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27 Jan 2012 18:10


Tech: Twitter responds to controversy over new country-based censorship

  • cause On Thursday, while evoking a post the company wrote during the Arab Spring, Twitter discussed a new policy for allowing countries to censor tweets, arguing it would allow the company to go more places.
  • reaction While many reacted to the news negatively, Twitter was not without its defenders, most notably UNC professor Zeynep Tufekci, an expert on the intersection of social media and global politics.
  • response A day later, Twitter updated the post with a FAQ, saying the overall goal is transparency: “We have users all over the world and wanted to find a way to deal with requests in the least restrictive way.” source

17 Nov 2011 20:42


Politics: Romney response to story involves phrase “opposition research arm”

  • Under state law, a public employee may not provide services to a candidate or campaign during his or her work hours. Nonetheless, it is evident that your office has become an opposition research arm of the Obama reelection campaign.
  • Mitt Romney’s campaign manager, Matt Rhoades • Offering a bit of a rip with a FOIA request sent to Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick’s office, in response to a story released earlier today that claims that the former Massachusetts governor’s staff deleted e-mails before Romney left office. The key phrase in that statement above? “Opposition research arm.” Someone, please, make a T-shirt with that phrase on it. source

14 Sep 2011 10:39


U.S.: A win for transparency: Chicago throws its crime records online

  • OK, this isn’t nearly as sexy as, say, EveryBlock or the Sunlight Foundation. But throwing records of the past decade of crimes online represents a new era of transparency for a famously-guarded city. Or as Brett Goldstein, the city’s chief data officer and former police officer, puts it: “It’s a whole new era of openness and transparency. You determine your own analysis.” And on top of that, EveryBlock could totally plug into this database if they wanted to. Some have been a bit critical of what isn’t in the data — race, for example — but many analysts note that this is more than a lot of cities offer. You done good, Rahm! source

26 Oct 2010 09:34


World: Highlights from Transparency International’s 2010 Corruption Index

  • 1st is Denmark, which suggests that very little is rotten there
  • 22nd is the U.S., which fell out of the top 20 due to the financial crisis
  • 78th is China, which may not like Google but is less corrupt than you think
  • 146th is Iran; they’re tied with Libya (both are too high on this list, honestly)
  • 154th is Russia, which makes a lot of sense if you know Russia
  • 164th is Venezuela, which at least has a fan in Oliver Stone, right?
  • 172nd is Sudan, which has Darfur and child soldiers to answer for
  • 175th is Iraq, what with their undecided election and everything
  • 176th is Afghanistan, what with their bags of money and everything
  • last is Somalia, which makes lots of sense considering it’s Somalia source

21 Apr 2010 10:49


Tech: Who wants your search data? Google gets super-transparent

  • Who’s asking for your data? Google, as a part of the newfound sense of transparency that hit not long after that whole China incident, just put up this government-tracking site to see where requests for user information were coming from. Something tells us the people of Brazil don’t have a lot of reason to be happy right now. source

14 Mar 2010 22:03


U.S.: Obama’s presidency talks transparency, but doesn’t walk the walk

  • One year is too early to render a final judgment on how far President Obama can move the government toward openness, but this Audit finds that much more pressure and leadership will be necessary, both inside and outside the government.
  • National Security Archive general counsel Meredith Fuchs • Regarding the findings of the private group during the first year of the Obama administration. While the president claimed that his administration would focus on transparency, an audit by the organization finds that the various portions of the government are very slow in processing FOIA requests (some requests are 18 years old!), and most government agencies haven’t increased the number of information releases during Obama’s presidency. Interesting. source

05 Nov 2009 10:43


Tech: Daily Poll: Is Google’s new privacy-pushing Dashboard a good idea?

  • Google has a lot of data streams on you and just about everyone else. It’s a huge responsibility of theirs to keep all that information safe. So, to help build transparency in the system, the site just launched Google Dashboard. Is it a good idea? Vote about it here. source