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Author Archive | donal brown

Social media companies ramp up censorship in response to alt-right extremism

In the wake of the Charlottesville car attack, Reddit and Facebook are removing hate groups from their venues. Reddit removed r/Physical_Removal, a site that advocates concentration camps, racial segregation and included the wish that CNN would be bombed and the threat that if Trump is impeached people would be massacred and maimed and left to […]

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Sierra Club pushing for transparency in study of fossil fuel role in power grid

Suspecting that the Energy Department study of energy sources is primed to undermine  the position of renewable energy such as wind and solar, the Sierra Club is suing the department for ignoring its Freedom of Information Act request last May for the identities of groups they spoke with in conducting their study. (Reuters, August 14, […]

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Website fights Justice Department over warrant for information on inauguration day protestors

The website-hosting company DreamHost is contesting a D.C. Superior Court search warrant for the identities of those who posted or visited the website direuptj20.org before the Inauguration Day protests. The Justice Department is investigating events surrounding the arrests of hundreds some of whom committed acts of violence during the inauguration. DreamHost claims the warrant is […]

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ACLU sues Washington Metro for rejecting ‘offensive’ ads

The American Civil Liberties Union is suing the Washington Area Transit Authority on behalf of a right-wing activist, an abortion provider and an animal rights group contesting that their ban on offensive ads was viewpoint-based and unconstitutional. (Courthouse News Service, August 10, 2010, by Laura Bittner) The Metro also rejected an ad by the ACLU […]

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First Amendment: Federal appeals rejects injunction on Minnesota law limiting robocalls

A bid to find Minnesota restriction on robocalls unconstitutional suffered a setback in the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals when the court rejected a request for an injunction. The court said that the exceptions to the law did not constitute viewpoint discrimination but were based on an assumption of implied consent.” (Constitutional Law Prof […]

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Free speech dispute over Google’s firing of employee for ‘sexist’ memo

The alt-right is fuming at Google’s firing of an employee who wrote a 10-page memo on womens’ deficiencies in performing certain tech jobs. The man said he was told he was fired for “perpetuating gender stereotypes.” Conservative critics are protesting the move as a violation of free speech. (Forbes, August 8, 2017, by Clare O”Connor) […]

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California open government roundup: Voice of OC wins legal costs in public record dispute

The Orange County Board supervisors is paying the Voice of OC $121,396 in legal fees after the news outlet secured a court order for the release of public records about a supervisor’s handcuffing a preacher at a fish taco restaurant. (Voice of OC, August 9, 2017, by Nick Gerda) A citizens group alleges that the […]

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Transparency: Citizens fight for restraint in use of surveillance technologies

Restraint, transparency and community oversight are gaining in Seattle and Los Angeles County as Seattle passed a law mandating civilian oversight of new purchases of surveillance technologies and a L.A. County oversight group rejected policies governing the use of surveillance drones. (Electronic Frontier Foundation, August 7,2017, by Shadis Buttar) Two years after acquiring two drones, […]

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St. Louis: Federal appeals court rules for town in regulating commercial use of park

A town’s law requiring a permit for commercial activity in the park survived a First Amendment test before the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals who ruled that the law was not intended to stifle free speech but served to facilitate the expression of both commercial and non-commercial users of the park. Town officials said […]

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