Civic Engagement

The Future of Tech and Democracy, and How Privacy Pros Can Help

Location:
UC Hastings College of Law, 200 McAllister St., San Francisco, CA, 94102, United States
Recommendation:
1

“The Future of Technology & Democracy,” a conference where technologists -- some from Google, Facebook and Twitter -- gathered to educate and inform representatives of the Federal Elections Commission and the Federal Communications Commission. The all-day event touched upon new personalized targeting models in campaign advertising and fundraising, the potential for blockchain technology to facilitate real-time contribution transparency and the reinvention of a public square that has long left behind the confines of traditional media for the social platforms of online service providers.

Emerging tech and politics -- More than just yakking

Location:
Washington, DC, United States
Recommendation:
1

Unless you're involved in the app world, work with students or are a student yourself, chances are you don't know about the app Yik Yak that allows users in the same geographic area to post anonymous notes. And, without a doubt, Sen Ted Cruz's (R-TX) campaign team didn't know about it until students at Liberty University, forced to attend his campaign launch, started mercilessly bashing him using the app while he was speaking.

Google searches show that millions of people wanted to vote but couldn’t

Location:
Carroll College, 1601 N Benton Ave, Helena, MT, 59625, United States
Recommendation:
1

Fifty years after the passage of the Voting Rights Act, election laws are still in the news. Much of the recent attention has gone to court battles over voter ID laws. But other barriers to voting remain. Although some states allow voters to register right up to Election Day, others require registration as much as one month beforehand.

New York Police to Use Social Media to Connect With Residents

Location:
New York Police Department, 1 Police Plaza Path, New York, NY, 10038, United States
Recommendation:
1

The New York Police Department is planning to use that online visibility to draw ground-level information on crimes and conditions, a potential boost to a department seeking to align its “broken windows” crime-fighting objectives with local communities’ needs.

How Techno-Populism Is Undermining Innovation

Apr 1 2015 - 9:00am - 10:30am
Location:
Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), 1101 K Street, NW, Suite 610A, Washington, DC, 20005, United States

A new report from ITIF argues that an us vs. them populism has taken over technological debates in recent years and has had a deleterious effect on policymaking.

Cuba flirts with free speech

Location:
Havana, Cuba
Recommendation:
2

Cuba is using the Internet to experiment with toning down its political censorship in a sign that a glimmer of glasnost has arrived on the Communist-run Caribbean island.

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Today's Quote 03.19.2015

Location:
House Commerce Committee, 45 Independence Ave SW 2123 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC, 20515, United States
Recommendation:
2

“They lit up our phone lines, clogged our e-mail in-boxes and jammed our online comment system. That might be messy, but whatever our disagreements are on network neutrality, I hope we can agree that’s democracy in action and something we all can support.”
-- FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel

“A properly functioning commission doesn’t make decisions based on the number of click-bait emails that interest groups can generate.”
-- Rep Greg Walden (R-OR)

“Decision makers actually took in and considered the advice of over 4 million Americans. I think that kind of public engagement with our government should be celebrated and not rolled over and disrespected.”
-- Rep Anna Eshoo (D-CA)

Improving How Social Media Informs Leadership and Public Initiatives

Location:
Department of State, 2201 C Street NW, Washington, DC, 20520, United States
Recommendation:
1

Like private sector organizations, US public sector organizations have experienced shifts in how they use both the Internet and social media to interact with the public.

Anti-secrecy groups demand feds review Clinton e-mails

Location:
Department of State, 2201 C Street NW, Washington, DC, 20520, United States
Recommendation:
1

A dozen anti-secrecy groups are demanding that the State Department and National Archives independently verify that all official e-mails from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are accounted for. Citing fears of setting “a dangerous precedent for future agency appointees,” the organizations told Secretary of State John Kerry and Archivist David Ferriero to do checks of their own to ensure that all workplace e-mails sent or received by Clinton during her time in office are on federal servers -- not her own personal machine.

