Today TechCrunch announces the debut of CrunchGov, a new digital hub for information on technology policy, for the election and beyond.
Answering the need for a comprehensive resource at the intersection of technology and politics, CrunchGov employs brand new tools for interactive citizenship. The site is composed of three parts:
- Report card: CrunchGov classifies members of Congress as advocates or opponents of tech policy according to how closely their voting record matches the tech industry’s opinions on issues as determined by verified tech lobby organizations.
- In speaking with these groups, TechCrunch found the industry to have strong opinions on the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), crowdsourcing and opportunities for high-skilled immigrants.
- Grades are presented on an A to F scale, with representatives whose voting record contradicted the overall opinions of the tech industry receiving failing grades, and those whose votes aligned with these opinions garnering top marks.
- Crowdsourcing: CrunchGov’s public markup utility harnesses the knowledge and expertise of the public, letting them comment on and propose amendments to drafted bill language. In providing a space to solicit public feedback on actual topics facing Congress, CrunchGov aims to avoid poorly crafted laws and provide a public forum in which major companies can post their own suggested edits.
- Legislative database: Readers can access a comprehensive database of bills currently under review in Congress that provides details, related news stories and a list of supporting and opposing politicians for a holistic view of what’s at stake when it comes to tech legislation.
“CrunchGov is all about getting to Democracy 2.0,” said Greg Ferenstein, CrunchGov creator and writer at TechCrunch. “At the most basic level, it’s a resource for curious wonks and conscientious journalists. But more than that, we’ve seen technology democratize all kinds of industries, so why not use it to democratize democracy itself?”