Today in #OpenGov 7/30/2014


Keep reading for today’s look at #OpenGov news, events, and analysis, including Sen. Wyden and Sen. Udall amending for a more robust senate version of the USA Freedom Act, China’s corruption investigation against the most prominent government figure yet, and the indictment of a Kentucky state representative for campaign finance corruption.

A newspaper with the headline Open Gov

National News

  • Sen. Leahy introduced his Senate version of the USA Freedom Act, intended to address online civil liberties and privacy. Sen. Wyden and Sen. Udall recently called this Senate version of the act out for not addressing backdoor “loopholes,” which the intelligence community heavily relies on to surveil. They plan to introduce an amendment to seal this loophole once and for all. (TechDirt)
  • The Senate voted unanimously on Tuesday to confirm Robert A. McDonald, the 61-year-old former chief executive of Procter & Gamble, to take the helm of the sprawling and embattled Department of Veterans Affairs after a scandal over the manipulation of patient wait-time data. (New York Times)
  • The food industry spent $9 million lobbying Congress to oppose laws requiring labeling for genetically modified products in the first quarter of this year, nearly matching its total spending for all of last year. (Los Angeles Times)
  • Starting later this summer, the Capitol Hill mainstay of C-SPAN will only allow people who sign in as a cable or satellite TV subscriber to livestream C-SPAN, C-SPAN 2 and C-SPAN 3 on the Web. (The Hill)

International News

  • President Xi Jinping’s campaign against corruption among the Chinese elite took public aim on Tuesday at its biggest target so far, when the Communist Party announced an investigation of Zhou Yongkang, the former chief of domestic security. (New York Times)
  • The Nigerian Federal Government is facing increasing pressure to embrace open data, and consequently, more public oversight. (Nigerian Tribune)
  • The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched a participation portal for citizens to share their ideas with the government, as well as take part in online policy forums and volunteer in public sector projects. (FutureGov)

State and Local News

  • Kentucky state representative Ben Waide was indicted on two counts of violating state campaign finance laws for accepting $10,000 from a company and illegally reimbursing himself $6,000 from his campaign account, the state attorney general announced Tuesday. (Washington Times)
  • Following a recent string of appearances for a lobbying group advancing his mayoral agenda, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio defended the lobbying group for accepting donations from private companies contracted by the city–an act usually prohibited for political candidates. (New York Daily News)
  • In the lead-up to the midterm elections, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie mingled with some of the GOP’s major donors at the Trump National Golf Course. (Politico)

Events Today

Events Tomorrow

  • From Big Data to Cloud Computing: How IT is Creating a New Era of Disruptive Innovation. Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. Thurs., 7/31. 1101 K Street NW, Washington, D.C.

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