Americans' Privacy Strategies Post-Snowden

Location:
Pew Research Center, 1615 L Street, NW, Washington, DC, 20036, United States
Recommendation:
1

A survey by the Pew Research Center asked American adults what they think of the government surveillance programs disclosed by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, the way they are run and monitored, and whether they have altered their communication habits and online activities since learning about the details of the surveillance.

Do voters even need the media anyway?

Location:
USA, United States
Recommendation:
1

The Internet laid waste to newsrooms across America, but it eventually led to experiments in journalism for the social age. Aided by money from venture capitalists, native ads and wealthy benefactors, some are actually growing again. TweetDeck is the new Newswire, posting to your Facebook feed is the new paper route, and it's once again safe to encourage college students to study journalism (we hope). President Barack Obama doesn't necessarily need newspapers, magazines, radio or television to get his message out.

Open Data Evolution: From Increasing Transparency to Engaging Citizens

Location:
USA, United States
Recommendation:
1

Open the data and the citizen miners will come -- and they just might develop an app, map or other innovative product not yet envisioned by busy local government officials.

How an advertising company put a ‘marijuana cookie’ on your computer to get weed legalized

Location:
campaign, 701 13th Street, NW, Washington, DC, 20005, United States
Recommendation:
1

If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you have a cookie on your computer or your smartphone that says how much you like weed -- or at least how you feel about the idea of weed being legalized. The cookie reflects a score that was calculated for you by CampaignGrid, a digital advertising company that has spent the last five years creating a database with information on over 120 million potential voters.

Ferguson cops “routinely” block public from filming them, DOJ says

Location:
Ferguson, MO, United States
Recommendation:
1

The Department of Justice issued a scathing report concerning Missouri's Ferguson Police Department, the agency that was cleared in this summer's shooting death of an 18-year-old African-American boy named Michael Brown. The DOJ investigation in the aftermath of the shooting found systematic excessive force and racism -- but it also discovered that the police department took a constitutionally suspect hard line against people trying to film officers in the field -- all in the name of "officer safety."

FCC's Sohn says Google, Facebook had little say on net neutrality

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
3

The Federal Communication Commission’s landmark decision on network neutrality has produced all sorts of speculation about the degree to which well-known tech giants shaped the outcome.

How the Internet Was Saved... and Why the Battle Continues

Location:
Annenberg School for Communication - University of Pennsylvania, 3620 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19104, United States
Recommendation:
1

The history of media reform tells us that if we ignore core systemic problems like the power of monopolies and the lack of structural diversity, important protections like net neutrality can be short-lived. Anti-network neutrality forces will no doubt try to chip away at it once public attention wanes. This calls for continued vigilance; we cannot declare victory and tune out. Structural alternatives to the Internet monopolies are still needed. The battle for Internet freedom has only just begun.

The left’s historic power win: How the long-fought “net neutrality” triumph transformed history

Recommendation:
1

Here’s what I think the net neutrality fight means.

The week ordinary users beat the Internet

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
1

During the week of Feb 23, the impossible happened. Then it happened a second time. Then it happened yet again. In the space of three breakneck days, the Internet saw three reforms that users had rallied for forever, but that seemed -- until the week of Feb 23 -- like remote, unlikely dreams.

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Victory

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
3

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler said it best at last week’s historic FCC meeting: “The Internet is simply too important to allow broadband providers to be the ones making the rules.” Amen. All the fog-it and smog-it rhetoric of the big Internet Service Providers since Feb 26’s vote cannot cloud the core issue. The question at the heart of this vote was simply whether the public agency charged since the 1920s with protecting consumers, competition, and innovation in telecommunications still retains these vital responsibilities in the advanced telecommunications world of the twenty-first century. Will there be some place to turn when a few too-powerful Internet gatekeepers try to short-circuit the most dynamic communications tool in all of history? When they block, throttle, or degrade online sites they might not like? Or limit our ability to get the news and information we need in order to maintain our democracy? Are we to stand helplessly by as Verizon, Comcast, and AT&T favor their friends with express lanes on the Internet autobahn while consigning the rest of us to the bumpy dirt roads of yesterday’s technology?

