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Federal judge orders State Department to hurry up in releasing Clinton-linked e-mails

The State Department failed to obtain a requested 27-month delay in releasing information to Citizens United for e-mails involving State Department officials and the Clinton Foundation. The judge noted that the State Department had reduced its time and personnel working on Freedom of Information Act requests when there was no corresponding decrease in the requests. […]

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Google leads transparency fight over government requests for user data

Google is leading the internet industry in battling the U.S. government to protect user information in digital vaults. Google is releasing regular transparency reports with its latest report on July 18 to reveal how the government is spying on citizens. (The Christian Science Monitor, July 19, 2016, by Lucy Schouten) The latest transparency report shows […]

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California appeals court upholds order to release police video

The sides in a lawsuit over turning over an arrest video to the North Coast Journal of Eureka differ in their assessment of the impact of the California appellate ruling favoring the newspaper. The Journal’s attorney said the ruling would have widespread  effect in making police videos accessible in California and other states. The Eureka […]

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Politico errs in submitting advance copy to Democrats

Politico owned up to sending a copy of an article to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) before publication. They claimed there was no substantial changes made to the article, “Clinton fundraising leaves little for state parties.” The information about the prior review came to light as Wikileaks released over 19,000 DNC e-mails last week. (The […]

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Pentagon makes war manual more protective of journalists

The Defense Department revised its Law of War Manual to better protect journalists on the battlefield. The manual had stated that journalism was akin to spying and that journalists needed authorization to enter a war zone. It said if correspondents published information useful in combat they would run the risk of aiding the enemy and […]

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Trump pledges to dump restrictions on political speech from pulpit

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump promised to work to repeal prohibitions on religious institutions’ taking positions on election candidates in the pulpit. “Their voice has been taken away,” Mr. Trump said. “I am going to work very hard to repeal that language and to protect free speech for all Americans.” IRS rules prohibit tax-exempt churches […]

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Trump claims defamation in cease-and-desist letter to his autobiography ghostwriter

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump sent a cease-and-desist letter to Tony Schwartz, the ghostwriter of his autobiography, for his disparaging comments about the candidate. The letter demanded Schwartz return all royalties from the book. (The New York Times, July21, 2016, by Nicholas Fandos) The best selling book, “The Art of the Deal,” was published in […]

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Free speech: Sides form as conservative writer banned from Twitter for malicious posts

Twitter banned the conservative writer Milo Yiannopoulos after a number of the writer’s tweets racially slurred Ghostbusters actor Leslie Jones. Twitter is trying to forge policies that would curb abusive speech while critics see its efforts as abusing free speech principles. (The Washington Post, July 20, 2016, by Abby Ohlheiser) Yiannopoulos who works for Breitbart […]

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Ninth Circuit: California man on supervised release wins right to criticize government

A man on supervised release won a victory in the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals with the court holding that a judge could not end his release for violating a provision that he not “disparage or defame others on the internet.” Judge Alex Kozinski wrote that Darren Chaker’s blog post on a former police […]

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MuckRock announces plan to document government rejections of public record requests

With improved internet services, citizens and journalists are filing more Freedom of Information Act requests than ever but often meeting with government agency brick walls. MuckRock is coming to the rescue with a plan to catalog every exception to the freedom of information laws used by agencies. More information about exemptions and delaying tactics will […]

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