Apply to MuckRock's Thiel Fellowship
Maybe your proposal will look into the adoption of Palantir by local governments — often the result of no-bid contracts based on confidential presentations. Maybe it will shed light on Palantir’s federal work: Private contractors make up about 70% of the United State’s intelligence budget, but the work they do is often under appreciated by the public.Or maybe you think that the public could benefit from better understanding of Thiel’s bold, nuanced vision of free speech.
ee  palantir  thiel  paypal  freedomofinformation 
3 days ago
It's Official: Testing Rape Kits Prevents Assault And Saves Everybody Millions
“The cost of testing rape kits pales in comparison to the costs to victims and society,” said Rachel Lovell, a senior research associate at Case Western Reserve’s Begun Center for Violence Prevention Research and Education, in a press release. “If testing rape kits doesn’t appeal to one’s better nature of providing justice for victims and a safer community for all, we can also show that these efforts can improve the bottom line.”
BigData;  humanrights  rape_kit  ee 
10 days ago
How to Make Education Affordable and Accessible
Congressmen cite OER as a solution for high cost of education
OER  US  Congress 
11 days ago
Yuval Noah Harari on big data, Google and the end of free will - FT.com
Forget about listening to ourselves. In the age of data, algorithms have the answer, writes the historian Yuval Noah Harari
BigData 
22 days ago
Innovation is overvalued. Maintenance often matters more | Aeon Essays
Entire societies have come to talk about innovation as if it were an inherently desirable value, like love, fraternity, courage, beauty, dignity, or responsibility. Innovation-speak worships at the altar of change, but it rarely asks who benefits, to what end? A focus on maintenance provides opportunities to ask questions about what we really want out of technologies. What do we really care about? What kind of society do we want to live in? Will this help get us there? We must shift from means, including the technologies that underpin our everyday actions, to ends, including the many kinds of social beneficence and improvement that technology can offer. Our increasingly unequal and fearful world would be grateful.
infrastructure  innovation  technology  ee  maintainers 
24 days ago
Trump’s financial records, depositions and interview transcripts: The documents behind ‘Trump Revealed’ - Washington Post
the archive contains 397 documents, comprising thousands of pages of interview transcripts, court filings, financial reports, immigration records and other material. Interviews conducted off the record were removed, as was other material The Post did not have the right to publish. The archive is searchable and navigable in a number of ways. It is meant as a resource for other journalists and a trove to explore for our many readers fascinated by original documents.
ee  data-driven_journalism  opendata 
26 days ago
The Tiny NGO That Changed Reporting on Rio’s Favelas During the Olympics – The Development Set – Medium
When the Games end, Williamson plans to release a multimedia manual to help other cities reproduce CatComm’s media strategy. The group will also publish an analysis of six years of coverage on favelas. RioOnWatch, meanwhile, will shift to supporting the nonprofit’s original focus: covering community-led solutions in favelas.

CatComm certainly has a point of view, but Williamson resists the idea that that the group is painting an overly rosy picture of informal settlements. “We never deny favelas’ limitations and problems, but that’s true for all communities,” she said. “Talking about the good doesn’t mean you’re romanticizing. The reality is the opposite: by not recognizing these communities’ assets, we are depriving them and ourselves of true development.”

