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GSA Opens Door to New Media for Federal Agencies

Many Government 2.0 advocates are frustrated that government agencies and employees can’t use the services that citizens use every day- so government can’t interact with citizens where they already engage. GSA announced last week that this may be changing, and agencies can now choose to take advantage of some of these services. The GSA has been quietly negotiating with…

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The Fusion of Paranoia and Bad Policy

Last week, the Missouri Information Analysis Center (the Missouri fusion center) retracted a report entitled "The Modern Militia Movement" which said that support for mainstream third party presidential candidates was indicative of involvement in violent militia groups. The Missouri fusion center’s characterization of people engaged in legitimate political activity as potentially dangerous drew public condemnation and…

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Cybersecurity: It’s Us and Them, Not Us vs. Them

Government cybersecurity efforts have been shrouded in too much secrecy, CDT said in a Policy Post released today. Greater openness is needed to ensure the public understanding of cybersecurity efforts, while also holding government accountable for its efforts. Of course not every jot and tittle of the government’s cybersecurity strategy needs to be…

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Open is the Key Word

It is good to see the Obama Administration is moving forward on its pledge to open up the White House using the Web. The new Open for Questions site is well designed, easy to use and engaging. Let’s hope that this is really the start of a new kind of national conversation. The White House dubs this…

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China Nukes Access to YouTube, Institutes Complete Blackout

On Monday the folks running Google’s China operations began to notice a dramatic drop in YouTube traffic. By Tuesday afternoon YouTube had turned into a digital ghost town; traffic dropped to nearly zero, the company told the New York Times. Chinese officials, big shocker, have given Google no official reason for shutting down access to the video platform,…

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Intermission at USTR’s Transparency Theater

The recent FOIA debacle at the Office of the US Trade Representative is a text-book example of “transparency theater,” a luscious term coined by John Wonderlich of the Sunlight Foundation to describe the comedy of anti-openness and transparency missteps in the first weeks of the Obama Administration. USTR’s recent denial of an FOIA request for documents regarding a highly…

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Circumventing Into a DRM Scheme: of Kindles and Interoperability

In a rather complicated story last week, CNET News reported that Amazon had sent a cease-and-desist letter to the moderator of an online discussion forum dedicated to eBooks, alleging violations of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which prohibits the circumvention of technological protection measures (TPM or digital rights management – DRM) included in digital copyrighted works. …

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New Guidelines Put Sunlight Back Into Government Information Access

Today Attorney General Eric Holder released new federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) guidelines that put sunlight back into the process of public access to government information. Holder’s memo encourages each federal agency to release information and not keep it secret “simply because it may do so legally.” This is a tremendous move and is line with…

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USTR Misses the Transparency Memo

When President Obama signed a Transparency and Open Government memo as well as a Freedom of Information Act memo on his first day in office, we were very heartened to see transparency made a key element of the start of this administration. In his first day in office, the President revoked Bush-era policies of data secrecy…

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Google’s Move Into Behavioral Targeting

After several years of saying that it doesn’t target ads based on profiles of users, Google took a giant step into behavioral targeting by beginning to target ads on its AdSense network (although not on search or display advertising… but that only seems to be a matter of time at this point). On the whole, the move…

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