donal brown

Research shows no free lunch for Musk in Twitter free speech quest

Informatics professor Filippo Menczer in The Conversation, May 11, 2022, says Elon Mask’s bold bid to acquire Twitter and convert it to a free speech haven free of censorship of conservative views and excessive moderation has inspired much debate. Research shows that although social media companies are often lax in enforcing policies, there is no evidence of anti-conservative bias but revealed that Twitter has a conservative bias. And changing Twitter’s regulatory practices would allow free

Read More »

Office of Legal Counsel secrecy under siege

The Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) exercises immense influence in the executive branch, but its opinions rarely enter the public domain. The Knight Institute and the Campaign for Accountability are using the courts to get the OLC to comply with the Freedom Of Information Act provision for “reading room,” requiring government agencies to disclose final legal opinions. They are requesting the release of twenty five -year-old opinions. the Knight Institute has also created

Read More »

Open source investigations a boon to journalists

A report by The New York Times about intercepted radio transmissions from Russian soldiers demonstrates how investigative reporters are using open-source reporting, satellite images, mobile phone or security camera recordings and other internet tools to report the news. (TVN, May 9, 2022, by David Bauder of The Associated Press) Open source journalism allows reporters to access user-produced content on the web to find stories and supporting visual evidence. The process allows greater transparency in making

Read More »

OAN admits Georgia voter fraud claim bogus

The conservative One America News Network finally admitted that there was no voter fraud by Georgia elections workers during the 2020 presidential election. The admission was part of a settlement of a defamation lawsuit two election workers filed against the network. The two workers had suffered in person and online harassment. (Daily Beast, May 10, 2022, by William Vaillancourt) The workers also sued Rudy Giuliani and The Gateway Pundit on similar grounds. Last year, election

Read More »

D.C. freedom of information case goes forward

A federal district judge ruled that a criminal defense attorney and critic of the District of Columbia police can pursue her case against the department for their denial of her FOIA requests. She claims that the department is violating her First Amendment rights for delaying and denying her information in retaliation for her criticism of the department. (Reason, May 4, 2022, by Eugene Volokh) Charlie Gerstein who is representing the attorney Amy Phillips argued that

Read More »