The big debates and legislation of our time, from health care to economic stimulus, appear to be fueling interest in online government information. The government and third parties have responded with a flood of new data. A new survey from the Pew Internet and American Life Project finds four in 10 Internet users go online to get data about government spending and activities, while three in 10 use social media ad other tech tools the engage with the government.

Guest: Aaron Smith, Pew Internet

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American privacy law is outdated and needs to be refreshed to keep up with today’s digital tools, according to a coalition of technology companies and advocacy groups. Microsoft, Google, and AT&T as well as the Center for Democracy and Technology, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the ACLU say they will push Congress to revamp the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. The law, enacted in 1986, covers government access to personal data.

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Many United Kingdom libraries and universities are crying foul over proposed legislation that could make them responsible for the actions of people using their wireless networks.

The Digital Economy Bill, winding its way through the Parliament, includes a provision that would suspend Internet accounts of users accused of copyright infringement for the third time. The government has refused to provide exceptions for operators of public Wi-Fi hotspots, including Internet cafes, libraries and universities.

Guest: Lillian Edwards, University of Sheffield

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Activists working to develop an alternative American voting system have turned loose their first batch of software code for public review. The Open Source Digital Voting Foundation is spearheading a project to build new voting machines to replace proprietary systems currently in place. The group is in the second year of a an eight-year plan to produce a publicly-owned, open source election system.

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