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Archive | 1st Amendment News

FBI whisteblower faces jail time for leaking secret rules for spying on journalists

A former FBI is facing up to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to charges of leaking secret information to The Intercept leading to a series of reports entitled “The FBI’s Secret Rules.” The series showed how the FBI expanded its powers since 9/11. (Reuters, April 17, 2018, by David Alexander and Mark Hosenball) […]

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North Carolina appeals court sidesteps federal privacy law in ruling for transparency on university sexual assaults

A North Carolina court of appeals ruled unanimously that University of North Carolina Chapel Hill must release the names of students and employees found to have committed rape and sexual assault by the schools honor court. The Daily Tar Heel had asked for the records in 2016 but were turned down by the university that […]

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Tariffs on Canadian newsprint threatens U.S. news industry

Already in trouble with declining ad revenues, newspapers are facing a potentially disastrous blow over tariffs recently imposed on Canadian newsprint. The U.S. Commerce Department initiated the tariffs in response to a hedge fund-owned paper company in Washington state that claimed Canadian firms benefited from government subsidies. The tariffs would drive up the costs of […]

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California news media sues over rules that limit viewing of executions

Three news outlets are suing California for blocking access to how it conducts executions at San Quentin State Prison. California has put into effect rules that allow lethal drugs to be prepared and injected into inmates in a separate “infusion control room” out of public sight. During the process, the public can view the inmate […]

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Free press: National Enquirer embroiled in federal investigation of payoffs to Trump accusers

Ronan Farrow, The New Yorker, April 12, 2018, writes that National Enquirer had a history of paying off those with stories of President Donald Trump’s dalliances. That history strengthens the case of Trump accusers, Stephanie Clifford and Karen McDougal who are suing with the claim that hush money paid to them were made to illegally […]

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New U.S. anti-sex trafficking law restricts internet content

The anti-sex trafficking bill signed by President Donald Trump is forcing internet sites to reject sex-related ads. Sites such as Backpage had long defended their sex advertising on the grounds of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act that that made providers free of liability for users’ content. The new law specifies that Section 230 […]

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Eccentric local ‘journalist’ exonerated over posting of police dispatches on Facebook

A Texas state district judge dismissed felony charges against Priscilla Villarreal, a self-styled local journalist who posted police dispatches on Facebook. The Laredo Police Department upset a number of her 82,000 followers when they arrested her on charges of “misuse of official information.” The judge ruled there was no legal restrictions on the police dispatches, […]

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