Carless said journalists who draw on CatComm’s resources are not in danger of being biased if they follow professional standards.
ee  journalism  brazil  olympics 
26 days ago
The Million Dollar Dissident: NSO Group's iPhone Zero-Days used against a UAE Human Rights Defender - The Citizen Lab
Ahmed Mansoor is an internationally recognized human rights defender, based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and recipient of the Martin Ennals Award (sometimes referred to as a “Nobel Prize for human rights”). On August 10 and 11, 2016, Mansoor received SMS text messages on his iPhone promising “new secrets” about detainees tortured in UAE jails if he clicked on an included link. Instead of clicking, Mansoor sent the messages to Citizen Lab researchers. We recognized the links as belonging to an exploit infrastructure connected to NSO Group, an Israel-based “cyber war” company that sells Pegasus, a government-exclusive “lawful intercept” spyware product. NSO Group is reportedly owned by an American venture capital firm, Francisco Partners Management.
human_rights  ee  security  apple  activism  citizenlab 
4 weeks ago
Private lives are exposed as WikiLeaks spills its secrets
Three Saudi cables published by the WikiLeaks identified domestic workers who'd been tortured or sexually abused by their employers, giving the women's full names and passport numbers. One cable named a male teenager who was raped by a man while abroad; a second identified another male teenager who was so violently raped his legs were broken; a third outlined the details of a Saudi man detained for "sexual deviation" — a derogatory term for homosexuality.

Scott Long, an LGBT rights activist who has worked in the Middle East, said the names of rape victims were off-limits. And he worried that releasing the names of people persecuted for their sexuality only risked magnifying the harm caused by oppressive officials.

"You're legitimizing their surveillance, not combating it," Long said.
privacy  wikileaks  ee  human_rights  middleeast 
4 weeks ago
Syrian refugees create app to help navigate German bureaucracy - The Washington Post
A team of six Syrian refugees are trying to solve one of the main obstacles the hundreds of thousand of refugees who flocked to Germany in the past two years must overcome: excessive bureaucracy. They're building an app for smartphones and computers designed to help recent arrivals to the German capital, Berlin, navigate the piles of paperwork required to receive social benefits, health care and a place to stay.
refugees  germany  apps  civictech  bureaucracy  bureaucrazy  ds 
5 weeks ago
The Nauru files: cache of 2,000 leaked reports reveal scale of abuse of children in Australian offshore detention | Australia news | The Guardian
More than 2,000 leaked incident reports from Australia’s detention camp for asylum seekers on the remote Pacific island of Nauru – totalling more than 8,000 pages – are published by the Guardian today. The Nauru files set out as never before the assaults, sexual abuse, self-harm attempts, child abuse and living conditions endured by asylum seekers held by the Australian government, painting a picture of routine dysfunction and cruelty.
ee  refugees  human_rights  data  leak 
6 weeks ago
1science
for digest: new research shows that open access papers have a 50% greater citation advantage than papers published in traditional subscription-based journals.
OA  citation  advantage 
7 weeks ago
Can We Tell a Truer Story about Civic Tech? | Civic Hall
We have an expectations problem in the civic tech world that is making donors waste money and social justice projects waste opportunities. When foundations and executives expect technology to create rapid results, or massive results, they can set up their tools and their teams to fall short. And simplistic expectations mess up the incentives for advocates and donors alike.
pdf  ee  civictech 
7 weeks ago
In Portuguese - Is the distribution of processes at Supreme Court really randomic:
A Brazilian citizen filed a Freedom of Information Request to release the source code of the computers that distribute processes among Brazilian Supreme Court judges. The request was denied, generating a debate on transparency of algorithms used in Justice and the public sector.
pt-br  algorithms  supremecourt  foi  brazil  ds 
7 weeks ago
Hillary Clinton's Initiative on Technology & Innovation
clinton supports open licensing for publicly-funded research
Clinton 
7 weeks ago
New Manual: Holistic Security | Tactical Technology Collective
In the past, different aspects of human rights defenders' security (digital, physical and psycho-social) have tended to be treated separately, as if they existed in isolation. The holistic approach, however, recognises that they are deeply interrelated and need to be taken together when developing a comprehensive security strategy.
human_rights  tacticaltech  security  ee 
11 weeks ago
Lucia Nader: Five reasons to fear innovation - Sur - Revista Internacional de Direitos Humanos
...We interviewed 102 activists and human rights defenders from Europe, the United States of America (U.S.) and Latin America between 2015 and 2016. A considerable number showed some resistance either to the concept of innovation in general or to the need for rights-based non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and donors to constantly innovate. Many of them shunned the idea of innovation, raising a series of concerns, which we have grouped here as “5 reasons to fear innovation”.

