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Micah Sifry
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Entries by Micah Sifry

Grassroots vs Grassrootsy: How to Parse Technology's Role in Politics

(2) Comments | Posted July 18, 2011 | 4:44 PM

Ever since John McCain's upset win of the New Hampshire presidential primary in February 2000, when during his live televised victory speech he mentioned his McCain2000.com website, unleashing a flood of online donations -- more than $1 million in 48 hours and more than $2 million in one week --...

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What the Firing of P.J. Crowley Says About Obama and Open Government

(94) Comments | Posted March 15, 2011 | 3:16 PM

I think I've finally put my finger on what exactly bothers me so much about the forced resignation of P.J. Crowley from his position as State Department spokesman on Sunday, after his remark at an academic forum at MIT that the Defense Department's treatment of Pfc. Bradley Manning was "

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WikiLeaks, Assange, and Why There's No Turning Back (Exclusive Excerpt)

(39) Comments | Posted February 9, 2011 | 8:25 AM

Adapted from my new book, WikiLeaks and the Age of Transparency, which ORBooks is publishing this month in the United States and is available on their website. It is also being published in Great Britain by the Yale University Press UK. Sifry is the co-founder of...

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The Journolist "Affair": Privacy, Transparency, and Credibility in the Internet Age

(43) Comments | Posted August 5, 2010 | 8:39 PM

Jonathan Strong, the author (bio) of the Daily Caller's on-going series of articles based on excerpts from emails selected out of the private Journolist discussion list, has been making a name for himself and his upstart online news organization in recent weeks with provocative attacks on the...

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PdF: Can the Internet Fix Politics?

(3) Comments | Posted June 3, 2010 | 5:00 AM

This Thursday and Friday in New York City, nearly a thousand activists, political operatives, bloggers, technologists, journalists and futurists -- the hacks and the hackers -- will gather for the seventh annual Personal Democracy Forum, the world's biggest conference on technology and politics. PdF has come a long...

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Hope vs Power: The PhRMA Deal That Was and the OFA Campaign That Wasn't

(10) Comments | Posted February 24, 2010 | 9:05 AM

"These dudes are old school communications people. They're playing the game the way they know how because it's been lucrative for them. And they're destroying the whole promise of the Obama Administration in the process."

With the White House tabling a new hybrid health...

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Swiftboating the Stimulus: Did the Internet Really Kill "Rovian" Politics?

(111) Comments | Posted February 19, 2010 | 5:30 PM

A year and a half ago, a few weeks before the presidential election, Google CEO Eric Schmidt made a bold claim about the impact of the internet on our public life: "We are witnessing the end of Rovian politics," he declared to Arianna Huffington. Many observers, this writer...

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New Study: Online Congressional Townhall Meetings Can Move Voters

(2) Comments | Posted October 26, 2009 | 1:07 PM

The Congressional Management Foundation has just released a useful new report showing that online townhall-type meetings connecting Members of Congress with constituents can have dramatic effects on improving constituent approval of their representatives. Participation in such events can also substantially increase voter turnout and engagement, the study...

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Organizing for America's "Time to Deliver" Is Now

(0) Comments | Posted October 20, 2009 | 10:51 AM

Today, President Obama is doing something no sitting U.S. President has done before. He is using his massive network of grass-roots supporters, which has been undergoing a reboot since Election Day, to go between the legs of Members of Congress and generate pressure from below...

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The Internet as Toxic Avenger: Trafigura and the Ungagging of the Guardian

(2) Comments | Posted October 13, 2009 | 3:43 PM

Here's a cautionary tale in how not to manage your message in a networked media age, or rather, further evidence of John Gilmore's brilliant maxim, "The Internet interprets censorship as damage and routes around it." Late Monday night in England, the Guardian posted a strange article reporting that...

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Organizing for America, Obama's Sleeping Beast, Starts to Awaken

(0) Comments | Posted July 15, 2009 | 11:45 AM

It looks like Organizing for America, President Obama's de facto field organization based at the DNC, is ramping up its efforts to demonstrate support for health care reform. Last week I took a look at OFA's online directory of upcoming health care canvassing efforts, and found 561 events. Now...

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Obama, the New Party and Stanley Kurtz's Horror

(132) Comments | Posted October 20, 2008 | 6:17 PM

I wouldn't normally bother to wade into the the fevered discussion currently happening on the Right over Barack Obama's purported ties to ACORN, domestic terrorists, and so on, but Stanley Kurtz, one of the lead theorists of all of this, over on National Review Online, has done me the favor...

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After the Wall St. Bailout: More Plutocracy, or the Rise of Net-Powered Politics?

(14) Comments | Posted October 1, 2008 | 9:59 PM

Monday afternoon, I happened to turn the TV on just as the House of Representatives was voting on the $700 billion Bush-Paulson-Pelosi bailout bill. Watching the split-screen coverage of traders on the floor of the U.S. Stock Exchange as they stared, transfixed, waiting to see if the public, through its...

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The Rising Tide Of Online Opposition To Paulson's Plunder

(39) Comments | Posted September 24, 2008 | 7:55 AM

Building on Monday's post about the scattered but telling signs of public opposition to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's $700 billion Wall Street bailout proposal--and the complete lack of organic online support for it, anywhere, here's an update on what was bubbling yesterday.

First, and most telling, is the...

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Obama's Organization and the Future of American Politics

(25) Comments | Posted June 8, 2008 | 10:17 PM

Barack Obama's victory over Hillary Clinton is the first time an insurgent has beaten the establishment candidate in the Democratic primaries since Jimmy Carter in 1976. This is interesting and important for all kinds of reasons. One, as I've written before, is that it suggests that the era of Big...

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Nader Again: A Snare and a Delusion

(21) Comments | Posted February 26, 2008 | 9:35 AM

Ralph Nader is running for president, again. But he has a problem: he doesn't understand the web as well as the web understands him. Message to Ralph: It's not the 1970s any more. It's not even the 1990s any more.

In 2000, when Nader made his first serious...

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Obama, the Internet and the Decline of Big Money and Big Media

(85) Comments | Posted February 6, 2008 | 11:57 AM

If it were not for the internet, and all the campaign- and voter-generated activism that it has enabled, Hillary Clinton would already be the Democratic Party's presumptive nominee, and Barack Obama or another reform-minded candidate would be trailing badly. (On the Republican side, it's harder to make such a...

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Bloomberg's Day

(3) Comments | Posted June 28, 2007 | 12:17 PM

Every four years, about a year or so before the presidential election, a crack opens in the two-party road to the White House, and suddenly everyone is talking about the possibility of a serious Independent Candidate for the presidency. Something in our dysfunctional political process seems to conjure the Independent...

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The Marcotte-Edwards Non-Scandal

(2) Comments | Posted February 5, 2007 | 11:38 AM

Danny Glover of Technology Daily, who also writes the Beltway Blogroll for National Journal, has a post up claiming to have found the "First Blog Scandal of Campaign 2008," but in my humble opinion it's much ado about nothing.

The John Edwards campaign has hired Amanda...

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14 Million Online Politics Activists, Says Pew

(4) Comments | Posted January 17, 2007 | 12:30 PM

The Pew Internet & American Life Project is releasing another of its ongoing reports tracking Americans' use of the internet today (and someone leaked me an advance copy), and this report contains some really important news:

* More than 60 million people (31% of all Americans online) say they were...

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