White House Closed Public Comment Lines, So the Public’s Just Calling the Other White House(s)…Trump’s Properties
It used to be, in a time long ago, that the most surefire way to make your voice was heard by your elected officials would be to call them. Writing letters and emails is great, but whether one answers them or has to go through each voicemail message, calls have to be dealt with individually. Unless, of course, you're in the Trump administration, in which case you don't think you have to deal with anything, including Congress, and you just shut off the White House's public comment line.Read More
Four major technology coalitions have joined forces to write an open letter advising against a bill that would require companies like Apple, Google, and Facebook to allow the U.S. government to have access to encrypted data.Read More
You may have noticed a Georgia peach during the end credits of several of your favorite TV shows. Over the years the state has become a hot spot for shooting TV and film thanks to the tax breaks the state provides, pouring money into the state. So, when Hollywood companies threaten to take business out of Georgia if its state government passes an anti-LGBTQIA bill disguised as a "religious liberty" bill, it's not a threat that can be taken lightly.Read More
In the summer of last year, we were thrilled to see that the White House had hired its first transgender staffer in Raffi Freedman-Gurspan. Now, it seems that Freedman-Gurspan is continuing to move up, having been promoted into a new position.Read More
They've had lots of experience with that in the past year.
You know how the Internet is all fast and convenient, and then you try to do something on a government web service and it suddenly feels like you've traveled back to 1885? (Science Fact: The Internet was notoriously slow in 1885.) Well, the government is finally doing something about it by launching the USDS, which sadly doesn't stand for "Ur Sites Don't Suck."Read More
The US Government Secretly Created a “Cuban Twitter” to Stir up Political Dissent, Create “Smart Mobs”
Hi, I'm a Nigerian prince, and I need to store my political dissent. Will you join my social network?
Somehow, the same government that can't set up a simple online signup form to save its life went full Zuckerberg and built an entire successful social media network... in Cuba. This must have been headed by the same people who made the turkey pardoning site for Thanksgiving, because that was easily the best functioning government website.Read More
Opponents of the healthcare program are probably super stoked.
Any implementation of new technology on the scale of Healthcare.gov is bound to run into problems. Unfortunately, now that some time has passed, it seems like the site's troubles may not have just been your run of the mill, version 1.0 bugs. Get out your party hats, "Big Government" haters.Read More
Somebody’s Filed a Freedom of Information Act Request To Find Out More about Squirrel-Related Power Outages
It's called the Freedom of Information Act for a reason, after all -- the hippies finally got something right.
America's enemies are targeting our power infrastructure and the government is hiding it from us. And no, I don't mean terrorists -- I'm clearly talking about the squirrels who keep chewing through our power lines, as the NYT reported last week. Thank god one courageous woman is ready to get to the bottom of this consquirrelacy.Read More
I will make it legal!
The Boob Tube
In something of breaking news this afternoon, the White House has announced that they will be announcing (I guess this only a little bit like putting out a trailer for your trailer) a new director of the Secret Service, to replace director Mark Sullivan, who announced his resignation last month. That new director will be Julia Pierson, currently the Secret Service's chief of staff, and the promotion will make her the first woman in history to hold that position.Read More
People still love taxes, right? That's what the Senate seems to think, because they just voted 75-to-24 in favor of a non-binding resolution that says they would support a bill introducing an Internet sales tax. Even though the resolution is non-binding, its overwhelming support could help support the bill as it School House Rocks its way to becoming a law. The Senate finally decides to get something done, and it's Internet sales tax? Great job, Senate.Read More
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
In retaliation for the United States repeatedly blocking Antigua from hosting online gambling, the country now plans to launch a website that will sell music, movies, and software from U.S. content-makers without paying royalties to the content's U.S. copyright holders. It's not surprising that the Antinguan government denies that the site qualifies as "privacy," and it's even less surprising that the U.S. isn't happy about the site and will try to stop it.Read More
U.S. Government Removes Airport “Pornoscanners,” Proves It Can, If It Wants, Deal With Privacy Better Than Facebook
And Now For Something Completely Different
The White House Is Sick Of Your Joke Petitions, Quadruples the Number of Signatures Required for an Official Response
the internet is serious business
I will make it legal!
Yesterday we covered the White House's response to the petition asking them to build a working Death Star. Sometimes though, people try to use the government's We the People petition program to try to accomplish things that might be possible. Anonymous has posted a petition to the site asking that the US Government officially declare Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks to be a form of protest, and not a crime. This stands about as much of a chance as the government building a Death Star, and the response probably won't be nearly as funny.Read More