As Emily Martinez from the Open Society Foundations (U.S.) pointed out recently during a conference, “who knows, might this resistance result from the fact [that] it seems contradictory to speak of innovation in a field where persistence and resilience are deemed key features and take so much of our energy? How is it possible to innovate in weekly visits to prisons to document abuses and torture, for example? Or, why do we immediately associate innovation with technology, whereas there is an increasing mistrust of and awareness about the limits of turning everything technological and modern?”
LuciaNader  human_rights  technology 
11 weeks ago
Google Is Transforming NYC's Payphones Into a "Personalized Propaganda Engine" | Village Voice
"If CityBridge is using a business model that is not charging, and they are spending a bunch of money putting these things in, they are going to be monetizing the data hard," Tien says. "That means that they are always thinking about how to collect your data and how to profit off of it."

But there is a different issue in play here: the right of the City of New York to surrender that data for us; the right of our elected officials — over the objections of some of the city's own watchdogs and in exchange for what is, viewed in the light of the city's $78 billion annual budget, chump change — to sell citizens' privacy off the back of a truck to a for-profit company.
privacy  ee  behavioural-tracking  Google  smartcities  urbanization 
11 weeks ago
Opinion: A progressive tech platform for the 99 percent - CSMonitor.com
Hillary Clinton's tech agenda doesn't address the most pressing digital issues. The US deserves a tech platform that defends privacy, protects the public from discriminatory algorithms, and ensures that innovation doesn't just benefit the wealthy.
hillary_clinton  tech_policy  sasha_meinrath  elections  US  DS 
11 weeks ago
The Secrets in Guatemala’s Bones - The New York Times
The death threats began for Peccerelli and his staff in 2001, when a fellow anthropologist at another organization received a letter listing 11 targets, including Peccerelli and several others at F.A.F.G. “For 10 years we have known who you are and let you be,” the letter said. “Now it is time to settle accounts.”
forensicdna  forensics  ee  guatemala  anthropology  human_rights 
11 weeks ago
Chatbot lawyer overturns 160,000 parking tickets in London and New York | Technology | The Guardian
Dubbed as “the world’s first robot lawyer” by its 19-year-old creator, London-born second-year Stanford University student Joshua Browder, DoNotPay helps users contest parking tickets in an easy to use chat-like interface.
technology  news  ai  robots  ee 
11 weeks ago
Thousands of migrants are dying at sea. This charity is trying to save them
Following reports the I Sea Project app is a hoax, it has been pulled from the Apple store.
ee  do_something  satellites  citizen_engagement  refugees 
june 2016
Google Sharpens Search Results for ‘Skin Rash,’ ‘Tummy Ache’ and Other Symptoms - WSJ
“Because this is an algorithm, it isn’t perfect,” Ms. Pinchin says. “But we’re going to expand and improve it over time.”
algorithms  google  health  ee 
june 2016
The New Media is Made of Memes — Backchannel
Media brands once created content that people simply consumed, then they focused on producing content that people shared. Discover feels like an odd laboratory for what comes next, where media companies are experimenting with short-form entertainment, journalism, and what is essentially multimedia stationery: open templates and professional memes for every minute, for every mood.
media  socialmedia  ee  snapchat  content  journalism 
june 2016
Stop Lying About Tesla's Autopilot Crashing Your Car
In the future, there’s no getting away from computers ratting you out for your human mistakes.

Today Tesla Motors had to respond to yet another highly-publicized story of one of its cars crashing into something, this time a building full of people, with the owner blaming the vehicle’s semi-autonomous capabilities. And, today Tesla proved once again its vehicle’s Autopilot system was not to blame by releasing the data from the vehicle at the time of the incident.
automation  self-driving_car  car  ee 
june 2016
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