Occupy Wall Street

Occupy Wall Street’s Web Team Finds Anarchy Ain’t Easy

The Internet Committee at Occupy Wall Street

This is a guest post from Melissa Gira Grant.

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“Hi, everyone. I’m Drew. With the Internet.”

It’s midway through the General Assembly down at Occupy Wall Street. Radiohead failed to show up and overrun the revolution, but the park is still packed. Two rows of people behind me echo Drew’s words – “with the internet” – serving as a human mic, as cops have forbidden the protestors the use of amplified sound. Liberty Plaza is allowed a generator, which runs the laptop and webcam that’s livestreaming the Assembly.

Now that he’s been introduced, Drew continues for us and the cameras, pausing after each few words to give the human mic a chance to keep up: “Right now. Our website. Is having some problems. If you know how to fix those kinds of things. Come find me. After the GA.” The General Assembly crowd is thick, and as soon as he’s done speaking, Drew is lost within it. One night he gives his report back on the Internet Committee while wearing a hideous holiday-inspired sweater, so he’s easier for potential volunteers to spot.

For a protest movement born of the internet, Occupy Wall Street’s technical situation is at times precarious. Read More

Open Government

The FCC’s Open Source Stance and the Case of the Vanishing Blog Post

House Judiciary Cmte Holds Hearing On AT&T T-Mobile Merger

On July 6, the Federal Communications Commission put up a blog post entitled “Contributing Code Back: FCC.gov’s Open-Source Feedback Loop,” articulating the agency’s commitment to open source and open source development. “Here at the FCC, we’re always excited when we can contribute to open source software,” new media fellow and developer Ben Balter wrote. At some point between then and this week, the FCC deleted the blog post and the Google cache. Some open source developers found this alarming, given that the agency changed leadership around the same time–ex-Microsoftie Steven VanRoekel left the agency in June to become the nation’s CIO and was replaced by Robert Naylor, previously CIO at the Small Business Administration. Read More