a Roundup of Open Data Projects in Russia

BY Becky Kazansky | Friday, July 8 2011

After our post on the open data contest Apps4Russia late last month, we received an email from Gov 2.0 proponent Alena Popova, the chief executive officer of Gov2Project.ru, an incubator that invests in and consults with ... Read More

Meet Commons, the Mobile, Social Gamification of 311

BY Becky Kazansky | Tuesday, June 21 2011

New Yorkers have a new way to identify problems and solutions in their city with the launch of Commons, a mobile, social game which aims to make 311 an easy and social experience through a platform for citizens to ... Read More

The Growth of Hometown Hacking

BY Nick Judd | Monday, May 23 2011

Inspired by soon-to-be-expatriate Chicagoan Christopher Groskopf, Virginia web designer S.D. Salyer now says he'll do for his native Washington County, Va., what Groskopf has begun to do for Tyler, Tex.: Following in ... Read More

New York Releases 'Road Map for the Digital City'

BY Nick Judd | Monday, May 16 2011

Watch live streaming video from nycgov at livestream.com New York City will develop an open government framework featuring APIs for city data, relaunch its website and make a host of changes to the way it presents ... Read More

'Engage Omaha:' a Web Platform for Citizen Input

BY Nick Judd | Friday, May 13 2011

Late last month, the City of Omaha launched a web platform to collect citizen input on budget priorities for its next budget. The platform is an instance of MindMixer, built by an Omaha-based company focused on idea ... Read More

'Hacking Tyler' to Chronicle Digitization of a Small Texas Town

BY Nick Judd | Monday, May 9 2011

A news app developer at the Chicago Tribune promises to chronicle his efforts to improve a small Texas town's community, through technology, in a new blog announced in The Atlantic: Tyler has information that could be ... Read More

News Briefs

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Civic Hackers Call on de Blasio to Fill Technology Vacancies

New York City technology advocates on Wednesday called on the de Blasio administration to fill vacancies in top technology policy positions, expressing some frustration at the lack of a leadership team to implement a cohesive technology strategy for the city. GO

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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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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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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