News & Opinion

Support for freelance journalist sentenced to five years in prison

Freelance journalist Barrett Brown, charged with posting a link to a file of stolen data  including the credit card numbers of subscribers to the intelligence firm, Stratfor, was sentenced by a Texas judge to five years and three months in prison. The charges of posting the hyperlink brought Brown a lot of attention from First […]

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California Brown Act roundup: Alleged open meeting violations cited in Chico

An attorney specializing in freedom of information law alleged the Chico City Council violated the Brown Act, California’s open meeting law, by discussing employee pay during closed session; not reporting actions taken by the council in closed session; not reporting the votes by council members in closed session; taking up matters not exempted  from open […]

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Libel: Paris mayor plans lawsuit against Fox for bogus claims about no-go zones for non-Muslims

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said she would sue Fox News for reporting that there are sections of Paris under Islamic law where police are afraid to go. Fox also aired a “security expert” who claimed that Birmingham, England was a Muslim city where non-Muslims do not enter. Fox apologized for the stories. (CNN Money, January […]

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Boston muzzles city employees on topic of Olympic bid for 2024

Boston mayor Martin J. Walsh signed an agreement banning negative comment by city employees about the Olympic Games. The news came as critics worried about the cost of the event and the lack of transparency in Boston’s plans to host the 2014 Summer Games. (The New York Times, January 21, 2015, by Katharine Q. Seelye) […]

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Federal whistleblower wins in Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that an air marshal was protected by a federal whistleblower law. Air Marshal Robert J. MacLean was fired for protesting a cut in hours for Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employees after a secret briefing about terrorists threats on long-distance flights. MacLean complained to his superiors arguing that the cuts would […]

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Leading news outlets sign on for drone journalism testing

Ten news outlets including The New York Times, The Washington Post and the Associated Press will begin testing drones at a Congress-approved test site. (International Journalists’ Network, January 15, 2015, by Ashley Nguyen) The ten will conduct the drone tests with Virginia Tech joining CNN who is conducting their tests with the Georgia Institute of […]

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Debate intensifies over net neutrality as FCC nears decision

Congressional Republicans released its draft net neutrality legislation that would block the Federal Communications Commission from regulating the broadband industry. The legislation bans the FCC from reclassifying broadband as a common carrier service rendering them powerless in regulating broadband. (Ars Technica, January 16, 2015, by Jon Brodkin) Sprint surprised the world of Internet providers by […]

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Free speech: Hypocrisy cited in French response to Paris terrorism

Notwithstanding the demonstrations in France supporting the free speech rights of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, the French government continues to regard free speech as a right conferred by the government rather than a natural right of all citizens, argues Fox analyst Andrew Napolitano.  Those who wore “I am Charlie Hebdo” buttons and headbands marched […]

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U.S. Attorney General strengthens free press in new guidelines

Outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder announced new standards for protecting journalists. Prosecutors must consult with the Justice Department’s Policy and Statutory Enforcement Union before taking steps involving reporters including issuing subpoenas and questioning, arresting or bringing charges for actions undertaken in reporting the news. (McClatchyDC, January 14, 2015, by Michael Doyle) Holder changed the wording […]

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Facebook’s Zuckerberg challenged over stance on Charlie Hebdo terrorism

Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg expressed his solidarity with the French in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebro terrorist attack by reminding us that he had stood up to a Pakistani who wanted his neck for not censoring content about the Prophet Mohammed the man felt was offensive. (TechTimes, January 10, 2015, by Aaron Mamilt) But […]

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