Using social media in Egypt? Be careful what you say. “Mansoura University engineering student Abdallah Azmy was studying for his midterm exam a few weeks ago, when one of his friends took his mobile and cursed their college on Azmy’s personal Facebook account. Azmy never imagined that such a prank would lead to his suspension for the rest of the semester.” This quote made me really sad: “Egyptian laws usually do not offer any legal protections to citizens in such cases, says [lawyer Fatma] Serag. When she has defended clients in such cases, Serag has pointed to the Constitution, which protects people’s right to freely express their opinions and their right to privacy. But ‘the Constitution is usually not translated to laws, unfortunately,’ she says.”
The Government Publishing Office (GPO) has launched GovInfo.gov, a new portal for official government documents. It’s in beta. “As of the Feb. 3 launch, there are more than 1.5 million documents archived on the site, including the Congressional Record, Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations and the federal budget.” More features are on the way; hit the link for details.
The Sunlight Foundation has updated its IFTTT channel. There are three new triggers: “When Congress is scheduled to vote on a bill, When a legislator in Congress has a birthday, [and] When there is a new legislator representing you”. This blog post announcing the update also has some absolutely delicious IFTTT recipes.
Google is now putting consitutions in search results. “If you type in ‘constitution’ on Google search, a box will show up with the Preamble of the US constitution, along with a drop-down menu to select any other parts of it you may want to read.” A dozen more constitutions are available, with more coming soon.