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Everyone Hates Julian Assange—Except For That Time They Used to Love Him

The bipolar, bipartisan love/hate for the Wikileaks founder threatens the First Amendment and has clouded the true nature of the fundamental rights at stake. BY DAVID SNYDER—It’s not hard to find people in Washington with strong opinions about Wikileaks and its founder, Julian Assange. But good luck finding someone with an opinion about Assange that …

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Hate messages and free speech: Student arrested for posting Nazi posters on SUNY campus

An 18-year-old student at State University of New York at Purchase was charged with a felony hate crime, first-degree aggravated harassment, for posting Nazi images on campus. The alleged hate messages surfaced on the last night of Hanukkah. Some 10 percent of undergrads at SUNY Purchase are Jewish. (ABC News, December 11, 2018, by Julia …

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FBI looking into fraudulent net neutrality comments

The Justice Department is now investigating the millions of phony comments posted during the public comments period on the repeal of net neutrality. Despite public support of net neutrality, the Federal Communications Commission voted to overturn rules that prevented internet providers from selecting certain web traffic for full speed. Out of over 20 million comments, …

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Federal judge mows down Massachusetts law against secret recording of public officials

The First Amendment gained ground when a federal judge struck down a Massachusetts law banning secret recording of government officials. The federal district judge wrote, “On the core constitutional issue, the Court holds that secret audio recording of government officials,including law enforcement officials, performing their duties in public is protected by the First Amendment, subject …

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Federal judge gives conservative group victory in Clinton e-mail search

A federal district judge lambasted the Obama State and Justice Departments for blocking access to documents on Hillary Clinton’s e-mail practices. The judge ordered the Trump State and Justice Departments to meet with the conservative Judicial Watch to plan a discovery into whether Clinton used private e-mails to thwart transparency and whether the government has …

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Social media gaining ground as preferred news source in the U.S.

It’s been the case for young people for years now, but for the first time more adults in the U.S. get their news on the social media than from newspapers. Social media still lags behind other mainstream sources, TV and radio. Newspapers are remain a major source for those 65 and older with 39 percent …

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California legislature bolsters free speech and police transparency in 2018 sessions

Contrary to expectations, California lawmakers passed bills that improve access to police records pertaining to  investigations and personnel (SB1421). They also passed AB 748 requiring departments to release video or audio of “critical incidents” involving police use of a firearm or a serious injury or death. And SB 987 requires law enforcement to post current …

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Cable companies enlisting First Amendment to stifle regulation

Harvard law professor Susan Crawford, Wired, December 4, 2018, argues that just as a phone line is not a speaker and protected by the First Amendment, it is similarly wrong for cable companies to contend that they have the right to censor any speech on their cable lines lest they be be burdened by unconstitutional …

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European Union asks U.S. tech companies to fight fake news campaigns during elections

To fight Russian campaigns to disrupt western democracies, the European Union is proposing a plan to engage governments and tech companies in curtailing false and misleading information on the internet designed to influence elections. The EU wants to increase spending by the EU foreign service almost five fold to track Russian propaganda. They want tech …

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Federal appeals court rules immigration law violates free speech rights

The 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found a 1985 federal immigration law unconstitutional for imposing criminal penalties on those “encouraging or inducing” someone to enter or remain in the U.S. illegally. The court said the law could be used against a person urging a close relative to stay in the country beyond a visa …

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