Today in #OpenGov 11/15/2013

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National News

  • A group of major tech companies have been asking the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) for the right to release more specific details on government data requests. The companies want to have public oral arguments in front of the court, a request that the government isn’t so happy about. Government representatives have asked that only they be allowed to argue in front of a judge, and to do it in secret to boot. (ars technica)
  • Penny Pritzker, the new Secretary of Commerce, counts data among her top priorities. The successful business woman understands how open government data can help entrepreneurs and plans to put her energy behind ensuring that the Commerce department continues to open up. (fedscoop)
  • The infamous Koch brothers spent a whopping $122 million on the 2012 election through their “nonprofit”, Americans for Prosperity. That’s more than the group had spent between 2004 and 2011 combined. (Public Integrity)

International News

  • Australia is making some changes to its open data portal, most notably switching to an open source platform in July. Since the change more than half of the portals data sets have disappeared, but there doesn’t appear to be anything nefarious at play. Site administrators are simply cleaning up dead links and removing junk datasets. (Tech President)
  • A data set full of voting records from the UN General Assembly since 1946 is being used to show off some beautiful visualizations that can help show off parliamentary data. (Opening Parliament)
  • The Russian Minister of Communications and Mass Communications indicated that his country would be making more data related to government contracting available to the public. (E Pluribus Unum)

State and Local News

  • The Michigan Secretary of State has proposed a rule that would broaden disclosure requirements for political ads. The rule would require ad sponsors to file formal reports and meet all other disclosure rules. (Roll Call)

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