Science by the people, for the people; @Snowden on Twitter; and more.

  • This is civic tech: The annual Code for America Summit starts this morning on the west coast and is streaming its main hall sessions live. I’ll be attending along with my colleague Erin Simpson—come say hi!

  • The White House is holding a live webcast forum on citizen science and crowdsourcing called “Open Science and Innovation: Of the People, By the People, For the People” today from 8am-noon EDT. Watch at

  • Chicago’s sharp-elbowed Mayor Rahm Emanuel is planning to privatize his city’s pioneering 311 operation, Russell Berman reports for The Atlantic. It’s not clear from his story, though, whether Emanuel—who has run into criticism for privatizing other city services like its parking meter system—is merely seeking to shift the call-center work to a cheaper, non-unionized vendor, which could save the city a measly $1 million, or if he is looking for a company that will modernize the whole 311 system.

  • The Smart Chicago Collaborative has just launched “The @CivicWhitaker Anthology,” a collection of Christopher Whitaker’s writings on civic tech.

  • The Council for Big Data, Ethics, and Society is calling on researchers, practitioners, and educators to provide case studies based on real-world examples that examine complex issues of data ethics.

  • Snowden’s new platform: NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is now on Twitter at @snowden, Dan Froomkin reports for The Intercept. His decision to start using the service appears to have been prompted by an interview he recently did with astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. “You and I will be Twitter buddies,” Snowden told Tyson. “Your followers will be: the Internet, me, and the NSA.”

  • Hilariously, @snowden has chosen to follow just one account so far: @NSAGov, the official account for the National Security Agency.

  • Former New York Governor George Pataki called on Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to “not give a platform to terrorists or traitors” and to “shutdown @snowden,” The Guardian’s Ben Jacobs notes.

  • Dorsey didn’t respond directly to Pataki, but instead tweeted a welcome to Snowden, retweeted him saying “Hero, traitor—I’m just a citizen with a voice,” and also a graphic showing “the world’s response” to Snowden’s joining the site.

  • Speaking of Twitter, after winning one of the MacArthur Foundation’s flagship “genius” grants, writer Ta-Nehisi Coates went on a tweet-storm yesterday to DEMOLISH the whole notion of “GENIUS.” Just read a bit back in his timeline for the full flavor.