Authorities in Iran have reportedly decided to ban the internal use of Gmail, seemingly inspired by the 31st anniversary of the Iranian Revolution and supposedly in favor of an e-mail service rooted within Iran, not Mountain View, California -- though presumably that home-grown IranMail is going to come complete with a "Surveille This" widget.
It was encouraging to see the Domestic Policy Council's Heather Higginbottomsay in a White House chat last week that the Obama administration is supportive of a federal law restoring ex-felons' voting rights. The messy patchwork of laws we currently have for the once-incarcerated is one of the least appealing aspects of the modern American practice of democracy. It doesn't have to be this way.
What upset my stomach this morning wasn't so much the news that Google had partnered with the National Security Administration as it was that Google seems to have felt threatened enough by cyberattacks to do it. Google cherishes its reputation as one of the "good guys." The company counts how the public feels about it and its mission as one of the best things going for it.
In a more perfect world, Barack Obama's command of the nuances of tech policy would rival his grasp of health-care policy. But this world ain't perfect, and we're stuck with a president who strongly backs net neutrality principles but is occasionally clumsy on the details. We can wish he didn't do that, for the very reason that it gives cover to commentary like this from Digital Society -- a nonprofit affiliated with companies like Verizon, Microsoft, and AT&T -- that "pars[es]" Obama's voice of confidence in favor of neutrality regulation during his YouTube Q&A on Monday.
Color of Change's James Rucker has an important post on his efforts thus far to make sense of the Congressional Black Caucus' entrenched opposition to net neutrality. The arguments Rucker has been hearing on his visits to Capitol Hill repeat themselves, running along the lines that if telecom companies aren't able to use a portion of the Internet to sell the custom online services they want to, then where will the money come from to wire underserved communities? A sensible fellow, Rucker asks again for concrete evidence.