About donal brown

Author Archive | donal brown

Feds searching for CIA employee who leaked top-secret information to WikiLeaks

The CIA and the FBI and looking for a CIA employee who leaked information to WikiLeaks who published documents in March that showed how the CIA developed tools to penetrate iPhones and MacBooks. (New York Post, April 19, 2017, by Joe Tacopino) In a recent speech CIA director, Mike Pompeo, called WikiLeaks “a non-state hostile […]

Continue Reading Comments { 0 }

New database established on journalist safety in U.S.

A coalition of organizations has founded a website to track press freedom incidents in the U.S. The website will feature information on “journalist arrests, border stops, searches and seizures, leak prosecutions and subpoenas demanding that reporters testify on their confidential sources.” (The Poynter Institute, April 19, 2017, by Benjamin Mullin) Peter Sterne, the new director […]

Continue Reading Comments { 0 }

Free speech: UC Berkeley cancels Coulter event

Administrators at the University of California Berkeley are postponing a speech by right-wing commentator Ann Coulter for fear they could not protect students from violence. The conservatives and Coulter herself are resisting, saying the event will go forward without university sanction. (San Francisco Chronicle, April 19, 2017, by Nanette Asimov with contributions by Melody Gutierrez) […]

Continue Reading Comments { 0 }

Steve Ballmer invests millions in establishing site for analyzing government spending

When he retired at 57, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer spent three years and $10 million to establish USAFacts, a database to allow citizens and the media to see how local, state and federal government revenues are generated and spent. The data base provides a way to check on the spins that politicians and others […]

Continue Reading Comments { 0 }

Smaller newspapers face harsh realities in battle for solvency

When Iowa’s  3,000 circulation Storm Lake Times won a Pultizer Prize this year for editorials criticizing agri-businesses on environmental issues, the news shined a spotlight on the fast-vanishing family newspaper. Just 15% of daily circulation newspapers today are under independent control, one publisher and one newspaper. In 1900 the number was 90% and in 1957 […]

Continue Reading Comments { 0 }

No White House vistor logs: Trump administration transparency hits new low

With its refusal to release White House visitor logs, the Trump administration’s further reveals a skimpy commitment to transparency. Trump claimed President Obama sealed his college records to hide something [a false claim] but now withholds his own tax records.  (CNN, April 17, 2017, by Chris Cillizza) White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer claimed the […]

Continue Reading Comments { 0 }

Defamation: Rolling Stone settles one lawsuit over alleged rape at University of Virginia

Rolling Stone settled a lawsuit brought by a University of Virginia dean who claimed the magazine defamed her in a story about alleged rape at a fraternity house. The magazine retracted the story after learning it was rife with falsehoods. A federal jury awarded Nicole Eramo $3 million in damages. Rolling Stone appealed and then […]

Continue Reading Comments { 0 }

Pushback emerges against impending abolition of net neutrality

Silicon Valley companies representing Facebook, Google, Twitter, Netflix and Microsoft met with Federal Communications Commision Chairman Ajit Pai to protest plants to dismantle net neutrality. The rules prevent wealthy interests, i.e. companies like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon, from purchasing fast lanes and priority access to customers. (C/NET, April 12, 2017, by Marguerite Reardon) Pai’s plan […]

Continue Reading Comments { 0 }

States consider harsh internet porn censorship law

A number of state legislatures are considering a law that would put a pornography filter on laptops, cellphones and routers connected to the internet and levy a $20 tax to remove it. The law is being promoted by Chris Sevier, a man with a checkered past that included jail time. The American Civil Liberties Union […]

Continue Reading Comments { 0 }

Federal appeals court finds reason to contest safe harbor provision of Digital Millennium Copyright Act

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals jolted the social media world when it ruled last week that Mavrix Photographs could proceed with its lawsuit against LiveJournal for posting 20 photographs without permission. LiveJournal had claimed that users posted the photos so it could not be sued under the safe harbors provision of the Digital […]

Continue Reading Comments { 0 }