iOS app Android app

Alexander Howard
GET UPDATES FROM Alexander Howard

Blog Entries by Alexander Howard

White House: 'Cybersecurity Legislation Must Not Violate Americans' Right to Privacy'

(11) Comments | Posted April 30, 2013 | 6:40 PM

The White House has responded to an e-petition asking the Obama administration to stop the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA).

"The President has been clear that the United States urgently needs to modernize our laws and practices relating to cybersecurity, both for national security and...

Read Post

Exit Interview: Alec Ross on Internet Freedom, Innovation and Digital Diplomacy

(1) Comments | Posted March 12, 2013 | 1:57 PM

Given the increasing penetration of technology into the lives of billions of people around the world, context for how we think about intersection of diplomacy and civil society is shifting. No one has been more central to that discussion than Alec J. Ross, the senior advisor for innovation to Secretary...

Read Post

The Empire State Strikes Back: New York Launches New Open Government Website

(0) Comments | Posted June 4, 2012 | 11:42 AM

Last week, New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman launched, a new website that his office touts as a means for "voters, the media and government watchdogs to hold state government accountable" by providing the public online access to government data on campaign contributions, lobbying, and state contracts.

Read Post

US CTO Looks to Scale Agile Thinking and Open Data to Improve Citizen-Centric Government

(0) Comments | Posted May 31, 2012 | 3:11 PM

In the 21st century, federal government must go mobile, putting government services and information at the fingertips of citizens, said United States Chief Technology Officer Todd Park in a wide-ranging interview this week: "That's the first digital government result, outcome, and objective that's desired."

To achieve that vision, Park...

Read Post

With New Funding and Fellows, Code for America Looks to Scale Civic Innovation Across the Country

(1) Comments | Posted February 24, 2012 | 6:43 PM

Code for America is working on a 21st century recipe for urban renewal: Find half a dozen cities struggling to deliver services to citizens in the context of reduced resources. Add a handful of civic coders, a heaping serving of open data and foundation support, start incubating a civic accelerator...

Read Post

International Data Journalism Awards Recognize a Crucial Field

(0) Comments | Posted February 8, 2012 | 5:22 PM

The challenges and opportunities presented by the digital revolution continue to disrupt journalism. In an age of information abundance, journalists and citizens alike all need better tools, whether we're curating the samizdat of the 21st century in the Middle East, like Andy Carvin, processing a late night data dump,...

Read Post

What You Need to Know About the Stop Online Piracy Act in 2012

(88) Comments | Posted December 23, 2011 | 11:55 AM

A colleague asked me today for a crash course on the "Stop Online Privacy Act" (SOPA). I sent him my feature at the O'Reilly Radar, where I wrote about how Congress is considering anti-piracy bills that could cripple Internet industries and harm digital innovation. The thing is, that...

Read Post

Internet Companies and Lawmakers Speak Out Against the Stop Online Piracy Act

(25) Comments | Posted November 15, 2011 | 8:19 PM

If freedom of expression, privacy and innovation online matter to you, it's time to pay attention to what's happening in Congress right now. There's a gathering storm over bills proposed in the United States House of Representatives and Senate that have the potential to significantly hinder innovation, free speech and...

Read Post

Apps for Entrepreneurs Looks to Accelerate Startups With Open Data

(0) Comments | Posted November 12, 2011 | 2:48 PM

If you're a developer or entrepreneur and want to help others in that space, you may find a new challenge of interest: Apps for Entrepreneurs.

If you're unfamiliar with the idea of challenges, read up on collaborative innovation in open government. The big question that such...

Read Post

In Social Media and Politics, Engagement and Influence Trumps Follower Count

(0) Comments | Posted November 2, 2011 | 11:15 PM

The White House may not quite be up to real-time disclosure, but as the Obama administration continues to step up its online engagement efforts in the real-time political debate online, we can take away some important lessons from the results.

The hyperpartisan atmosphere in Washington has replicated itself online...

Read Post

Federal CIO VanRoekel's 'Future First' Vision for Government Focuses on Cloud, Open Standards, Modularity, Shared Services

(2) Comments | Posted October 27, 2011 | 12:06 PM

The vision for information technology that U.S. CIO Steven VanRoekel laid out last night will be of considerable interest to anyone interested in how the federal government uses and manages its eighty billion dollar information technology portfolio. Given how important technology has become in the lives of the...

Read Post

Open Government Data Earns Bipartisan Congressional Support in Washington

(0) Comments | Posted October 9, 2011 | 1:37 PM

Two weeks ago at the Strata Conference in NYC, I donned a headset, grabbed a tablet worth of questions and headed to the podium to talk with the chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform about data and open government.

Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) joined...

Read Post

USAID Goes FWD With Open Data and Open Government for Famine Aid

(0) Comments | Posted September 19, 2011 | 7:13 PM

Today at Mashable's Social Good Summit, Dr. Raj Shah, the administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) will launch a new public engagement effort to raise awareness about the devastating famine in the Horn of Africa. USAID is calling it the "FWD campaign" and it includes...

Read Post

Live Streamed Coverage of the Open Government Partnership Launch Events on September 20, 2011

(0) Comments | Posted September 18, 2011 | 4:16 PM

On September 20th, as world leaders gather in New York for the opening of the United Nations 66th General Assembly, the Open Government Partnership will formally launch with a series of high-level meetings highlighting the transformative nature of open governance.

Events will include day-long multi-stakeholder discussion, "The Power of Open,"...

Read Post

Progress and Setbacks for Open Government on Eve of Historic Global Partnership Launch

(1) Comments | Posted September 18, 2011 | 3:27 PM

Friday's White House open government "status update" capped a historic week for open government in Washington. The Blue Button movement now has a website: Federal CTO Aneesh Chopra challenged the energy industry to collaborate in the design of a "green button" modeled after that Blue Button....

Read Post

Online Influence Is Essential to 21st Century Governance

(4) Comments | Posted September 13, 2011 | 3:08 PM

Eleven years ago, White House staffers thought Al Gore was weird for texting Tipper. But, the political times, they are a changin'.

A decade or so later, a politician who isn't tuned into her email on a smartphone or who doesn't monitor what the media and voters are saying about...

Read Post

Moscow and Washington to Host Bilateral Open Government Codeathon for Civic Apps

(1) Comments | Posted September 11, 2011 | 10:34 PM

Innovations in democratic governance have been and likely always will be a global phenomenon. In less than two weeks, an unprecedented bilateral codeathon between the United States and Russia held in both Washington, D.C. and Moscow, Russia will further extend the reach and collaborative flavor of the open government movement....

Read Post

International Open Government Partnership to Include at Least 22 Countries at Launch

(1) Comments | Posted September 6, 2011 | 3:48 PM

With just two weeks left before a historic announcement in New York City at the United Nations, the international Open Government Partnership (OGP) has expanded to include fourteen more countries. The news of the expansion was first reported by, which quoted an unnamed U.S. official.


Read Post

Can the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Enable Open Government by Design?

(1) Comments | Posted July 21, 2011 | 11:13 AM

Today, the local .gov startup goes live. While went online back in February, today, on the anniversary of H.R.4173, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the Consumer Financial Protection Board (CFPB) officially launched, with Richard Cordray nominated...

Read Post

As Newsprint Fades, Can Websites Sustainably Fill the Information Needs of Citizens?

(2) Comments | Posted May 31, 2011 | 5:37 PM

At this point in 2011, the permanent disruption that the Internet poses to the traditional business models of newspapers have been well documented. Craigslist, eBay and have each become platforms for the classified revenue that sustained local newspapers when they helped a monopoly for local advertising. No single, replicable...

Read Post