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Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers: Some shocking remarks from a top Silicon Valley VC about the government shutdown; more details on Pierre Omidyar's new online journalism endeavor with Glenn Greenwald; Code for America is thinking about how to help cities go "beyond transparency"; and much, much more.
Discrimination. Redlining. Racial profiling. These practices predate the Internet, and yet there is every indication that technology can enable infringements on civil rights to an even greater extent than before. Last week, in an effort to put civil rights at the forefront of the ongoing debate about digital privacy and security, a coalition of civil and human rights organizations jointly released “Civil Rights Principles for the Era of Big Data,” five tenets to guide policy-making.
Chartbeat CEO Tony Haile writes an important piece about bad media metrics online. He pokes holes in the value of the click as the be-all-and-end-all of media measurement. He reveals that sharing turns out to be a bad measurement of engagement and value because we often don’t read what we “like” or share (we just […]
1. They invent the most exciting and clever ways to tell you things, for example JoeTech (if you ignore the ecard suggestion, I like to think that is an ironic suggestion and would mean immediate chucking) 2. They apply Boolean Logic as a matter of course: nothing is ever complicated, it is always logical – […]
Glenn Greenwald has responded to Pando Daily’s story about the Omidyar Network and Ukraine with the force and speed we have come to expect. Good. Now I also wish he and his colleagues would turn around, ignore Pando, and create a statement of principles, a compact with the public. Greenwald begins that in his last […]
When Newsweek published its cover story last week claiming to have identified the creator of Bitcoin, I tweeted that I was reserving judgment on their claim, pending more evidence. At this point it looks like they don’t have more evidence to show us—and that Newsweek is probably wrong. Bitcoin’s founder called himself “Satoshi Nakamoto” and [...]
On September 20, 2013, in Guatemala, the former director of the National Police of Guatemala, Col. Héctor Bol de la Cruz, and his subordinate Jorge Alberto Gómez López were convicted for the abduction and presumed murder of student and labor leader Edgar Fernando García, who disappeared in 1984, during the conflict that devastated the South American country between 1960 and 1996. Three years earlier, two lower ranking officers were also convicted for the crime. The convictions were made possible thanks to the work of the Human Rights Data Analysis Group, a San Francisco-based nonprofit that uses statistical analysis to support the cause of human rights.
On a trip to Silicon Valley with my new dean, Sarah Bartlett, I heard technology people express concern about the state of news. That is good of them, for they have had a role in the disruption of news — and I’m glad they have. Now they need to consider taking the fruits of their technology and […]
As January 26, 2014 approached, the day Tunisia's National Constituent Assembly would vote on passing a Constitution that had been snarled in debate for two years, rather than feel relief, activist Achref Aouadi tells techPresident he had grown dismayed after his failed attempts to create an online platform that would allow Tunisian citizens to debate, discuss and vote on the provisions of the draft Constitution. A day before the vote, he had not yet found a viable platform nor the funds for a developer. A crucial opportunity would be lost for stirring civic participation, which he sees as a vital step in the building of Tunisia’s democracy. Then, an online search turned the tide in Aouadi’s favor.
Thousands of documents float and sink in a remote reservoir not far from a grand 345-acre estate contained within a sprawling wrought iron fence.
As evocative as it may seem, this not the beginning of a spy thriller, but of Yanukovych Leaks, an online portal where the leaks have been uploaded by investigative journalists who say the extravagance detailed in those papers may prove ousted President Viktor Yanukovych's depth of corruption.
After three months of demonstrations and fighting on the streets, ending with the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych, there are few doubts that the Internet and social media played major roles in the revolution. While the Ukrainian press coverage was often limited, technology and online platforms not only materially sustained the protesters, but also helped them to reach an international audience.
The EuroMaidan Revolution has passed the 100 day mark and Russian forces have taken control of parts of Crimea. The New York Times described the escalating conflict between Russia and the West as “reminiscent of low points in the Cold War.” The Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has said that “we are on the brink of disaster.”
My two recent posts about philanthropy and the news touched a nerve among not-for-profit news gatherers, leading to a podcast conversation with Scott Lewis, head of Voice of San Diego (starting at about :22), and a response by Steve Waldman. Laura Walker, the CEO of New York Public Radio, also asked to respond here. Laura […]
Civic crowdfunding dreamed big but started small. The platform Neighbor.ly grabbed attention for a 2012 campaign to help fund a multi-million dollar rail car in Kansas City, but only raised $3,775 of its $10 million goal. The early campaigns of both Neighbor.ly and Citizinvestor that were actually successful reached for modest goals, usually less than $15,000. A look at the campaign pages of either platform today shows larger projects, in the tens or hundreds of thousands, creeping in as well. Civic crowdfunding is growing. To facilitate and attract more large projects Citizinvestor this week announced a plan to crowdfund projects in phases.
Facebook is an increasingly active political force in India. The company launched their Indian election tracker Tuesday to coincide with the first Facebook Talks Live digital broadcast, “Town Hall” style conversations in which 2014 candidates field questions submitted by Facebook users. These projects build on the get-out-the-vote collaboration between the Times of India and Facebook, which was announced in September.
