Emerging Tech

special report

We The People

We the People was launched on Whitehouse.gov for petitioning the Obama administration. Online petitions that meet a threshold of signatures are reviewed by officials. Popular petitions have included federal legalization of marijuana, UFO investigations and secession from the United States.

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A member of the St. Louis County Police Department points his weapon in the direction of a group of protesters in Ferguson, Mo.

We the People Weighs in on Ferguson

August 15 The popular petition site is calling for new technology to curb police abuse.

White House Makes It Easier to Sign We the People Petitions

June 26 Site no longer requires an account.

The Canadian pop star's concerts involve pyrotechnics and backupdancers.

White House: No Deportation for Justin Bieber

April 21 Obama administration declines to comment on anti-Bieber We the People petition.

Not a Belieber: Senator Offers to Sign Digital Petition to Deport Pop Star

February 4 Warner tells Virginia radio show that he'll join the We the People effort once he finds it online.

Never Say Never: Bieber Deportation Lands on Obama's Desk

January 31 We The People petition gets enough signatures to require a White House response.

The White House Owes Responses to 30 Citizen Petitions; Some Have Been Waiting for Years

January 2 The administration faces a backlog of qualifying petitions under a program it created.

FCC Deal Makes It Easier to Unlock Your Cellphone

December 13, 2013 Agreement comes after 114,000 people petitioned the White House.

This 6-Year-Old Wants to Be an Astronaut, So He's Petitioning the White House to Save NASA

December 10, 2013 Connor Johnson started by donating his allowance to the cause. Then he decided to do more.

Protestors gathered in Kiev on Nov. 30.

We the Ukrainian People

December 2, 2013 The White House site has been flooded with petitions related to violence in the former Soviet state.

White House Must Weigh In on Kimmel-China Controversy

November 22, 2013 We the People petitioners upset after child on Kimmel’s show suggests killing Chinese people.

Testers Wanted for New Tool to Make It Easier to Petition the White House

November 4, 2013 We the People Write API will help groups gather petition signatures.

 Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., is one of the lawmakers signed up for the service.

Now You Can Petition Some Members of Congress Directly

October 23, 2013 Paul Ryan and Elizabeth Warren are among the early adopters of a website that invites citizens to tell lawmakers what they really want.

A Key Element of SOPA Is Back

August 27, 2013 And so are the petitioners on We the People, as they try to keep YouTube song covers from becoming felonies.

Analysis: Is Online Transparency Just a Feel-Good Sham?

August 21, 2013 Programs claim to let Americans participate more directly in government, with few tangible results, critics say.

The White House Didn't Promise to Respond Quickly

August 14, 2013 Website listing unanswered We the People petitions is built with streaming data supplied by the White House.

Miley Cyrus performs on NBC's 'Today' at Rockefeller Center, in New York.

Miley Cyrus Fans Petition the White House for a New National Anthem

July 8, 2013 More than 300 people have signed on to replace "The Star-Spangled Banner" with "Party in the USA."

Newtown, Aurora Victims Seek National Compassion Fund on White House Petition Site

March 28, 2013 The proposal would deliver tax-deductible donations to victims’ families with no overhead.

President Barack Obama uses a laptop computer to send a tweet during a "Twitter Town Hall."

How Obama's Tech Tools are Changing the Debate

March 5, 2013 Critics deride the White House's fondness for platforms like Google Plus and web petitions, but they're proving potent tools for surfacing issues the media would otherwise ignore.

When the people speak, is anyone listening?

February 5, 2013 Secession petitions point out strengths and weaknesses of White House website.