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Author Archive | donal brown

Private prison company incarcerating immigrants threatens defamation lawsuit

A private prison company is lashing out at a Florida protest group for its opposition to the company for profiting by its government contracts to lock up undocumented immigrants. The GEO Group claims the Dream Defenders had made defamatory statements, interfered with its government  contracts, disrupted its operations and encouraged threatening and violent behavior. (American […]

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Free speech and law enforcement: Battle still on over nonviolent threats against police officers

The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found a Lousiana law criminalizing threats against public officials was an unconstitutional restriction on free speech rights. Police officers had arrested two men for threats to get them fired. “To be sure, it [the Louisiana law] covers a large swath of unprotected speech,” wrote the judge for the […]

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Democrats use FOIA requests in push for Kavanaugh government service records

Democratic senators in the U.S. Congress found themselves in new territory as they resorted to Freedom of Information Act requests to obtain records of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh who was associate White House counsel for President George W Bush. (FindLaw, August 9, 2018, by George Khory, Esq.) The nonprofit Fix the Court filed a […]

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Some cynical, uneasy over Acosta battles with Trump administration

CNN reporter Jim Acosta has garnered approval from some quarters for standing up to the Trump administration for their hostility towards the press. But he also drew some criticism from sympathetic observers who think he has gone too far in becoming the story himself. Todd S. Purdum, The Atlantic, August 7, 2018, thinks Acosta’s confrontation […]

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FCC caught in lie over public comment on net neutrality

The Inspector General for the Federal Communications Commission found that there was no denial-of-service attack during the public input before the FCC repealed net neutrality. The incident occurred in May of 2017 after an HBO host urged his audience to submit comments to the FCC supporting neutrality. The audience was blocked from filing comments as […]

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Federal judge rules tour guides’ free speech rights violated by licensing requirement

A federal district judge in South Carolina ruled that Charleston’s law requiring tour guides to obtain a license violated their First Amendment rights. “The [tour-guide] licensing law imposes real burdens on those hoping to be tour guides in Charleston,” the court’s opinion reads, “[b]ut the record demonstrates that the City never investigated or tried to […]

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Journalists seeking ‘safe harbor’ to continue research on Facebook

Sometimes journalists want to establish temporary research accounts on Facebook using a number of names and bio details to assess how the platform responds to different profiles, but the company’s terms of service provide for only one account and accurate biographical information. The Knight First Amendment Institute is now asking Facebook to change those rules […]

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Ban of plans for 3D-printed guns raises thorny First Amendment issues

A federal district judge stopped the publication of instructions for printing guns at home on 3D printers but admitted that the order could well violate the First Amendment. States concerned about public safety are suing in federal court to stop 3D-printed guns. The case may come down to whether computer code constitutes speech or is […]

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