Demand Progress Urges Political Parties to Make 'Internet Freedom' Part of their Platforms

August 15, 2012 -

Internet advocacy group Demand Progress launched a campaign this week to urge Democrats and Republican lawmakers to make a commitment - in writing - that they will protect internet freedom when creating new legislation and to make the issue part of their respective platforms.

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Utah Senator Offers Abortion Amendment to Cybersecurity Act

August 1, 2012 -

We alluded to this earlier but here's the full story on an amendment about abortion being offered to the Cybersecurity Act of 2012. Adding nonsensical or unrelated amendments to bills in committee is pretty normal, but Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) might win the booby prize for most unrelated issue ever attached to a bill. After a bill to ban abortions in D.C. after 20 weeks was defeated on Tuesday night because it failed to garner enough support (a two-thirds majority), Senator Mike Lee decided to offer it up as an amendment to the Cybersecurity Act of 2012.

Ron and Rand Paul's New Fight: Internet Freedom

July 6, 2012 -

While Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul has not yet conceded the race to former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, the soon-to-be retiring Texas Congressman has teamed up with his son Rand Paul (Senator R-Kentucky) to take on a new crusade: Internet Freedom. Similar to his fight against ending the Federal Reserve, the Paul father and son team are taking the fight to government regulation of the Internet, but their perspective on it is decidedly Libertarian, which means that they do not believe the government should regulate anything related to the Internet.

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Privacy Groups Reject Senate Republicans' Tweaks to the SECURE IT Act

June 28, 2012 -

According to a post on The Hill privacy groups remain unimpressed with efforts to draft a revised version of the SECURE IT Act. Senate Republicans released a revised version of their cybersecurity bill on Wednesday, but privacy groups shrugged off the changes as minor.

Senate Dems Tweak Cybersecurity Bill to Entice Republicans

May 7, 2012 -

Senate Democrats are tweaking their versions of cybersecurity legislation to gain more support from Republicans, according to a report from The Hill. The reason they are doing this, says the publication, is because they lack the 60 votes needed to bring the bill to the floor.

'The Deal With Jack Hunter' Tackles CISPA

May 5, 2012 -

Conservative-Tea Party-Libertarian activist and Ron Paul operative Jack Hunter tackles CISPA in the latest edition of his web show "The Deal with Jack Hunter" over on The Daily Caller. The show opens with a clip of a story about Congresswoman Jane Harman (D-California), who wrote a scathing letter to Attorney General Eric Holder because her phone had been wiretapped.

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Republican Presidential Candidate Ron Paul Tackles CISPA

April 24, 2012 -

Even though many have declared the Republican nomination process for selecting a presidential candidate over and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney the de facto winner of the contest, some candidates have not stopped running like soon-to-be-retired Texas congressman Ron Paul. We don't really care one way or the other about that race, but we do find the Libertarian-leaning candidate's take on the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) interesting.

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Republican National Convention Gets Technical with Google+, Skype, and Kinect

April 20, 2012 -

The Republican National Convention which is scheduled to take place in Tampa, Florida, hopes to be the most "tech-savvy" in the party's history. The RNC has teamed up with Microsoft and Google to provide the technology they want to offer attendees at this year's event. Republican National Convention organizers plan to live-stream all of this year's speeches, offer Google+ "hangouts," and to find unique ways to use Microsoft's Kinect technology during the event.

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Former Congresswoman and Lobbyist Joins Google

February 23, 2012 -

Former Republican congresswoman and lobbyist Susan Molinari has been named the head of Google’s Washington office, according to an exclusive report by Politico. The new job will put the former member of Congress of the front lines of privacy policy fights and laws legislation like SOPA, PIPA, and ACTA. The search engine giant is facing closer government scrutiny over its privacy policies and business practices.

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Congressmen Paul Ryan Opposes SOPA, Promises to Vote Against It

January 10, 2012 -

Wisconsin Republican Congressman Paul Ryan issued a short statement today on his official House website announcing that he strongly opposes the Stop Online Piracy Act and says that if it comes up for a vote on the floor of the House he will vote against it. While some credit a campaign on Reddit to oppose him in his upcoming election bid by supporting his Democratic opponent (which more than likely did have some affect on his decision), chances are he also got an earful from constituents that hate the bill sponsored by Lamar Smith (R-Texas).

