On a rainy Friday morning during the first week of this month, a young woman got on the stage of the auditorium in Queen Elizabeth Conference Center in Central London to talk about open government.
Since his first full day in office, President Obama has prioritized making government more open and accountable and has taken substantial steps to increase citizen participation, collaboration, and transparency in government. Today, the Obama Administration released the second U.S. Open Government National Action Plan, announcing 23 new or expanded open-government commitments that will advance these efforts even further.
Google has marked the passing of former South Africa president Nelson Mandela by placing a link on its homepage to a digital archive it built last year.
Last night, the world learned at first via social media sites Twitter and Facebook of the death of Mandela at the age of 95. Announcing his death, South Africa President Jacob Zuma said: “What made Nelson Mandela great was precisely what made him human. We saw in him what we seek in ourselves.”
The internet and new information communication technologies (ICTs) are now an integral part of everyday life for many people around the world. ICTs are giving more and more people a voice and are improving openness and public debate in the society.
Iran’s Computer Crimes Law was approved by parliament in January 2009. Many believe it has been instrumental in the prosecution and repression of cyber-activists and bloggers. Its 56 articles concerning internet usage and online content are ambiguous, vague and therefore dangerous. The Computer Crimes Law appears to be the latest addition to the Islamic Republic of Iran’s vast censorship apparatus.Source: http://www.article19.org/resources.php/resource/37385/en/computer-crimes-in-iran:-online-repression-in-practice
Under discussion was a draft resolution contained in document 37 C/COM.CI/DR.3 that had been submitted by Brazil and which was co-sponsored by Argentina, China, Congo, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Gabon, India, Nicaragua, Palestine, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Uruguay and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
A British government Task Force on Tackling Radicalisation and Extremism, set up in the wake of the killing of Drummer Lee Rigby, has just released a series of recommendations that it hopes will help counter the tide of extremism in the UK.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership is currently being negotiated in secret without public input. However, leaked documents reveal the TPP may include an Internet censorship plan that would threaten the right to access the Internet freely and affordably.
NEW YORK (CNN) – Officials from various social networking sites say hackers have been able to steal information from nearly two million users.
According to Trustwave, the data breach was caused by the hackers installing keylogging software on computers around the world.
By: Neelie Kroes
The digital revolution is now driven by data. The Economist and others have called “big data” the next industrial revolution, and for good reason.
Bulgaria’s Ministry of Transport, Information Technology and Communication (MTITC) has expressed its opposition to the establishment of a single telecoms market with common rules for all European Union (EU) member states, due to the different levels of preparedness of the countries and the extra expenses which the measure will require. Local news agency Novinite reports that during a conference in Brussels, IT minister Danail Papazov pointed out that Bulgaria had detected a discrepancy between one of the stipulated goals – to build a single telecoms network – and the time frame for its implementation. The minister also said that the integration of the telecoms market within short deadlines would not be possible, unless fragmentation between different EU states, and indeed at the national level, was overcome. Papazov also said: ‘The development of common rules will lead to a substantial change to the existing regimes, which will undoubtedly incur additional expenses.’ The Bulgarian stance on the proposal for changes to the EU Regulation was presented at a meeting of the Council of the EU and received approval.Source: http://www.telegeography.com/products/commsupdate/articles/2013/12/06/bulgaria-against-a-single-eu-telecoms-market/
This article examines the impact of the UK Government’s Transparency agenda, focusing on the publication of spending data at local government level. It measures the democratic impact in terms of creating transparency and accountability, public participation and everyday information. The study uses a survey of local authorities, interviews and FOI requests to build a picture of use and impact.
The Knight Foundation has released a fascinating and valuable, if incomplete, report on "The Emergence of Civic Tech: Investments in a Growing Field." It's the first major effort I've seen to define and map this growing space, and covers 209 companies that have received funding since 2011 in its purview, including the ones that Knight itself has poured more than $25 million into in that period.
Some New York City retailers are taking free in-store WiFi to the next level, socializing the channels via Gowex's We2 service to allow communications between them and consumers. When consumers access WiFi via the We2 application, they consent for stores to geotarget them with special offers. In exchange, the stores must agree to offer free WiFi to We2 users. "At the end, this is not anymore free WiFi, it's profitable WiFi," says We2 CEO Carlos Gomez Vendrell.Source: http://www.mobilecommercedaily.com/new-york-city-retailers-to-leverage-social-wi-fi-to-drive-traffic
by Tyler Loechner
Europe has been quick to adopt real-time bidding (RTB), and the rate at which marketers are investing in programmatic technologies has not yet wavered. This is particularly true on the mobile front, where Q3 2013 saw significant growth in the amount of mobile ad inventory bought via RTBSource: http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/214783/mobile-now-accounts-for-8-of-all-rtb-trading-in-e.html?edition=67545
By Kaylene Hong
Microsoft announced today that it is expanding encryption across its services, strengthening legal protections for its customer data, and making its software code more transparent so customers can be reassured that there aren’t back doors into the company’s products.
