In elections, governance, information policy, prisons, privacy, racial justice on December 9, 2008 at 7:30 am
A coalition of human rights, media reform, civil liberties and progressive policy groups put forward an agenda for the new administration that’s worth reading. It includes recommendations and resources for policy change around detention and interrogation, immigration, surveillance, and privacy.
From the introduction on Secrecy, Surveillance, and Privacy:
In the last months of the Bush Administration the Department of Justice rewrote the Attorney General Guidelines (the “Guidelines”) for FBI investigations, removing important restrictions on the FBI’s investigative authorities and opening the door to racial profiling. The new Guidelines consolidated existing Guidelines governing FBI criminal investigations, national security investigations, and foreign intelligence collection operations, which the Bush Administration had already loosened considerably in 2002, 2003, and 2006, respectively. But the new Guidelines go much further by overturning longstanding limitations on FBI investigations of public demonstrations, and authorizing the FBI to conduct invasive “assessments” without having a factual predicate to justify an investigation of any kind.
Read the full document here.
In community organizing, disability, education, elections, racial justice, youth on December 5, 2008 at 7:48 pm
Linda Darling-Hammond is a friend of libraries, an advocate for the equal education of children with disabilities, a respected teacher, and she’s being considered for Secretary of Education.
According to Californians for Justice, this “Stanford professor and a leader in education reform . . . is not only respected among academics, she also has broad support among grassroots community organizers and educators because of her dedication to progressive education reform, and her commitment to closing the opportunity gap for low-income students and students of color.” Californians for Justice is calling on Obama to appoint Linda Darling-Hammond as Secretary of Education. Act Now to support her appointment.
Still not decided? Check out this week’s New York Times profile on her.
Then, email Obama.
In copyright, creative commons, elections, information access, open access on December 2, 2008 at 8:25 am
Yesterday, Change.gov announced its content will be copyrighted under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license — the most open of the CC licenses. This means content posted by the transition team, as well as any content submitted by visitors to the site is open for sharing, editing, mixing, and so on. Or as Ars Technica wrote: “Rip, Mix, and Govern.” This move for Obama keeps with his promise of “transparency.” Yet, it was a bit of an oxymoron for a government site geared toward public participation to fall within an “all rights reserved” copyright in the first place. Most .gov sites are in the public domain (the most open of open).
We can only hope (and continue pressing) that Obama remain accountable to this promise when it comes to critical public interest issues — not least of which include reversing the FISA Amendments Act (signed by Bush and supported by then-Senator Obama) and removing permanent mandatory gag orders under the PATRIOT Act. More than those topics later….
In the meantime, information advocates have posted a few principles toward an even more Open Government. See http://open-government.us/
Change.gov’s Newsroom Blog on the new copyright
Overview of CC licenses
In elections, media diversity, net neutrality, privacy, telecommunications reform on November 17, 2008 at 5:49 am
Net Neutrality is back in the news after Barack Obama released his comprehensive technology plans last week. And yesterday, Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-North Dakota) announced plans to bring net neutrality legislation before Congress. Finally. Media activists have kept this issue in the spotlight for years (see SaveTheInternet.org), and now is certainly not the time for advocates of an open Internet to stop advocating. While Obama’s statements on net neutrality have been heartening, let’s not forget his alarming change of heart around FISA (the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act). Let’s remind Obama that digital democracy, information privacy, and diversity in media ownership should all remain top priorities.
GetActive: Write Obama Now