July 6th, 2010
11:04 AM ET
11 years ago

How is social media impacting free speech rights?

Aspen, Colorado (CNN) - The future of free speech will be chosen by lawyers and businessmen at companies such as Google, Comcast and Facebook, not by politicians in Washington or the judicial system.

That is George Washington University Law School Professor Jeffrey Rosen's "big idea" he delivered at the Aspen Ideas Festival Monday night to an overflowing crowd of the top leaders in business, politics, technology, and law - including former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

Rosen named Nicole Wang, Google's deputy general council, as a company executive who has more say over free speech than most. Wang has the authority to keep or remove YouTube videos. When governments around the world want a video removed, she is woken up to make the decision.


Filed under: Politics • Social Media
July 2nd, 2010
12:01 AM ET
11 years ago

Obama administration re-launches USA.gov, opens new app store

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/07/01/usa.gov.jpg caption=" USA.gov is an online resource for the public to access information about taxes, school loans, elections, consumer protection and other topics."]
Washington (CNN) - The Obama administration re-launched USA.gov Friday morning with the self-proclaimed new focus of looking and acting less bureaucratic mirroring how private sector websites function, according to the White House.

The site is also launching a mobile application store featuring 18 apps ready for free download.

USA.gov is an online resource for the public to access information about taxes, school loans, elections, consumer protection and other topics.

"Across the past couple of decades, the private sector has made great gains in productivity and customer service," said Jeffrey Zients, the Deputy Director for Management within the White House's Office of Management and Budget.

"The Federal Government has largely missed out on these gains as it has failed to harness the power of new technologies. Closing this technology gap between the Federal Government and the private sector is key to saving taxpayer dollars and making government services faster, easier, and more responsive."

Filed under: Obama administration
June 28th, 2010
03:53 PM ET
11 years ago

Obama doubles broadband spectrum

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/28/art.summers.gi.jpg caption="National Economic Council Chairman Larry Summers announced that commercial broadband spectrum will double."]

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama signed a presidential memorandum Monday that would double commercial spectrum available for wireless broadband technologies.

The amount of information flowing over wireless networks has exploded in recent years raising concerns about a "spectrum crunch." According to the White House, wireless data will increase between 20 and 45 times 2009 levels in the next five years.

The memorandum will commit the federal government into making available another 500 MHz of spectrum during the next ten years, increasing easy and fast access to wireless across America, including rural areas. This would allow expansion of coverage for smartphones and netbooks among other devices as well as potentially increasing the services they provide.

The announcement was made in a speech Monday by National Economic Council Chairman Larry Summers, who stressed the plan would provide jobs and spark innovation.


June 25th, 2010
06:58 PM ET
11 years ago

GOP's YouCut program hits 1 million votes

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/25/art.youcut.housewhipgov.jpg caption=" One million votes have been cast through the House GOP's YouCut website."]

Washington (CNN) - One million votes have been cast through the House GOP's YouCut website, House Republican Whip Eric Cantor announced Friday.

YouCut, a site launched May 12, allows the public to vote on which programs they think the government should eliminate. Each week, five spending cuts are proposed on the GOP Whip's website. The proposal that receives a majority of votes during a particular week is then brought to the House floor for an up-or-down vote.


Filed under: House Republicans
June 24th, 2010
04:45 PM ET
11 years ago

Obama to Medvedev: Throw away red phones for Twitter

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/24/art.medvedevobama.cnn.brittain.jpg caption=" President Barack Obama joked Thursday that the popular microblogging service Twitter could replace 'the red phone,' a longstanding icon of the Cold War."]

Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama joked Thursday that the popular microblogging service Twitter could replace "the red phone," a longstanding icon of the Cold War that established a direct line of communication between the United States and the Soviet Union.

During a joint press conference with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Obama touched on Twitter in the course of mentioning Medvedev's interest in technology and innovation.

"As a personal passion of the president and during his visit to Silicon Valley this week, he was at the headquarter of Twitters, where he opened his own account," Obama said. "I have one as well so we may finally be able to throw away those red phones that have been sitting around for so long."

While visiting San Francisco Wednesday, Medvedev sent out his first tweet.

"Hello everyone! I'm on Twitter, and this is my first tweet," the Russian president said, according to the English language version of Medvedev's official Twitter account.

In his second tweet, he noted he was visiting Apple, Yandex and Cisco and his third tweet was a TwitPic from his hotel window.

Medvedev (@KremlinRussia) is currently following @WhiteHouse (the White House's official Twitter account), @BarackObama (Obama's original campaign Twitter account now run by Organizing for America) and @Number10gov (the official Twitter account for the U.K. Prime Minister). @BarackObama and @WhiteHouse are both following the Kremlin back.

Obama, who has over 4 million followers on Twitter, referred to the popular social network incorrectly as "Twitters."

Last year, during a press conference in China, Obama admitted he actually never used Twitter. But since then, Obama has personally sent at least one tweet – and made presidential history in the process.

CNN's Natalie Novak Contributed to this Report

Filed under: President Obama • Twitter
June 24th, 2010
09:53 AM ET
11 years ago

DNC launches first political party app for the iPad

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/24/art.dncipadapp.dnc.jpg caption="The Democratic National Committee launched its new iPad app Thursday."]Washington (CNN) - Late Wednesday night the Democratic National Committee launched the first mobile application from a political party designed specifically for the iPad. The new app's release also coincides with Thursday's release of the new iPhone 4.

