Berkman Buzz: April 19, 2014

April 19, 2014

The Berkman Buzz is selected weekly from the posts of Berkman Center people and projects.
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"euandi," a voting advice application for the 2014 European Parliament elections, launches


euandi, a new Voting Advice Application (VAA) helps citizens make informed choices in their 2014 European Parliament (EP) vote.

Available in 24 languages, euandi invites users to react to 28 policy statements covering a wide range of contemporary policy issues and political values in European politics, as well as two policy statements specific to the user’s national political context.

Developed by the European University Institute in Florence, Italy, euandi provides voters with a clear view of the European electoral campaign and their individual positions within it.

From the Berkman Center, ""euandi", a path-breaking Voting Advice Application for the 2014 European Parliament elections"

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Many strange and wonderful things come from @civicMIT. @ThePeoplesBot may well be the strangest:
Ethan Zuckerman (@EthanZ)

Dan Gillmor warns against data collection by web companies


As security expert Bruce Schneier (a friend) has archly observed, "Surveillance is the business model of the internet." I don't expect this to change unless and until external realities force a change – and I'm not holding my breath.

Instead, the depressing news just seems to be getting worse. Google confirmed this week what many people had assumed: even if you're not a Gmail user, your email to someone who does use their services will be scanned by the all-seeing search and the advertising company's increasingly smart machines.

From Dan Gillmor's post for The Guardian, "As we sweat government surveillance, companies like Google collect our data"
About Dan | @dangillmor

John Palfrey wishes the DPLA a happy first birthday

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Led by executive director Dan Cohen and a very impressive team that is now eight strong, the DPLA has grown to include more than 7,000,000 objects (more than triple what we started with). These images, texts, books, and more come from all 50 states in the country. The number of partners grows every month, with nearly a third of all states boasting on-ramps to the DPLA (which we call “service hubs”) and thousands of major institutions participating in digitizing and sharing materials online. The pace of growth is terrific: demand to join the DPLA as a content provider far outstrips our ability to bring the materials in, which bodes well for future growth. Usage through the website and especially the open API continues to grow, with more than 1,000,000 people who have used the site directly and close to 10,000,000 API calls. Over time, those numbers should grow markedly, too.

From John Palfrey's blog post, "Happy 1st Birthday, DPLA!"
About John | @jpalfrey

DMLP: Some federal courts now posting audio recordings online

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While the propriety of video and photography equipment in federal courts is subject of ongoing debate and testing, a number of federal bankruptcy courts and three federal district courts make audio recordings of their proceedings available to the public for a nominal fee.

From Eric P. Robinson's blog post for the Digital Media Law Project, "Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Some Federal Courts Post Audio Recordings Online"
About DMLP | @dmlpberkman

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BONUS @dpla birthday present: @anarchivist implemented Twitter cards. Links to DPLA items now auto-include thumbnails Cohen (@dancohen)

Bad News & Worse News for Russian Internet Users

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First, the bad news: the most popular website in Russia,, will no longer rank Russian bloggers or categorize the most popular news topics discussed online. That service, which for the last ten years Yandex featured on the splash page of its blogs search engine, is now kaput. In an announcement published today, April 18, 2014, Yandex explained that the traditional blog is in decline, as Internet users flee to social networks like Facebook and Vkontakte, where popularity rankings can be difficult to calculate.

Now, the worse news: Yandex’s decision to euthanize its rating system for bloggers was also a response to legislation now making its way through the Russian parliament, where Duma deputies today passed the second reading of a draft law that would impose mass media regulations on bloggers with daily audiences in excess of three thousand visitors. Under this law, various kinds of self-expression would become illegal, and any website with enough traffic lands on a government registry.

From Kevin Rothrock's post for Global Voices Bridge, "Bad News & Worse News for Russian Internet Users"
About Global Voices Online | @globalvoices

This Buzz was compiled by Rebekah Heacock.

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Last updated

April 19, 2014