2Day in #OpenGov 7/25/2012

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NEWS ROUNDUP:

International

  • Criticizing Tajikistan’s president online could have grave consequences: With its announcement of a volunteer-run group monitoring social networks for dissent against its president, Tajikistan can now be added to the list of countries censoring the Internet. The group has already made an arrest; it detained a teenage student overnight but did not charge him with any offence. (techPresident)
  • Committing to the Open Government Partnership: In this piece, the author argues that despite the United States’ seemingly lax attitude towards the Open Government Partnership it helped create, the organization could benefit the country in more ways than it may think. (O’Reilly Radar)

Disclosure

  • Report contains DoJ justification of its use of state secrets privilege: A recently released 2011 report to Congress outlining how the Department of Justice decides to invoke the state secrets privilege (which allows it to withhold information) in particular cases also includes a defense of its current implementation of the policy, running contrary to numerous critics who argue the department overuses it. (FAS Project on Government Secrecy)
  • New STOCK Act opponent: Office of Government Ethics head: The major complaint about the STOCK Act—that it releases enough information about lower-level government employees to potentially put them in danger—has been echoed by the head of the White House’s Office of Government Ethics, who says he will support the act if increased measures to protect these employees were implemented. (Washington Post)
  • Rep. Issa discusses adding certain privately collected data to FOIA: The next step to improving the Freedom of Information Act, argues Representative Darrell Issa, could be making information collected by private entities such as insurers eligible for disclosure using the bill. (O’Reilly Radar)

State/Local

  • New California lobbying bill strengthens local electronic filing: California governor Jerry Brown recently signed a bill meant to transition lobbyist filing to an electronic format at a local level. (Lobby Comply Blog)
  • California’s state campaign finance monitoring group going local: California governor Jerry Brown also signed a bill that allows the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission to enforce state campaign finance laws in San Bernardino County, marking the first time the commission has been required to monitor campaign finance at a local level. (Lobby Comply Blog)

Government

  • Durbin, once reticent, now endorses constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United: Although he formerly opposed dealing with the Citizens United decision by amending the Constitution, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin said that such an action would be the only option to overturn its effects. (Roll Call)
  • Federal deputy CTO retuning to MIT: The White House’s deputy chief technology officer for Internet policy is returning to his former job teaching and conducting research at MIT after holding the job for only a little more than a year. (The Hill)
  • Petition to make government software open source reaches important threshold: By reaching 150 signatures, a petition that mandates custom government software to be open source is now searchable on the “We the People” petition platform. In order to receive a response from the White House, the petition needs to gain 25,000 signatures in 30 days. (FedScoop)

RELEVANT BILLS INTRODUCED:

  • S.3415: Government Transparency and Recordkeeping Act of 2012. Referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.

REST OF THE WEEK:

JOB OPPORTUNITIES:

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