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Rick Santorum Comments on SOPA at NH Campaign Stop

January 9, 2012 -

Mediaite chronicles Republican presidential Candidate Rick Santorum's views on the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) at a recent campaign event in New Hampshire.

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Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform Walks Back SOPA Support

January 6, 2012 -

If Grover Norquist isn't breaking up with SOPA, he's certainly taking some time to revealuate his relationship with the anti-piracy bill. The face of the conservative group Americans for Tax Reform is letting his underlings say the things he hasn't personally said about SOPA: he doesn't like it in its current form.

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Smith Says Reddit SOPA Protestors are 'Not Legitimate or Large in Number'

January 4, 2012 -

Speaking to political publication Roll Call, SOPA sponsor and House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) took shots earlier this week at critics of the bill that has gained as much bi-partisan opposition as it has support.

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Slay a Dragon for Ron Paul

December 16, 2011 -

Alex Beltramo, the lead developer of the web-based online game Dungeoneers, says that he's been quietly working on his game for years, and planned to keep it under wraps until it was finished but something came up: the presidential campaign. Beltramo believes strongly in Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul - so much so that he has pledged to give the candidate money the first time a player slays a dragon in his game. The game, for the record - is currently free. Here's Beltramo, in his own words:

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Ron Paul, Nancy Pelosi Voice Opposition to SOPA, Protect IP

November 18, 2011 -

In a strange twist of fate or because of some sort of cosmic alignment of certain planets, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul actually agree on something: they both think that the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and its Senate counterpart, the PROTECT IP Act, are bad ideas. The latest SOPA opponent is House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), but Paul has been against it from the start.

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EA Maxis Pokes Fun at Herman Cain's 9.9.9. Tax Plan

October 18, 2011 -

EA Maxis is having a bit of fun with Herman Cain's 9.9.9. tax plan this week with a new video created using various The Sims products. President Barack Obama, Texas Governor Rick Perry, and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney guest-star. You can check out the short video to your left.

If you're not familiar with the former Godfather Pizza CEO and Republican presidential candidate's plan, it promotes a 9 percent personal income tax, 9 percent corporate tax and a 9 percent national sales tax.

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How Political Forces Want to Use Facebook, Farmville for 2012 Election

September 26, 2011 -

According to a Gamasutra report pointing to an article in The San Francisco Chronicle Blog, a political consultant for Rep. Michele Bachmann's (R-Minn) Presidential campaign wants to use Zynga's popular Facebook game FarmVille to reach out to voters.

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Presidential Candidate Rick Perry Backs AT&T and T-Mobile Merger

September 1, 2011 -

Texas Republican Gov. Rick Perry sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission in May endorsing the proposed merger between telecommunications companies T-Mobile and AT&T. On Wednesday the Justice Department went to court to block the merger. The National Journal reports that one of the leading Republican presidential candidates is backing the proposed AT&T - T-Mobile merger.

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Republicans Unveil 2011 Tech Agenda

June 3, 2011 -

Yesterday House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) detailed the Republican tech agenda, a one-page list of priorities for Republican lawmakers in 2011 and beyond. While Republicans loathe regulations that stymie productivity and put a burden on businesses, they don't seem to have a problem with regulations on consumers' lives when it comes to flying, purchasing goods, legislating morality, or doing things on the Internet. In other words, regulations that punish the everyday citizen are cool, but regulations that keep corporations in check - like net neutrality - are bad.

The bullet points of the Republican tech agenda  are mostly conceptual and non-specific at this point, but here they are:

 

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FCC Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker Joins Comcast-NBC

May 12, 2011 -

Meredith Attwell Baker, one of the two Republican Commissioners at the Federal Communications Commission, plans to step down from the agency to take a lobbying job at Comcast-NBC. It's an odd turn of events, considering that at the time, Baker objected to the FCC attempts to impose conditions on the merger deal.

This news comes a mere four months after approving the deal. Now Baker will become a top DC lobbyist for the newly formed entity. The media and advocacy groups that opposed the merger are having a field day with the news.

