Today in #OpenGov 9/10/2013

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National News

  • Uber, the car-for-hire company that has been upsetting taxi commissions across the country, is jumping into the national political conversation by joining the Internet Association. The association is relatively new, but counts some of the biggest web companies including Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Reddit, among its members. (The Hill)
  • Republican members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee are out with a new report hammering the Obama EPA for violations of the FOIA and other transparency programs. While under the leadership of Lisa Jackson the agency faced occasional stories about its opaque operations and suffered controversy about Jackson and other top officials attempts to subvert oversight by using “hidden” email accounts. Jackson will be testifying in front of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee this morning.(Washington Examiner)
  • Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Yahoo are looking for some more latitude in the way that they report requests that they receive from the government. All four groups are asking the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to let them be more specific about the sort of requests they are getting. Google is taking it a step further and asking the FISC to hold oral arguments on the motion and open them to the public. (ars technica)

International News

  • Election Passport compiles granular election results data from over 80 countries. It can be a useful resource, but users should be aware that the data is only as good as the governments that provide it. (NDI Democracy Works Blog)
  • This summer marked the start of Open Steps, a year long project to travel the world documenting open knowledge projects and researching the state of things in individual countries. So far the project has made it from Berlin to Tblisi, with stops in Turkey, Albania, and more. (OGP Blog)
  • Historically, the Georgian government has not been quick to proactively release information, instead forcing citizens to rely almost solely on the slow and clunky FOI process. However, change should be impending. A new Government Decree on Electronic Request and Proactive Publication of Public Information that went into effect on September 1 requires agencies, under the direction of the executive, to release information on their activities online in free, open formats. (TI Georgia)

State and Local News

  • Social media has revolutionized the ways that governments disseminate information and communicate with stakeholders, but it has also led to serious questions about record keeping, especially for cash strapped local governments. Third party social media companies don’t necessarily have record keeping policies that are as rigorous as those maintained by governments. (Engaging Cities)
  • New York City became the first local government to accept real-time reports of street harrasement with the launch of an improved and expanded version of the Hollaback! app. Harrasment reported through the app will flow into New York’s CouncilStat system, be directed to the relevant city council member, and be posted publicly. (Knight Foundation Blog)

Events Today

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