You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

Online Petitioners Call for White House to "Pardon" Edward Snowden

BY Miranda Neubauer | Monday, June 24 2013

A We the People petition to pardon NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has reached the 100,000 signature threshold needed for a White House response, but for at least one group of Snowden supporters that petition might be one step too far at the moment. "We don't think he should be charged," said Zaid Jilani, an investigative blogger and campaigner for the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, which has been raising money for a possible Snowden legal defense fund. "You can't pardon anyone until they've been convicted. Maybe that petition is a little premature." Read More

A New Online Petition Asks the White House to Ban Google Glass

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, May 7 2013

A new We the People petition is calling on the White House to ban "Google Glass from use in the USA until clear limitations are placed to prevent indecent public surveillance," although so far it only has about a dozen signatures. Read More

The White House Is Opening Up Its Petition Web Site To Outside Developers

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Friday, March 8 2013

The Obama administration's response to the cell-phone unlocking petition this week on its "We the People" platform set off a new round of grassroots lobbying of members of Congress, and the development seemed to be a win ... Read More

Building on White House Petition Momentum, 'Fix the DMCA' Campaigns Get Rolling

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Wednesday, March 6 2013

The White House has spoken on the issue of cell-phone unlocking. Now the petitioners who rounded up more than 114,000 signatures at the "We The People" site want Congress to take action to update the landmark digital ... Read More

White House: "It's Time To Legalize Cell Phone Unlocking"

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Monday, March 4 2013

Photo: Flickr/Yutaka Tsutano

The White House agrees that it shouldn't be a crime to unlock your cell-phone. Activists praise their response, and use it to kick off effort to fix a landmark digital copyright law. Read More

White House Announces a Major Upgrade to "We the People" Petition Site

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, February 5 2013

A just-announced upgrade to the White House's online petitioning site means that developers will soon be able to build applications that display information about petitions, signatures, and responses. When the White House releases its write API, organizations like SignOn.org or Change.org will likely be able to collect and submit signatures to a White House petition from their own websites — potentially keeping copies of the email addresses for themselves. Read More

White House Raises The Bar On "We the People" Petition Responses

BY Miranda Neubauer | Wednesday, January 16 2013

The White House announced last evening that it would be raising the signature threshold on We the People petitions to 100,000 from 25,000. The initial threshold when the program launched in September 2011 was 5,000, but it was quickly raised to 25,000 after immense feedback in its first week of operation. Petitions don't go public until the creator has collected 150 signatures through their own network. Read More

Online, Shaping a Narrow Debate After Newtown Shooting

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, December 18 2012

When President Barack Obama spoke Sunday at Newtown High School in Newtown, Conn, he promised to take action to fix what's broken in an American society that could not protect 20 young children and seven adults from death at the hands of a single disturbed person, and could not protect that killer from himself.

"We can't tolerate this anymore," he said. "These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change. We will be told that the causes of such violence are complex, and that is true. No single law -- no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world, or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society."

But he was really just setting the table for a narrower conversation about gun control.

Most people, or anyway, most people on Twitter, seem to have got that point.

Read More

Texas Secession Petition Reaches We the People Response Threshold

BY Miranda Neubauer | Monday, November 12 2012

The new Lincoln movie may hold greater current significance than expected. A We The People petition demanding that Texas withdraw from the Union has reached the 25,000 signature threshold required to receive an answer from the White House Read More

In Mortgage-Debt Fight, Activists Look Online to Get the White House Involved

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, April 24 2012

A We the People petition calling on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to issue principal reductions for underwater homeowners — and for the head of the regulatory agency overseeing them to allow it or to "step aside" — has reached the 25,000 signature threshold at which the White House promises to respond. Since the White House launched We the People, its online petitions platform, in September, administration officials have answered 63 petitions ranging from this one on raw milk to this one on rights for same-sex couples. Some petitions have spurred a visible shift in policy, while others haven't. This one is worth watching because it calls on the administration to do more work in an area, personal debt, where the Obama White House has already staked out an interest, and opens a digital front in an ongoing skirmish over administration policy. Read More