- Government surveillance of citizens’ online activity rising: The U.S. government’s surveillance of citizens’ online activity is on the rise, according to statistics released recently from Google. The government made more than 8,000 requests for user data in the first half of 2012, which is up from less than 6,000 requests in the same period last year. (The Hill)
- Bipartisan coalition proposes campaign finance reform: A group of Democrats and Republicans has come together to propose the American Anti-Corruption Act, which would reform the campaign finance system, lobbying, and advocacy efforts. The group also announced it will target lawmakers who oppose the proposal, actively working to unseat people from either party who do not support the reforms. (Roll Call)
- Nonprofit, super PAC money still in the dark: The source of money behind campaign-style ads could remain in the dark until May 2014 – or forever – depending on what nonprofits and super PACs choose to disclose and when. (Roll Call)
- Questions raised over block of drone-tracking app: U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) is questioning why Apple blocked an app that would track drone strikes. The group asking Apple to reconsider its decision to block the app says Apple received $9 million worth of Pentagon contracts in the past few years. (The Hill)
- Group releases federal IT recommendations: The American Council for Technology and Industry Advisory Council’s Institute for Innovation (ACT/IAC) recently released a report with IT recommendations for the federal government. More than 100 people from the public and private sectors contributed to the report. (FCW)
- Super PACs prepare to lobby: The election is over, but super PACs are prepping for a new act: lobbying Congress. Super PACs like American Crossroads appear to be preparing their tax-exempt lobbying arms to begin campaigns on a variety of issues. (Roll Call)
- Romanian watchdog group pressured to stop action: The Romanian watchdog group National Integrity Agency has said it is under pressure from politicians to stop investigations of government officials. The group has been looking into possible conflicts of interest among several senior officials. (TrustLaw)
- Former aide sentenced in Brazilian vote-buying scheme: The chief of staff to former Brazil President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was sentenced to more than 10 years in prison for running a system of paying members of Congress to vote for items on the president’s agenda. The scheme involved diverting millions in public money to paying for lawmakers’ votes. (TrustLaw)
RELEVANT BILLS INTRODUCED:
HAPPENING TODAY 11/14:
- Effectively Serving the Citizen: The Power of Digital Government. Government Executive. Wed. 11/14. 7:30-10 a.m. Ronald Reagan Building, Rotunda Room, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington DC.
- Should the UN Control the Internet? American Enterprise Institute. Wed. 11/14. 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. 1150 17th St. NW, Washington DC, 20036.
- Covering Elections: The Challenges of Training the Watchdogs. National Endowment for Democracy. Wed. 11/14. 10-11:30 a.m. 1025 F St. NW, Suite 600, Washington DC, 20004.
- Campaign Finance and the Citizens United Decision. AU Washington College of Law. Wed. 11/14. 12-3 p.m. AU Washington College of Law, 603. 4801 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington DC, 20016.
- In Mistrust We Trust: Can Transparency Revive Democracy? National Endowment for Democracy. Wed. 11/14. 2-4 p.m. 1025 F St. NW, Suite 600, Washington DC, 20004.