Democracy

With the specter of illiberal democracy looming, the very fabric of the nation stands at a critical crossroads.

Preserving Israel’s high-tech ecosystem: A path to upholding democracy

Congress will allow remote voting for the first time in its history, after the U.S. House approved Resolution 965 late Friday in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The measure —…

U.S. House approves remote voting, though the tech is unclear

Featured Article

Catalan separatists have tooled up with a decentralized app for civil disobedience

Is our age of ubiquitous smartphones and social media turning into an era of mass civil unrest? Two years after holding an independence referendum and unilaterally declaring independence in defiance of the Spanish state — then failing to gain recognition for la república and being forced to watch political leaders jailed or exiled — Catalonia’s…

5:48 pm PDT • October 17, 2019
Catalan separatists have tooled up with a decentralized app for civil disobedience

Apple’s decision to greenlight an app called HKmaps, which is being used by pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong to crowdsource information about street closures and police presence, is attracting the…

China attacks Apple for allowing Hong Kong crowdsourced police activity app

Featured Article

Meet Facebook’s latest fake

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, a 35-year-old billionaire who keeps refusing to sit in front of international parliamentarians to answer questions about his ad business’ impact on democracy and human rights around the world, has a new piece of accountability theatre to sell you: An “Oversight Board“. Not of Facebook’s business itself. Though you’d be forgiven…

10:56 am PDT • September 21, 2019
Meet Facebook’s latest fake

Featured Article

The adversarial persuasion machine: a conversation with James Williams

James Williams may not be a household name yet in most tech circles, but he will be. For this second in what will be a regular series of conversations exploring the ethics of the technology industry, I was delighted to be able to turn to one of our current generation’s most important young philosophers of…

11:41 am PDT • March 13, 2019
The adversarial persuasion machine: a conversation with James Williams

Democracy is good for business

2:00 pm PDT • March 12, 2019

Watching our democracy function (or malfunction) over the past few years, I have come to the conclusion that there is a slow-moving crisis developing for our democracy — and our…

Democracy is good for business

Like many modern digital innovations, “crowdsourcing” is a concept borrowed from the commercial tech industry.

Congress needs your input (but don’t call it crowdsourcing)

Voting in the U.S. can be confusing. By design, every state is different. On top of that, disinformation meant to discourage voting is rampant this election. Cut through the noise,…

2018 Midterms: 4 resources every voter should know about

An omnipotent data infrastructure and knowledge-sharing tech organization has spread across the planet. Global conspiracies to disseminate propaganda and rig elections are ever present. Algorithms determine what people see as…

In State Tectonics, an explosive ending for the future of democracy

The UK parliament has provided another telling glimpse behind the curtain of Facebook’s unregulated ad platform by publishing data on scores of pro-Brexit adverts which it distributed to UK voters…

Facebook finally hands over leave campaign Brexit ads

The UK’s privacy watchdog revealed yesterday that it intends to fine Facebook the maximum possible (£500k) under the country’s 1998 data protection regime for breaches related to the Cambridge Analytica data…

Facebook under fresh political pressure as UK watchdog calls for “ethical pause” of ad ops

Apple News has a new old mission: Curating political news and analysis by paying a team of experienced human editors to quality-assess journalism, rather than letting unchecked algorithms run wild…

Get your trusted midterm elections news from us, says Apple

When Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before House and Senate panels earlier this month, he explained how his company uses the data of millions of Americans. This particular…

Our ‘modern’ Congress doesn’t understand 21st century technology

I have no doubt that the same great minds who are actively driving new platforms for commerce and engagement can formulate a new product (or adapt an existing one) that…

The U.S. needs to create civic social networks
Media & Entertainment

Antisocial media?

9:37 am PDT • October 21, 2017

As Facebook finds itself publicly on the hook for enabling Russian agents to spread divisive propaganda via its platform, be it in the form of fake news, ‘dark ads’, issue…

Antisocial media?

A YouTube channel that had been implicated in Russia disinformation operations to target the U.S. 2016 election has been taken down by Google.  

Google shuts YouTube channel implicated in Kremlin political propaganda ops

Google has uncovered evidence that Russian operatives exploited its platforms in an attempt to interfere in the 2016 U.S. election, according to the Washington Post.

Google’s probe into Russian disinformation finds ad buys, report claims

All too often the fact that human lives are increasingly enmeshed with and dependent on ever more complex, and ever more inscrutable, technologies is considered a good thing. Negatives don’t…

Thinking about the social cost of technology

Late yesterday Twitter announced the unthinkable for time-pressed journalists everywhere by revealing it is testing doubling the character length of tweets. Farewell sweet brevity of 140chars. Hello pointless extra blah-blah-blah…

So why oh why is Twitter doing #280?

Our lives are lived in data. Data crossing borders and connected in virtual space. Most often, it appears, we live in open and too easily accessible data networks. States and…

Privacy is still alive and kicking in the digital age

Who wants to read up on candidates’ policies, attend rallies or even watch a debate? You just want to jump into the bed of democracy with the one who turns…

Democracy in the age of the Internet of Things

The banana republic of big data

10:00 am PDT • October 23, 2016

There’s a reason Americans feel dispossessed by their government. We citizens have fewer and fewer opportunities for substantive interaction with our leaders. Corporate-funded organizations and narrow interest advocacy campaigns stand…

The banana republic of big data

When we founded the mobile live video broadcasting service Bambuser several years ago, we embarked on a mission to democratize live video broadcasting — something that was available only to…

Live Broadcasting Is Too Important To Be Left To The Broadcasters

A Facebook Hack To A Greater Democracy

10:00 am PST • December 9, 2014

A month after the mid-term elections, the Republican Party is rejoicing and the Democrats are reeling. But it’s democracy that took a big hit. According to the NY Times, this…

A Facebook Hack To A Greater Democracy

Disrupting Democracy

6:00 am PST • November 8, 2014

You have to grudgingly admire the black-hat political hackers who have pwned the American electoral system. First, entrench a two-party system; second, gerrymander districts into tortuous shapes; third, cultivate an…

Disrupting Democracy

An influx of communication and collaboration technologies since the beginning of the 21st century has helped to make this the most connected time in human history — and seemingly easier…

Technology’s Role In Direct Democracy

India’s budding democracy has dipped its toe into the digital waters, as the government launched a website allowing citizens to file Right To Information requests online. It digitises a popular…

India’s Citizen Engagement Comes Online But Political Parties Still Operate Above The Law

The USA was founded by entrepreneurs who said “England has become bloated with bureaucracy. Let’s disrupt it by starting our own agile, more innovative nation.” But on the country’s 236th…

Three Startups Defending Democracy In America: Votizen, Memeorandum, and NationBuilder
Startups

Twitter, Democracy, and Internet Freedom

3:00 pm PST • January 29, 2012

Twitter has taken fire in recent days from activists and bloggers who fear that the company’s new censorship policies will muffle online freedom. News reports recall the ways in which…

Twitter, Democracy, and Internet Freedom