Policy Fellow Matt Rumsey wrote this post.
Here is a look at this week’s transparency-related news items, congressional committee hearings, transparency-related bills introduced in Congress, and transparency-related events.
- Nigeria’s Attorney General and Justice Minister Mohammed Bello Adoke has been implicated in a large corruption scheme. Adoke has admitted that he owns numerous bank accounts, but denied reports that they contain millions of dollars. (Sahara Reporters)
- Iran is continuing to put more pressure on its citizens that use the internet. The most recent restrictions include rules requiring cybercafes to install cameras and security monitoring equipment as well as collect personal information from customers. (Herdict Blog)
- The Canadian government will attempt to lift a ban on reporting election results before polls close across the country. Opponents argue that the ban, enacted in 1938, is not compatible with the rise of the internet, social media, and mobile technology. (Tech President)
- Reps. Howard McKeon (R-CA) and Elton Gallegly (R-CA) received “VIP” loans from Countrywide Financial, according to reports. They join Edolphus Towns (D-NY) as lawmakers named in an investigation into the program run by Countrywide. A fourth House member has not yet been named. (National Journal)
- The House of Representatives announced that it will shelve SOPA until “consensus is reached” in response to mounting criticism of the bills. PIPA, the senate counterpart, is still scheduled for a vote next week. Wikipedia, Reddit, and other major web networks are going ahead with a planned a blackout on Wednesday to protest the bills. (Gov Fresh)
- The Republican National Committee is trying to overturn a ban on corporate cash donations to party committees and federal campaigns. They argue that, since independent groups can collect unlimited corporate donations, the ban disadvantages candidates and party committees. (Politico)
- Rick Santorum has positioned himself as a Washington “outsider” and government reformer during his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. But, as a member of the House and Senate his campaigns received more than $11 million from corporate and special interest PACs. (iWatch News)
Relevant committee hearings scheduled for 1/17-1/20:
Relevant bills introduced:
- Internet Identity Workshop. Leveraging Open Identity and Personal Data. IIW. Tues. 1/17. 8:00 am – 5:00 pm. NIH Campus, Bethesda Maryland, 9000 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20892.
- Newsmakers on Technology. The New Republic. Wed. 1/18. 8:00-11:30 am. George Washington University, The Grand Ballroom at the Marvin Center, 800 21st Street, NW Washington, DC 20052.
- US Aid and Transparency for Global Development. Brookings. Thurs. 1/19. 10:30 am – 12:00 pm. Saul/Zilkha Rooms, The Brookings Institution, 1775 Massachusetts Ave, NW Washington, DC.
- Unintended Consequences of the Rogue Website Crackdown SOPA, PIPA, and OPEN Legislation. CATO. Thurs. 1/19. 11:45 am. Reserve Officers Association of the United States, One Constitution Ave, NE Washington, DC 20002, Minuteman Ballroom A&B.
- Transparency in the Obama Administration – A Third-Year Assessment. AU Law. Fri. 1/20. 9:30 am- 6:00 pm. AU Washington College of Law, Room 603, 4801 Massachusetts Ave, NW Washington, DC.
- And, don’t forget that The Advisory Committee on Transparency will hold an event titled Will Super PACs Determine The 2012 Election. Mon. 1/23. 2:15 pm. 2203 Rayburn House Office Building