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House Republicans Move Against Net Neutrality Rules

March 10, 2011 -

House Republicans today took the first small step towards overturning the Federal Communication Commission’s net neutrality rules. On Wednesday, the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology voted 15-8 to pass a resolution that kills the FCC rules. The resolution will now go before the full House Committee on Energy and Commerce, where Republicans will have enough votes to get it passed. The resolution will make it to the House floor in the next couple of weeks.

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Congressional Caucus Formed to Support Video Game Industry

February 16, 2011 -

Members of Congress and representatives from the video game industry launched a new caucus this morning at an event on Capitol Hill, reports Gamasutra. The "Caucus for Competitiveness in Entertainment Technology" (E-Tech Caucus) wants to champion issues that help foster growth in the interactive entertainment sector.

This first caucus meeting is attended by Congressman Kevin Brady (R-TX), co-chair and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Cooney Center executive director Michael H. Levine, Ph.D., Entertainment Software Association CEO Michael Gallagher, and other members of the caucus.

Republicans Amend Bill to Take Down Net Neutrality

December 17, 2010 -

The highest-ranking Republican member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee has filed an amendment to an appropriations bill to put a hold on funding for any new net neutrality rules passed by the FCC. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison's (R-Texas) amendment was co-signed by John Ensign (R-Nevada) and six other Republican lawmakers.

The amendment to a bill for military and veterans construction projects would "prohibit the FCC from using any appropriated funds to adopt, implement or otherwise litigate any network neutrality based rules, protocols or standards."

The FCC is set to vote on net neutrality rules December 21 at its December meeting.

Source: Washington Post

6 comments

Linda McMahon: Videogame Character

May 19, 2010 -

It's hard to be a candidate who is a part of an industry that makes its money off of gratuitous violence. Linda McMahon, like California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, has made millions off of an industry that has no problems with using sex, violence and adult themes to sell its image. But the Connecticut senatorial candidate running in the Republican primary shares another distinction with the Governator: she's a playable video game character, as the video in this story shows.

In arguably one of the best wrestling video games ever made -- WWF No Mercy -- Linda, complete her husband's "Mac Stunner" finisher, is an unlockable, playable character. Linda is also part of a storyline involving her daughter Stephanie McMahon and real life husband Hunter Herst Helmsely. In the segment, which starts at the 4:10 mark and ends at the 5:29 mark, Linda enters the ring, makes a ruling on a world championship match against wrestler Kennedy and then gives both her daughter and Triple H a "Mac Stunner" after her daughter attempts to slap her across the face.

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Conservative Conference Adds Games, Hopes to be “Off the Hook”

February 17, 2010 -

The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) kicks off tomorrow in Washington D.C. and organizers of the event are turning to videogames and hip-hop in an attempt to ramp up the event’s attraction to a younger audience.

Fox News reports that videogames will be featured in a room called the XPAC Lounge, or as one event organizer termed it, the “hub of fun.” The lounge was the brain-child of radio host Kevin McCullough and actor Stephen Baldwin.

Ten videogame stations will be featured in all, offering attendees the chance to play games such as Guitar Hero, Dance Dance Revolution and Call of Duty.

The XPAC Lounge will also be home to a late night “rap/jam” session on Thursday night. The article questions the viability of such a function in light of Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele’s (pictured) failed past attempts at interjecting hip-hop culture into conservative principals. Steele previously published a blog entitled “What Up?” that he eventually killed in reaction to ridicule of the name and he also reportedly once described a GOP public relations initiative as “off the hook.”

CPAC Director Lisa De Pasquale seemed to think that “the energy” is flowing more towards conservative candidates right now, adding, “To be a rebel on campus, you have to be a conservative."

5,000 people are pre-registered for the conference, 61.0 percent of whom are students.

34 comments

38 Studios Boss Schilling Mulls Bid For Ted Kennedy's Senate Seat

September 3, 2009 -

Will former Red Sox ace Curt Schilling run for the Senate seat vacated by the recent death of Ted Kennedy?

If he does, how will MMO development at his company, 38 Studios be affected?

