News & Opinion

Washington Post reporter arrested in Iran

Iran arrested Jason Rezaian, a Washington Post reporter, last week. The Iranians did not offer much information on the reasons for Rezaian’s arrest saying that he was detained for questioning. Rezaaian who holds U.S.-Iranian dual citizenship was detained with his Iranian wife also a reporter. (The Washington Post, July 25, 2014, by Ernesto Londono and William […]

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Big bro is watching you: Reporters need to protect themselves when doing online investigations

When journalists do online investigations of perhaps the National Security Agency, they are without knowing it allowing the NSA to know their identity.  Kevin Gallagher of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, July 28, 2014, suggests that journalists should protect their anonymity by using the Tor Browser or a Virtual Private Network (VPN) when working […]

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Open source map of US Drone No-Fly Zones

US rights update: Add commercial-drone fly zones; subtract abortion clinic “censorship zones “

News headlines from around the nation affecting your rights: Coming Soon-- drone-to-door delivery: According to POLITICO, President Obama will issue an executive order to establish privacy guidelines for commercial drones operating in U.S. airspace. The order, led by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, will not address government use of drones. So where are drones not [...]
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CA Open Gov News Roundup

CA Open Gov News Roundup: LA Times sues for records of parolees charged with rape/murder of four women

The LA Times’ suit against the Dept. of Corrections and San Jose’s draft Sunshine law are headlines that offer a succinct summary of our state government’s commitment to transparency: it’s a work in progress.  Here’s more on those and other CA public access stories:   The Los Angeles Times has sued the California Department of Corrections (CDCR) for records on Franc […]

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Free expression: A Cal state university administration bristles over ‘risque’ fundraiser on student radio station

A San Luis Obispo California state university is considering its options including selling the license of their student-run FM radio station after a fundraiser offering photos of student DJs’ genitals in return for donations. School administrators have asked the station’s faculty adviser to develop a plan to prevent future incidents and to improve the educational […]

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Ninth Circuit finds First Amendment right to information on Arizona executions using lethal injection

A panel of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that Arizona erred in withholding information about lethal injection drugs from a man slated for execution. The ruling contravened other recent court rulings upholding secrecy on executions using lethal drugs. In a 2-1 decision, the Court found a First Amendment right to know the details […]

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California Brown Act roundup: School district alleged to conduct business outside of public meeting

Two principals fired by Bassett Unified school district are suing for a list of grievances including Brown Act violations. One of the men alleged that the district made a decision to place him on administrative leave outside of a board meeting. (San Gabriel Valley Tribune, July 14, 2014, by Jason Henry) An investigation by the […]

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Free speech: Federal appeals court says Texas can’t stifle Conderate flag license plates

Ruling that messages on specialty plates were “private speech” rather than government statements, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals reversed a lower court ruling allowing Texas to censor plates with the Confederate battle flag. (Jurist, July 16, 2014, by Ann Schober) The Fifth Circuit decision found viewpoint discrimination and a violation of First Amendment […]

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Federal appeals court finds for police officer retaliated against after testifying in overtime dispute

A police officer disciplined for testifying in a fellow officer’s case against the Los Angeles Police Department for forcing him to work through lunch without overtime prevailed in the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The Ninth Circuit found that the department had admitted that the officer was disciplined for testifying and upheld damages awarded […]

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‘Dateline’ faces defamation charge in federal court

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court decision in ruling that there were sufficient grounds for a trail in a defamation case involving a “Dateline” episode that allegedly libeled the owner of a insurance education firm. “Dateline” reporters had secretly filmed a seminar put on by the firm, supposedly libeling the owner […]

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