Today in OpenGov: Bringing Sunlight to the RNC


ROADTRIP: Sunlighters Libby Watson and Josh Stewart have arrived at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland. Louis Serino has the details: “They’ll be live-tweeting, snapping photos, shooting videos and bringing you the latest news — all with a focus on money in politics, influence and more. We’ll be compiling the most interesting missives from #RNCinCLE in our Storify! Or for the full experience, check us out on Twitter — @libbycwatson, @JoshDStewart, @SFPartyTime or the hashtag #SFinCLE — or Instagram.” [READ MORE]

OFFLINE: The Library of Congress’ websites are still weighed down by a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, which is reportedly affecting internal operation as well. As we noted yesterday, this is another reason why opening legislative data to the public matters: Civil society partners like Govtrack and ProPublica can keep the public informed during downtime. We hope the new Librarian of Congress explores how CloudFlare, Amazon or cloud infrastructure could help keep .gov sites up against a DDoS. [FCW]


  • The Commerce Department has shifted its rationale for denying a Quartz reporter’s FOIA lawsuit for immigration data. The situation is putting some much-needed sunlight on how open the department’s data really is, and to whom. [QZ]
  • Libraries have been a key part of communities for centuries. In the digital age, the role the play is expanding. [Knight Foundation]
  • Steven Levy dug into what the U.S. Digital Service is up to at the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense. If you’re interested in government and technology, this is a must-read. [Backchannel]
  • Related: People are still giving government services terrible marks, as measured by Forrester Research’s Customer Experience Index. The U.S. government needs to develop simple, accessible, robust digital services that work on mobile devices. The strategy needs to be delivery, at scale, for every American. [NextGov]
  • Manipulation of the White House e-petition platform suggests that We The People would benefit from using verified US identity. [OCCRP]

State and Local

  • Jenna Wortham considered what role technology can play in reducing violence. Spot on: “Technology can be part of a solution, but it takes far more than software to usher in reform.” [New York Times]
  • Democratizing broadcasting and distribution through smartphones and livestreaming apps puts a new focus on a “right to record” and privacy laws. [CJR]


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