These remain open questions following yesterday's acknowledgement by Schilling that he is considering a bid for the late Kennedy's former spot. Writing on his 38 Pitches blog, Schilling was candid about his potential foray into big-time politics:

While my family is obviously the priority, and 38 Studios is a priority, I do have some interest in the possibility [of running]. That being said, to get to there from where I am today, many many things would have to align themselves for that to truly happen. I am not going to comment further on the matter since at this point it would be speculation on top of speculation.

Although Bloomberg reports that Schilling is a registered Independent, as GamePolitics reported during last year's presidential race, Schilling stumped for Republican contender John McCain. He is most definitely not an Obama fan.

The Boston Globe has additional quotes on the Senate issue from Schilling, including this one:

I'm not going to divulge the discussions, but I've been contacted by people whose opinion I give credence to and listen to, and I listened...

30 comments

Washington State A.G. Partners with ESA on Cyber Safety

September 3, 2009 -

Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna (left) has partnered with game publishers' lobbying group ESA and Web Wise kids on an educational program aimed at keeping children safe online.

A press release issued by McKenna's office quotes the A.G. on the initiative:

The devices that kids love, from smartphones to computers, are also being used to subject them to cyberbullying, scams and online stalkers. This program deploys a technology that’s very familiar to kids – video games – to teach   important lessons about staying safe in cyberspace.

ESA boss Michael Gallagher was on hand for the announcement, along with Web Wise Kids president Judi Westburg Warren and Washington's Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn. Gallagher offered his comment:

The ESA Foundation is proud to provide the resources to launch this cutting-edge initiative. With the industry presence of Microsoft, Nintendo and other leading video game companies, Washington is a natural fit for launching this program. Working together, we believe the Web Wise Kids program will help educators teach Washington’s youth how to stay safe online...

A.G. McKenna, a Republican, has previously endorsed the ESRB rating system.

13 comments

Former LucasArts CEO Launches Bid for Seat in Congress

August 15, 2009 -

Jim Ward, who left the CEO job at video game publisher LucasArts in early 2008, is now hoping to win a seat in Congress.

Ward, a Republican who currently works as a venture capitalist, is running to represent Arizona's 5th Congressional District. That seat is currently held by two-term Democrat Harry Mitchell. The district includes Scottsdale, Tempe and parts of Phoenix.

Ward outlines his philosophy on his campaign website:

I’m not a professional politician.  I’m a businessman.  And I don’t disagree that this country needs change.  But, in my experience, there’s the right kind of change and the wrong kind of change.  I believe what’s happening to this country represents the wrong kind of change...

Ward lists his political philosophy as conservative on Facebook. He has protested (see pic at left) against President Obama's healthcare plan.

Partially via: Kotaku

230 comments

Democrats Dominate Video Game Industry's 2009 Campaign Giving

August 13, 2009 -

Mid-year documents filed with the Federal Elections Commission indicate that the video game industry is currently leaning to the Democratic side of the aisle when it comes to Congressional campaign donations.

ESA PAC, the political action committee of game publishers group the Entertainment Software Association, has disbursed $12,400 to Congressional candidates so far in 2009. All but $1,000 of those funds went to Democrats or Democratic PACs. Here's the breakdown:

  • Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL) - $3,000
  • Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-FL) - $1,000  (Meek is running for a vacant Senate seat)
  • New Democratic Coalition PAC - $2,000
  • Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT) - $2,400
  • Sen. John Thune (R-SD) - $1,000
  • Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) - $1,000
  • Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) - $1,000
  • Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) - $1,000

The contributions will be used by recipients for the 2010 mid-term elections. South Dakota's Thune is the only Republican among those receiving ESA PAC money so far in 2009.

DOCUMENT DUMP: Grab a copy of the ESA PAC mid-year report here...

Misspelling Behind Ebay Removal of Sarah Palin Xbox 360?

August 13, 2009 -

Recently, GamePolitics reported on a million dollar Ebay listing for an Xbox 360 supposedly autographed by former Alasksa Governor Sarah Palin.

Canadian David Morrill told the Anchorage Daily News that he obtained the signature from Palin at a picnic event earlier in the summer. The auction was quickly removed by Ebay, however, with no explanation forthcoming.

Not long after, a second auction which advertised a "replica" of the original Palin 360 appeared. That listing, clearly a parody, also has been removed.