On March 10, I'm going to be talking with noted author and journalist Glenn Greenwald at South by Southwest, in a main hall session co-organized by Personal Democracy Media. We're going to focus on the future of journalism, civil liberties and politics.
The idea for this session is that it be a conversation, not a speech or a typical one-on-one interview, and in setting it up we decided that it would be great to try to include lots of questions from the public. To that end, Glenn and I are asking that folks go to his page on AskThem, the new open-source nonprofit platform for crowd-sourcing questions to politicians and public figures, to post and vote up the questions you would like us to discuss. As long as questions are civil and relevant, I promise to ask the ones that get the most votes there.
Can civic innovation be managed statewide? A bill in Minnesota is betting yes. It is looking to grab some of the state's $1.2 billion surplus to fund open data, open government, and civic technology. Openminnesota.org, a site set up to promote and explain the bill, says the following: "Open Minnesota will build an engine for public open data use, civic technology creation engaging start-up companies and technology volunteers, and help hundreds more government units get cost-effectively connected to the best global open government lessons for local adaptation."
Property tax revenue makes up around a quarter of New York City's budget, but until now broader information about it has not been easily accessible.
Users could only look up individual properties by entering lot and block information into a basic online form on a city website, and would have had to cross-reference that information with a building's address and other sources, explained Chris Whong, co-organizer of New York City's Code for America brigade betaNYC. "This data is much more powerful in the aggregate," he said. That's why, as part of last week's Code Across NYC hackathon, he along with several collaborators worked to develop an online platform "born out of curiosity" that maps New York City property data.
New Epolitics.com ebook! Check out "How to Use the Internet to Win in 2014."
New Epolitics.com ebook! Check out "How to Use the Internet to Win in 2014." On Thursday I had the pleasure of sharing a stage with Chris Wegrzyk (Blue Labs), Bruce Willsie (Labels & Lists) and Matt McMillan (Buzzmaker) at the 2014 Victory Awards Conference (you might remember that last year Epolitics.com won a Victory Award [...]The post Big Data in Politics: How Did We Get Here & Where Are We Going? [Presentation] appeared first on epolitics.com: online politics and advocacy tools, tactics and strategy.
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Epolitics.com Up for a ‘Victory Award’ This Weekend
Key 2012 Tech Trends, Part Two: Data-Driven Politics and an Advertising Explosion
Governments around the world are increasingly hacking into IT-systems. But for every apparent benefit, government hacking creates deeper problems. Time to unpack 9 of them, and to discuss one unique perspective: in response to a proposed hacking law in 2008, the German Constitutional Court created a new human right protecting the ‘confidentiality and integrity of [...]
New Epolitics.com ebook! Check out "How to Use the Internet to Win in 2014."
New Epolitics.com ebook! Check out "How to Use the Internet to Win in 2014." Content aggregrator Upworthy.com is one of the few websites that’s clearly changed the way the internet does business. How? Through a ruthless process of testing, they discovered the power of those teasy, clever headlines that absolutely make you want to click [...]The post How Upworthy Won the Internet, and What You Can Learn From Their Adventures appeared first on epolitics.com: online politics and advocacy tools, tactics and strategy.
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A recent study of the Save Darfur Facebook campaign found that the massive participation online gave the “illusion of activism rather than facilitating the real thing.” More evidence, if it was needed, that the “revolution will not be tweeted.”
From March 13 to 14, activists, public servants, technologists, political scientists and journalists will gather in Warsaw, Poland to discuss and exchange views on the future of Central and Eastern Europe at Personal Democracy Forum Poland-CEE.
The two-day event will be hosted at the Copernicus Science Centre, an interactive science museum that is one of the most advanced and largest of its kind in Europe.
The second edition of PDF Poland-CEE (see here for the program) will delve into the question of how civic participation will evolve in the region.A number of key players will discuss how NGOs, governments and citizens can collaborate through the use of technology and innovation. And after the recent uprisings in Ukraine, there is an even greater urgency in addressing these questions.
In the video below, filmed during the Oslo Freedom Forum in May 2013, Jacob Appelbaum breaks it to Rafael Marques, an Angolan investigative journalist and anti-corruption activist, that his laptop is being surveilled through a crude backdoor in spite of the fact that he is using Tor. He opens up a file where they can see all the images that have been stored and are waiting to be collected by the hackers. Appelbaum tells an understandably concerned Marques: “Every computer that's targeted is compromisable,”
A Pew survey released Friday highlights that young Americans are noticeably detached from traditional institutions such as political parties, organized religion and marriage even as they are increasingly connected with their peers through online social networks.
On Monday, MoveOn will launch a national mobile campaign to get young Americans to sign up for health insurance by the March 31 deadline. The campaign makes use of “tap-to-call” technology, in which a cell phone user only has to tap an ad to be connected with an enrollment specialist. MoveOn has dedicated $100,000 dollars to the campaign already, but after two months of positive test results the organization hopes to raise more funds to expand the program.