17 February 2023
- On Wednesday an international consortium of journalists published the results of an undercover report into a group known as ‘Team Jorge’, led by a former Israeli intelligence operative, which claims to have been involved in manipulating more than 30 elections globally, including those in Europe and the US. The report provides a detailed account of meetings that took place, wherein the journalists, posing as potential clients, had services demonstrated to them. These included the capacity to access private communications such as email and even encrypted telegram conversations, as well as control thousands of puppet social media accounts with deep backgrounds, in order to manipulate public opinion.
- Citizenlab, this week announced its ‘Konveio integration’ — a tool for streamlining the process of gathering and implementing public comment and feedback on documents involved in a planning or policy process. The upgrade for CitizenLab projects allows members of the public to comment, make notations and ask questions directly onto specific sections of important documents, while maintaining the structure and formatting of a pdf.
- Participatory budgeting is seen as being likely to get a huge boost through the American Rescue Plan Act, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act. The spending bills, which include billions in new public spending, also include large allocations to cities and municipalities that are currently unallocated to specific projects, opening the door for not only a boost to existing participatory budgets, but a boom in new ones across the country.