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Today's Quote 03.02.2015

Location:
Center for Media Justice, 436 14th Street, Oakland, CA, 94612, United States
Recommendation:
1

“What happened? The people happened. Organizing happened”
- Malkia Cyril, the executive director of the Center for Media Justice, on the net neutrality decision

For Net Neutrality Advocates, a Moment to Celebrate

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
1

Online activists played a significant role in the vote to regulate broadband Internet service as a utility. And even before the vote, outside the headquarters of the Federal Communications Commission, they started taking a bow.

The Battle for an Open Internet is Not Over

Location:
Internet Infrastructure Coalition, Washington, DC, United States
Recommendation:
1

Congratulations on a hard-fought victory on net neutrality this week. Unfortunately, much hard work protecting the open Internet remains to be done. The longstanding fight to protect the Open Internet will continue to be hashed out in court rooms, on Capitol Hill and Federal Communications Commission over the next few years. We need to be diligent about staying on top of this issue, and ensure that the progress made is not lost.

Net Neutrality Is Here -- Thanks To An Unprecedented Guerilla Activism Campaign

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
1

With the Federal Communications Commission voting to reclassify Internet access providers under Title II of the Communications Act, network neutrality rules are stronger than ever. The credit for such a seachange, say activists who agitated for the decision, belongs to a mix of online and traditional activism.

Net neutrality's stunning reversal of fortune: Is it John Oliver's doing?

Location:
Time Warner, 1 Time Warner Center, New York, NY, 10019, United States
Recommendation:
1

Less than a year ago, when a wonky policy debate over the principle of net neutrality and prioritized Internet “fast lanes” seemed to interest only telecom company suits and nerdy open Internet advocates, a comedian's 13-minute segment may have helped turn the national conversation’s tide.

How “net neutrality” won and “Obamacare for the Internet” lost

Recommendation:
1

Even during the week of February 23, as discussion heated up, "Obamacare for the internet" barely registered on Twitter. Rep Darrell Issa (R-CA) used the expression over and over -- but it still maxed out at 600 tweets in one day over the last 30 days. Net neutrality, on the other hand, was registering in the tens of thousands.

90,000 Californians Sign Petition Calling on PUC to Block Comcast Merger

Location:
California Public Utilities Commission, 505 Van Ness Avenue, CA, 94102, United States
Recommendation:
1

Consumer groups renewed their call today for the California Public Utilities Commission to reject the proposed Comcast–Time Warner Cable merger and announced that they had collected 90,000 petition signatures from Californians opposed to the deal.

How We Won Net Neutrality

Location:
Free Press (DC), 501 Third Street NW, Washington, DC, 20001, United States
Recommendation:
3

Credit Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler for listening to his critics and changing his mind about how to best protect the open Internet. Praise President Barack Obama for using his bully pulpit. Thank John Oliver for coining the memorable phrase "cable company f--kery." But know that none of this happens without a relentless push from the grassroots.

Putting the Power of Data to Work for America

Location:
Office of Science and Technology Policy, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW The White House, Washington, DC, 20500, United States
Recommendation:
1

There’s lots of talk these days in the tech community about organizations being data-driven. If you look across all organizations out there, which one has made the biggest change in being data driven? My answer is the US Government.

California Public Utilities Commission holds Comcast hearing

Location:
California Public Utilities Commission, 505 Van Ness Avenue, CA, 94102, United States
Recommendation:
2

Consumers took turns praising and blasting Comcast's proposed takeover of Time Warner Cable, which would make the combined company the dominant provider of cable TV and high-speed Internet service in California. The California Public Utilities Commission is scheduled to vote March 26 on a proposed transfer of licenses currently held by Time Warner Cable. Comcast also would pick up customers served by Charter Communications in the Los Angeles region.

When Internet access becomes a weapon

Location:
University of Mannheim, 68131, Mannheim, BW, Germany
Recommendation:
2

Social Media has rightly been celebrated as an empowering tool for ordinary citizens to mobilize against repressive rulers, and make marginalized voices heard. But a crucial question remains unanswered: why should power-hungry states, with de facto control over access to the Internet, impassively concede to defeat? The simple answer is: they do not.

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