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Friday Document Drop: 'Austin Open Government Online'

BY Nick Judd | Friday, February 18 2011

A heavy chunk of research the City of Austin commissioned as part of its website redesign process went online late last month in the form of a report to a committee of the city's legislature. The city of Austin has been ... Read More

A Legislative Framework in Place, Oklahoma Says OK to Open Data

BY Nick Judd | Friday, February 11 2011

Oklahoma joined the ranks of states with open data portals this week when data.ok.gov launched on Wednesday. The portal launch is a splashy public milestone in the long, dull, and generally boring-but-important process ... Read More

DIY Urban Development: Step One is to Start a Facebook Group

BY Nick Judd | Monday, February 7 2011

Newcastle, Australia, sounds a bit like Detroit. An industrial city with historic ties to shipbuilding, Newcastle suffered greatly during the decline of first-world manufacturing and the rise of the suburbs; as flight ... Read More

In New Hampshire, Voters Send In the Geeks

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, February 2 2011

The New Hampshire state legislature, called the General Court, saw an influx of technologists this year. Photo: Joe Hardenbrook / Flickr The New Hampshire state legislature is a whole lot geekier this year. Swept into ... Read More

State-Level Legislatures' Bills to Get First Machine Reading

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, January 18 2011

Source: OpenGovernment.org State-level open government and open data enthusiasts just got a new experiment to work with, as OpenGovernment.org, a project to provide easier access to information about the deliberations of ... Read More

Seeing the Snow for the Blizzard: Using Mobile for Government Oversight

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, January 11 2011

Over on his company blog, Mobile Commons*' Jed Alpert has a quick Q&A with the digital editor of WNYC's program The Takeaway, Jim Colgan, about a project the public radio station did to allow New Yorkers to document ... Read More

All Government is Local 2.0: manor.govfresh

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, September 22 2010

We're pleased to repost this first-hand report on the Manor GovFresh conference that just concluded in Texas, from PdF friend Jon Lebkowsky. Read More

eDem10: A Look at Best Methods for Democratic (and Undemocratic) e-Participation

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, May 6 2010

I'm in Krems, Austria for the two-day eDemocracy2010 conference (hashtag #eDem10), where I'll be giving a keynote talk tomorrow on "The Promise and Contradictions of e-Democracy, Obama-Style." The conference brings ... Read More

Microsoft's Move Towards We-Gov Continues

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, April 28 2010

Yesterday, Microsoft launched a state-by-state directory of the social media accounts of public officials and agencies at the local and state level. Read More

WeGov

New Pew Report on "Govt Online" Shows Big Citizen Participation But Little Govt Engagement

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, April 27 2010

"The more we can enlist the American people to pay attention and be involved, that's the only way we are going move an agenda forward. That's how we are going to counteract the special interests." --Barack Obama, ... 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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wednesday >

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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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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