Switzerland of Bits: crowdfunding a haven for freedom of information & free expression

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Since the International Modern Media Institute was founded in 2011 it has been an independent watchdog and advocacy group working to promote and protect freedom of expression and freedom of information.

The Icelandic Parliament resolved unanimously to make Iceland a Safe Haven for freedom of expression and freedom of information. These intended legal protections promote whistleblowing, journalism and online rights. It is local in scope but global in impact.

Over the last week the world has witnessed the revelations of the Panama Papers making public the offshore dealings of politicians and business leaders. Offshore tax havens serve two functions; to avoid tax and to hide ownership. Already, in Iceland, the Prime Minister has been forced to resign as a consequence of these reports which unveiled his offshore dealings.

The Panama Papers were the result of a whistleblower coming forth with information and a huge team of investigative journalists working to verify data and coordinating its reporting. The safe haven initiative aims to encourage and promote governmental transparency, holding power to account, empowering citizens and thereby democracy.

IMMI conducts legal research, advocates for legislative reform and is an active participant in working groups established to implement a legislative framework in Iceland where journalism and online rights are protected and supported. This includes drafting and implementing an act on whistleblower protection, fighting to remove data retention from Icelandic law, drafting and promoting legislation on the limited liability of intermediaries and a host of other measures.

In order to protect democracy, real and meaningful democracy, freedom of expression and freedom of information must to be protected, ensuring access to information and freedom of the media. Read the rest

Kickstarting a history of women and free speech in comics from CBLDF

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Charles from the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund sez, "CBLDF is kickstarting She Changed Comics, a history of how women changed free expression in comics!" Read the rest

Kickstarting interactive theater about the Uber for Everything apocalypse

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Tassos writes, "I’m one of Coney, who make all kinds of play where the audience can take meaningful part. I’m writing and game-designing REMOTE, a new piece of ticklishly interactive theatre, exploring the limits of human agency inside big pervasive systems of capital and technology." Read the rest

Kickstarting the next Girl Genius collection

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Phil Foglio, co-creator of the amazing Girl Genius comics, writes, "We are Kickstarting our latest Girl Genius collection; City of Lightning through April 12." Read the rest

Crowdfunded retro game console prototype was nothing but cardboard

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The makers of the Coleco Chameleon retro console wanted $2m to manufacture it—and raised more than $80,000 in an Indiegogo campaign.

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Kickstarting a pirate-themed programming book for kids, with accompanying app

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Simon writes, "With just 3 days to run, this Kickstarter to make 'Beep Beep Yarr!' a fantastic, pirate-themed programming book for kids needs your support to graduate." Read the rest

Kickstarting a guide to the Portland locations in Cleary's "Ramona" books

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Beverly Cleary's Ramona books delighted generations of young readers. Elly from Microcosm Press (previously) writes, "Walking with Ramona: Exploring Beverly Cleary's Portland is the first ever guidebook to the neighborhood and time when Mrs. Cleary grew up and set her Ramona books." Read the rest

Crowdfunding an English translation of the story of activists who kept the Internet on during the Arab Spring

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Stephan Urbach is part of Telecomix (previously), activists who worked tirelessly to keep the Internet on during the Arab Spring, when endangered despots were killswitching net links in a bid to keep protest from spreading. Read the rest

Kickstarting a season of monthly Relatively Primes, a great math podcast

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Samuel writes, "The mathematics podcast Relatively Prime (previously) is currently running a Kickstarter to fund a third season, this time with monthly episode. The episodes will features stories about how network theory can help better understand cancer, how a marijuana dispensary license lottery is designed, and the act of mathematical vandalism which liberated algebra from the shackles of arithmetic. There really aren't any other mathematics podcasts out there like Relatively Prime and if the Kickstarter is not funded there really won't be any at all." Read the rest

Crowdfunding Wooden Shoe, an anti-profit bookstore and infoshop in Philadelphia

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Philadelphia's Wooden Shoe Bookstore is 40 years old: it's a collectively run, volunteer "anti-profit" bookstore; they're hoping to raise $25,000 for much-needed remodelling and refurbishment. Read the rest

Kickstarting performances and videos about a future where things get better

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Alex Steffen writes, "Our culture is full of dire predictions, disaster scenarios and post-apocalyptic tales. It’s astonishing, though, how few stories we tell about futures where humanity succeeds. That’s a problem. I believe it’s literally true that we can’t build what we can’t imagine. The fact that we haven’t compellingly imagined a thriving, dynamic, sustainable world is a major reason we don’t already live in one." Read the rest

Crowdfunding "The Haystack": an independent documentary on surveillance in the UK

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Edward Snowden said that Britain's spies have "some of the most extensive surveillance powers in the world," and those powers are about to be dramatically expanded if the Snoopers Charter passes Parliament. Read the rest

Scissors with a right-angle bend

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The Rightshears don't exist yet, but the inventors have promised a crowdfunding campaign to conjure them into reality, soon. (via Oh Gizmo) Read the rest

Kickstarting a new, Gormenghastian comic from Paul Di Filippo

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The Black Mill is a New Weird comic from Paul Di Filippo, a treasure of science fiction, drawn by Orion Zangara and colored and lettered by Derek Chase. Read the rest

Kickstarting a tool to block robocalls and tie up scammers

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Roger Anderson, a telephony expert, developed the Jolly Roger Telephone Company to block and madden robocallers. Read the rest

Kickstarting a set of super-nerdy, pan-dimensional RPG dice

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David sez, "The Tesseract Dice are unique, science themed dice, with shapes ranging from 4-D cubes, to Tesla coils to atomic explosions. Its goal is to bring unique and fun science themed game pieces to the gaming community." Read the rest

Kickstarting "Uprising - A Post-Apocalyptic Robot Comedy"

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Ben Hansford writes about his Kickstarter campaign for a short film called "Uprising - A Post-Apocalyptic Robot Comedy,"On the surface it's a comedy - but at its heart it's a story about me (an idiot man-child) becoming a responsible father. It's also a one-man show, with me doing all of the development, production, post, and visual effects on a shoe-string budget. But most importantly, Uprising is my chance to do my film, my way, with my friends and family by my side." Read the rest

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