Related: iPhone 4 hits stores Thursday

Features on the free app, which can also be downloaded for the iPhone and the iPod Touch, include a new platform "AirMail" which allows the DNC to send messages to users to take action. Users can also access an events tool, watch videos, see pictures, read Democratic discussion talking points and receive news alerts. Users will also be able to call their member of Congress from the application, donate to the Democratic Party and post content to Twitter and Facebook.

"We think it is a really comprehensive way communicate with our network of grassroots activists," DNC spokesperson Brandi Hoffine told CNN. "This is just the beginning of our mobile technology effort and we're excited to show off other features this year."

While the DNC is the first political party to launch an iPad friendly app, the White House was ready with its iPad app the day the new Apple device launched.

The DNC, hoping to capitalize on buzz as the new iPhone hits shelves, also launched a similar app for Organizing for America, the grassroots organization of Obama supporters brought together during the 2008 White House race.

Filed under: DNC
June 10th, 2010
12:49 PM ET
11 years ago

McCain, Snooki talk tanning on Twitter

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/10/art.snooki.gi.jpg caption ="'McCain would never put a 10 percent tax on tanning.' Snooki said in a preview of Jersey Shore Season 2."]

Washington (CNN) – Jersey Shore sensation Snooki got tanning tips from an unlikely source Wednesday - Arizona Sen. John McCain.

During a sneak peak of Jersey Shore Season 2 at the MTV Movie Awards Sunday, Snooki was seen at her house in Poughkeepsie, New York packing to head back to the beach.

"I don't go tanning anymore because Obama put a 10 percent tax on tanning and I feel he did that intentionally for us," Snooki said in the preview. "McCain would never put a 10 percent tax on tanning."

McCain responded on Twitter Wednesday: "@Sn00ki u r right, I would never tax your tanning bed! Pres Obama's tax/spend policy is quite The Situation. but I do rec wearing sunscreen!"

Snooki then wrote: "Haha Yes!!"

A spokeswoman for the Arizona senator said McCain thought Twitter would be an "amusing way to respond to her comments."

"Twitter is a good medium for that kind of conversation," McCain communications director Brooke Buchanan told CNN.

McCain is one of the most popular politicians on Twitter with over 1.7 million followers.

An MTV spokeswoman told CNN Snooki is a fan of McCain, but could not confirm if she voted for the 2008 presidential candidate when reached at 12:00 pm ET.

Snooki was still sleeping.

Filed under: John McCcain
June 7th, 2010
03:13 PM ET
11 years ago

California Dems spar over Facebook privacy settings

(CNN) – Facebook's privacy settings have turned into a political talking point in the California Democratic attorney general primary race. After candidate Kamala Harris released two advertisements leading up to Tuesday's primary that attacked Facebook and her opponent Chris Kelly, Facebook's former chief privacy officer, Kelly's campaign says the issue is simply a "distraction."

"His only experience is designing the Facebook privacy policy condemned across the country," says one of the Harris' television ads on Kelly. "Chris Kelly released your private information," the ad also says. The other advertisement showed crooks and strangers walking into a house and upstairs to where a child is surfing online.

The Kelly campaign is calling Harris' criticism unfair. "She is criticizing Chris for something that has happened long after he left the company," Kelly spokeswoman Robin Swanson told CNN. "This is a distraction. She is attempting to use this as a distraction from the very serious problems she has with the San Francisco crime lab and a judge saying she is responsible for it."

But Harris campaign manager Brian Brokaw told CNN there is a "big difference" between the crime lab scandal, which has led to the hundreds of criminal cases being dismissed under Harris' watch, and the questions about Kelly and the Facebook. "Harris is a career prosecutor of a major city. Problems are inevitable and she has taken leadership and worked with the new police chief and proposed that it never happened again. Rather than ignoring the privacy scandals he is responsible for, has denied any responsibility."


Filed under: 2010 • California • Facebook
June 5th, 2010
12:35 PM ET
11 years ago

Microsoft makes play to power campaigns

New York (CNN) - Microsoft took a big step Friday into the political arena, by partnering with ElectionMall.com to create a one-stop shop for running campaigns online.

The new partnership centers on “Campaign Cloud,” which helps campaigns launch their websites, manage ad buys and social networks, organize get out the vote efforts, and ease communications and collaboration between staff, donors and volunteers.

Stan Freck, Microsoft’s director of Cloud Computing described Campaign Cloud to CNN as “a central dashboard for unifying the core elements of [a] campaign. This includes access to Microsoft technologies but you can also snap in products from other companies like Twitter, Facebook and Google.

“Campaigns should be able to spend more time on what they know best - managing campaigns - and not managing technology.”

The technology is designed to be used by anyone running for office, from school board candidacies to congressional races or presidential campaigns.

Filed under: Microsoft
June 3rd, 2010
03:53 PM ET
11 years ago

Facebook and YouTube launch election hubs

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/03/facebook.com.jpg caption ="Facebook unveiled a new page highlighting how politicians and elected officials are using the site."]
New York (CNN) – Facebook and YouTube Thursday launched hubs for campaigns tools candidates can use while gearing up to the next election cycle.

Facebook unveiled the "U.S. Politics on Facebook" page that will highlight how politicians, elected officials, and political campaigns are using Facebook.

The leading social network site has a "Facebook and Government" and "Congress on Facebook" page, which delivers interesting use-cases of Facebook being used to govern, as well as Facebook's targeted message to the politicians. "U.S. Politics on Facebook" will only highlight campaign uses, such as when Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty hosted the first "Facebook Town Hall" in late March.

To help candidates deliver their messages more effectively and directly, YouTube launched the "You Choose 2010 Campaign Toolkit."


Filed under: Facebook • Social Media • YouTube
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