Tracking positive police-civilian interactions; making Hillary Clinton sound like a techie (a stretch even by her account); and more.

  • Blasts from the past: The State Department has posted a whole batch of Hillary Clinton’s emails (4,368 in all) in searchable format, though the Wall Street Journal’s tool works a bit better. Some fascinating finds to those of us with an interest in Clinton’s policies on Internet freedom:

    • Clinton’s December 29, 2009 response to her staff’s first draft of her 2010 internet freedom speech: “This looks fine and makes me sound like a techie (which is good, albeit a stretch.)”

    • A January 25, 2010 email from Anne-Marie Slaughter, Clinton’s top policy advisor in 2010, sharing the news that a Chinese blogger said Clinton’s speech on internet freedom “was like a song to his heart.” Clinton replies, “That is so gratifying!”

    • Clinton counsel Cheryl Mills forwarding her a September 24, 2010 email from Alec Ross, a top deputy who was working on the Internet freedom agenda, describing the “1st known case of a successful social media campaign in Syria.” (Ross also reflects on his and Jared Cohen’s high-profile trip there in June 2010, writing “When Jared and I went to Syria, it was because we knew Syrian society was growing increasingly young…and digital and that this was going to create disruptions in society that we could potential [sic] harness for our purposes.)”

    • Clinton responds to a Roger Cohen New York Times op-ed praising the good works of the U.S. Foreign Service, which had its internal communications exposed by Wikileaks in the fall of 2010, with two words: “Not bad.”

    • A November 24, 2010 email from New York Times reporter Scott Shane to State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley reading, “In view of wires, etc, and not for attribution please, we don’t think WL [Wikileaks] is going to dump 250k cables on the web anytime soon. We think they will for now follow guidance of other publications and the initial numbers will be small. But multiple people seem to have the whole collection, so who knows.” Crowley forwards the email up the chain, with the comment, “Potentially great news.”

    You can download all the Clinton emails from here.

  • This is civic tech: Meedan, the global journalism/translation company, has unveiled Bridge, a new mobile tool for translating social media posts in close to real-time, and Joseph Lichterman of Nieman Lab reports on its early findings around the recent Suez Canal opening. Looking ahead, Meedan founder Ed Bice says, “We are thinking about how we bring micropayments, virtual currencies, incentive models into an ecosystem where someone can request a translation, a journalist who is breaking a news story and needs an immediate translation can query the network with a request for translation.” Here are some examples of Bridge translations coming out of the #YouStink protests currently underway in Lebanon.

  • Christopher Moraff reports for NextCity on pilot program in Chicago called “RespectStat” that “rates civilian encounters with the police based on indicators such as an officer’s level of respect, helpfulness and competence,” providing the city’s police department with current information on varying levels of community attitudes towards the police.

  • U.S. Open Data’s Waldo Jaquith is joining the Sunlight Foundation as a part-time senior technology adviser. Congrats!

  • President Obama posts to the White House Instagram account as he arrives in Anchorage.

  • Future, Imperfect: A Seattle city councilman is proposing legislation to allow Uber drivers to collectively bargain with the company, Lydia DePillis reports for the Washington Post. As independent contractors, the drivers aren’t allowed to unionize under federal law, but Councilmember Mike O’Brien wants to let them vote on a non-profit organization that would serve as their “exclusive driver representative” and negotiate on their behalf.