Now, David Sheets, who blogs about games for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, has a theory as to why the original listing was taken down. Sheets believes that Palin's first name is misspelled:

Game Guy thinks he knows why the bid was yanked. If you look closely at the signature, former Gov. Palin’s first name appears to lack the final “h.” Last he heard, she spelled her first name “Sarah,” not “Sara.” Even Alaska’s official website spells it with an “h.”

And hey, you can’t ask for a cool $1.1 million for a signed Xbox if the signee can’t spell her name correctly.

GP: I'm no handwriting expert, but I'm not so sure that I buy into Sheets's theory. For one thing, the ex-Guv's purported autograph tails off after the "r" in "Sarah," as if she (or whoever wrote it) was signing hastily. So the missing "h" is not all that farfetched. Beyond that, the authenticity of high-priced autographs is always an issue, which may have prompted the Ebay removal.

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Matthew Wilsonthe issue is when is doesn't work it can screw over millions in new york city's case. more often than not it is better to let the free market run its course without market distortion.04/16/2014 - 9:36am
NeenekoTrue, and overdone stagnation is a problem. It is a tricky balance. It does not help that when it does work, no one notices. Most people here have benifited from rent controls and not even realized it.04/16/2014 - 9:23am
ZippyDSMleehttp://www.afterdawn.com/news/article.cfm/2014/04/15/riaa_files_civil_suit_against_megaupload04/16/2014 - 8:48am
ZippyDSMleeEither way you get stagnation as people can not afford the prices they set.04/16/2014 - 8:47am
Neenekowell, specifically it helps people already living there and hurts people who want to live there instead. As for 'way more hurt', majorities generally need less legal protection. yes it hurt more people then it helped, it was written for a minority04/16/2014 - 8:30am
MaskedPixelantehttp://torrentfreak.com/square-enix-drm-boosts-profits-and-its-here-to-stay-140415/ Square proves how incredibly out of touch they are by saying that DRM is the way of the future, and is here to stay.04/16/2014 - 8:29am
james_fudgeUnwinnable Weekly Telethon playing Metal Gear http://www.twitch.tv/rainydayletsplay04/16/2014 - 8:06am
ConsterTo be fair, there's so little left of the middle class that those numbers are skewing.04/16/2014 - 7:42am
Matthew Wilsonyes it help a sub section of the poor, but hurt both the middle and upper class. in the end way more people were hurt than helped. also, it hurt most poor people as well.04/16/2014 - 12:13am
SeanBJust goes to show what I have said for years. Your ability to have sex does not qualify you for parenthood.04/15/2014 - 9:21pm
NeenekoSo "worked" vs "failed" really comes down to who you think is more important and deserving04/15/2014 - 7:04pm
NeenekoThough I am also not sure we can say NYC failed. Rent control helped the people it was intended for and is considered a failure by the people it was designed to protect them from.04/15/2014 - 7:04pm
NeenekoIf they change the rules, demand will plummet. Though yeah, rent control probably would not help much in the SF case. I doubt anything will.04/15/2014 - 1:35pm
TheSmokeyOnline gamer accused of murdering son to keep playing - http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Crime/2014/04/15/21604921.html04/15/2014 - 11:50am
Matthew Wilsonyup, but curent city rules do not allow for that.04/15/2014 - 11:00am
ZippyDSMleeIf SF dose not start building upwards then they will price people out of the aera.04/15/2014 - 10:59am
Matthew Wilsonthe issue rent control has it reduces supply, and in SF case they already has a supply problem. rent control ofen puts rent below cost, or below profit of selling it. rent control would not fix this issue.04/15/2014 - 10:56am
NeenekoRent control is useful in moderation, NYC took it way to far and tends to be held up as an example of them not working, but in most cases they are more subtle and positive.04/15/2014 - 10:24am
PHX CorpBeating Cancer with Video Games http://mashable.com/2014/04/14/steven-gonzalez-survivor-games/04/15/2014 - 9:21am
Matthew Wilsonwhat are you saying SF should do rent control, that has never worked every time it has been tried. the issue here is a self inflicted supply problem imposed by stupid laws.04/15/2014 - 8:52am
 

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