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First POST: Nerdfighters

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, December 18 2013

Top tech execs meet with President Obama to talk about the NSA; Chinese hackers take down the FEC website; open source software-as-a-service is poised for government use; and much, much more. Read More

WeGov

Pakistanis Show Their Love For YouTube in Vimeo Video

BY Jessica McKenzie | Thursday, December 5 2013

Screenshot from the Hugs for Youtube! video

Although YouTube (the website) has been banned in Pakistan for more than a year now, that didn't keep YouTube (the mascot) from walking the streets of Karachi last month, asking for hugs from Pakistanis who want the video sharing site back. The self-described citizens resistance forum Pakistan for All filmed the stunt as part of their #KholoBC campaign, which opposes Internet censorship and content regulation by the government.

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WeGov

Iran's Foreign Minister Talks Free Will, Dignity, Standing Your Ground on YouTube

BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, November 19 2013

“Imagine being told that you cannot do what everyone else is doing, what everyone else is allowed to do. Will you back down? Would you relent? Or would you stand your ground.”

These are some of the opening questions from Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in a message on the “unnecessary crisis” over nuclear energy, which was posted on YouTube today.

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WeGov

Tajikistan Blocks YouTube and News Site On Eve of Election

BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, November 5 2013

Rakhmon with Dmitry Medvedev (Wikipedia)

On the eve of Tajik elections, clients of certain Internet providers were unable to access YouTube or the popular new portal Ozodagon. A source close to the Tajik government told Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty that the blocks were ordered by the State Communications Service.

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For NYC Candidates and Independent Groups, Online Advertising is Part of the Mix

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, September 17 2013

While the bulk of the money spent by candidates in last week's New York City primary battles went to old-fashioned TV ads, the campaigns also used a variety of online advertising strategies. Digging into the campaign expenditure reports, Miranda Neubauer reports on who did what. Read More

WeGov

Brazilians Protest Forced Evictions on YouTube and in Mock World Cup

BY Jessica McKenzie | Friday, June 14 2013

Screenshot from a YouTube video about forced evictions

Tomorrow Brazilians who have been forced out of their housing in advance of the 2014 World Cup will stage their own “People's Cup” in Rio de Janeiro to draw awareness to forced evictions.

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WeGov

Tajik President Covers Up Embarrassing Video By Blocking YouTube

BY Jessica McKenzie | Thursday, June 6 2013

Screenshot from the infamous YouTube video

A video from 2007 has come back to haunt Tajikistan President Emomalii Rahmon, and he had to go and block YouTube because of it. The video shows President Rahmon singing and dancing (perhaps drunkenly) at his son's wedding, and some say illustrates the excesses of the ruling family. Uploaded on May 18, it has emerged at a politically tense time: the presidential election – “the most important political event of the country in the past seven years” – will take place in November.

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Barry Diller and Steve Chen Join FWD.us, Group Places Ad On Rush Limbaugh Show

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Friday, May 31 2013

There's been a lot of skepticism about the Silicon Valley advocacy group FWD.us, and its lobbying methodologies, but that hasn't put off media mogul Barry Diller and YouTube Co-Founder Steve Chen. The group's Founder and ... Read More

WeGov

In South Africa, Organizers Combine Old and New Media to Take on Corruption

BY Anna Therese Day | Monday, May 6 2013

Screenshot from anti-corruption campaign video.

Civil society organizers engage South Africans in the fight against corruption by employing both an old and new media awareness strategy about the gravity of this issue. Read More

WeGov

In Russia, Independent YouTube Programming Lures Viewers Away from State TV

BY Natalia Antonova | Tuesday, March 19 2013

Screenshot from Russia's independent Dozhd TV

In Russia, state owned television's coverage of high profile cases and events has been losing credibility amongst educated, middle class viewers who see it as anodyne, patronizing or insufficiently critical. A notorious recent case of poor television reporting occurred with the prosecution of feminist collective punk band Pussy Riot. It was impossible to miss the strong difference between state-owned television’s coverage and analysis, versus the reporting offered by independent Russian programming on YouTube. Read More

News Briefs

RSS Feed today >

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

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.

GO

tuesday >

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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monday >

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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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.

GO

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