The Diplomat: Social Media Is Blurring the Lines of National Sovereignty. “During the Cold War, Soviet citizens were banned from traveling outside their homeland. Nowadays, for economic reasons, authoritarian states have greater motivations for tolerating, and sometimes even encouraging, their populations’ mobility. Online communication has become a platform from which anyone can speak. But equally, integrated communication may provide new opportunities for governments to suppress voices abroad. Unless regulated, surveillance technologies and disinformation techniques will only become more effective in manipulating or silencing public opinion.”
Phys .org: Citizens versus the internet . “The Internet has revolutionized our lives—whether in terms of working, finding information or entertainment, connecting with others, or shopping. The online world has made many things easier and opened up previously unimaginable opportunities. At the same time, it presents both individuals and societies with major challenges: The underlying technologies do not necessarily serve users’ best interests.”
Tribune India: Rs 500, 10 minutes, and you have access to billion Aadhaar details. “It was only last November that the UIDAI asserted that ‘Aadhaar data is fully safe and secure and there has been no data leak or breach at UIDAI.’ Today, The Tribune ‘purchased’ a service being offered by anonymous sellers over WhatsApp that provided unrestricted access to details for any of the more than 1 billion Aadhaar numbers created in India thus far.” 500 rupees is, at this time, about $7.89.
Now available: a database of open data policies from municipalities across the United States. “A pair of open government groups are teaming up to post dozens of open data policies from cities around the country in a searchable, machine-readable format, giving local leaders a new resource for understanding how other localities are making their information more accessible. The Sunlight Foundation and OpenGov Foundation announced their new collaboration on ‘Open Data Policies Decoded’ last week, unveiling a beta version of the new database with policies from 48 cities posted and ready for analysis.”
The White House has updated its “We the People” petitions site. The big things: the site is now more mobile-optimized and there’s more guidance in creating petitions. “Some things, of course, stayed the same. The threshold for response is still 100,000 signatures. When we do respond, we are still going to be candid and honest with you. And whenever possible, we’re going to find ways to engage further: to talk with you directly, to answer your questions, and to connect you to ongoing opportunities to learn about and participate in a cause that matters to you.” Early versions of We The People caused some controversy, so I’m looking forward to seeing how this new version works.