When a group of students from Iowa State University (ISU) contacted us earlier this month about forming an ISU Digital Freedom group, they were facing an unexpected problem: despite their simple goal of fostering a healthy conversation around freedom-enhancing software, the university administration denied them official recognition. The university has since granted the Digital Freedom group the green-light to meet on campus, but under unduly restrictive conditions. These students’ story is instructive to students around the country and the world who are concerned about online privacy.
Pierre Omidyar: This week, fourteen people charged by the Department of Justice in connection with a coordinated denial of service attack on PayPal's services in 2010 will appear in Federal Court. The "PayPal 14," as they have been dubbed, are charged with participating in an attack orchestrated by Anonymous to retaliate against PayPal's suspension of its relationship with WikiLeaks. Their case as well as PayPal's actions in 2010 raise important questions about press freedoms and the nature of online protests.Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/pierre-omidyar/wikileaks-press-freedom-a_b_4380738.html
In a case dating back from December 2011, brought to court by the French Association of Cinema Producers, a group representing more than 120 companies including Paramount and Sony, together with other film industry organisations, the High Court of Paris has decided, on 28 November 2013, to order Google, Microsoft and Yahoo to completely de-list 16 video streaming sites from their search results.
by Jennifer Wolfe
As we come to the close of 2013, it's not difficult to see a digital transformation is underway in all facets of our digital world: social, mobile, data, search and domain names.
The new gTLDs are launching and will start to have an impact in 2014. What's so interesting about the unique opportunities the gTLDs provide is that it is happening during this time of digital transformation. Unlike the .com boom of the 1990s where .com was the only game in town (and no one really knew how to use a domain, nor the potential of the internet), the new gTLDs are launching during a data boom with new sophisticated technologies changing the way marketers think about their strategies as they respond to accelerating consumer adoption in a rapidly changing global marketplace.
4 - 6 December 2013 Council of Europe Strasbourg, France
Capacity building on cybercrime
Safeguards and data protection: criminal justice versus national security
By Michael Geist
Ten years ago, Canada held the distinction of being the top ranked country in the world for the breadth and sophistication of its electronic government services. Citing the Canadian government's integrated, strategic approach, annual assessments by Accenture found that more important services were offered online in Canada than anywhere else.
The economy is suffering, illiteracy levels are among the highest in the world, and most high school and university graduates are struggling to find work. Young Yemenis today could prove the greatest asset in getting the country back on its feet. Technology has a big role to play here.
The thousands of pro-European protesters on Ukraine's streets organised using Twitter and Facebook from the start - as reported on this blog - and they are now driving a big change in the country's social media culture.
On social media, Kiev's main square has been renamed. The country's ongoing demonstrations are actually taking place in Independence Square - the same location as the Orange Revolution - but on social media, activists who want a pro-EU rather than pro-Russian future have dubbed it #євромайдан, which translates as #Euromaidan (also #Euromaydan) or European Square. When we first reported on the hashtag on 22 November, it had been used 21,000 times in the space of 24 hours. It's now been used - together with its English and Russian equivalents - a total of more than 730,000 times on Twitter.
That's a lot of tweets, but the twist is that this is a country where Twitter was not widely used - at least not until now. "Twitter wasn't popular before 21 November," says digital marketing expert Maksym Savanevskyy, who says the Russian social media networks VKontakte and Odnoklassniki have traditionally been used far more than Western ones. But the picture has changed dramatically in the past 12 days. Many people who don't have Twitter accounts are following the hashtag to get the latest news, says Savanevskyy, and major online news sites, like Ukrayinska Pravda, have seen a big spike - as much as a ten-fold increase - in traffic from both Twitter and Facebook.
The Euromaidan Facebook page has more than 125,000 followers, and further 4,000 for its English version, and there are similar Facebook pages in cities across the country. "I wanted to spread the news around the world," says Ziemowit Jozwik, a Polish journalist who reports on eastern Europe and who was the first to use the English hashtag #Euromaidan on Twitter. At least five live-streaming webcams have been set up in hotspots across Kiev - and these have proved very popular. Several news and government websites have recently been hacked, though it's not clear by whom, says Savanevskyy - making social media even more critical as a news source.
Reporting by Cordelia HebblethwaiteSource: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-trending-25201784
One of the best ways of drawing people from all walks of life into online civic debate or political activity is by going to their homes and asking them to join in, US e-democracy pioneer Steven Clift told a London audience last night.
Secretary of State John Kerry and Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet met in Brussels on December 3 to sign the U.S.-Estonia Cyber Partnership Statement on the margins of the NATO Ministerial meeting. Estonia is a key Ally of the United States and a recognized leader on issues of cyber security and Internet freedom. This Statement affirms the commitment of the United States and Estonia to continue working together to enhance an open, interoperable, secure, and reliable information and communications infrastructure and to prioritize openness and innovation on the Internet. The leaders pledged to deepen U.S.-Estonian cyber engagement in the following key areas:
WASHINGTON (BP) –- Southern Baptist ethicist Russell D. Moore and other human rights advocates have urged congressional leaders to prioritize efforts to breach Internet firewalls established by repressive regimes.