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New AP platform to help reporters access hyper local data

The Associated Press is launching an initiative to provide reporters with local data to assist them in reporting the effects of issues on the public. Joining with Data.world, AP is providing a platform to enable users to collaborate in analyzing data. “The beauty of the Data.world platform is that users can set their own permission […]

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Adverse effects of disappearance of federal open data on White House website

The end to easy access to Obama administration open data from the White House website will hurt businesses, developers and researchers say open government advocates. Most of the data has been archived and is now available albeit in inconvenient access through the National Archives and Record Administration. But many fear that the Trump administration is […]

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California Supreme Court ends practice of hiding public e-mails by using personal devices

In a key public record ruling, the California Supreme Court was unanimous in determining that e-mails and text messages sent by government officials and employees on personal cell devices were a part of the public record. The ruling settled a 2009 dispute in San Jose when government leaders refused to release their communications from private […]

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Free press groups call out president on attacks on media

Over 80 free press organizations issued a statement calling the Trump administration’s attacks on the press a threat to American democracy. The groups cited egregious attempts to penalize and intimidate the press including falsely charging the media of covering up and manipulating the news. (National Coalition Against Censorship, March 2, 2017) Given the recent onslaught […]

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UCLA department accused of arbitrarily capping enrollment in popular First Amendment class

The lecture hall at UCLA can accommodate 300 students, but his department chair only allowed 200 students to enroll in Professor Keith Fink’s popular class on the First Amendment. Fink claims it’s because the administration is penalizing students to punish him. Fink employs the Socratic method in examining a wide range of free speech issues […]

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California federal judge blocks enforcement of law banning publication of home addresses of state legislators

A federal district judge ruled that a gun owners group could publish the home addresses and telephone numbers of California legislators who favored restrictive gun laws. (U.S. News & World Report, February 28, 2917, by Don Thompson of the Associated Press) The ruling blocked the enforcement of a state law restricting access to the contact […]

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Excluding journalists from White House briefings poses First Amendment issues

First Amendment advocates were concerned about the Trump administration’s move to bar several reporters from an off-camera White House briefing. Among those excluded last Friday were reporters from The New York Times, CNN, the Los Angeles Times, Politico, BuzzFeed, the BBC and the Guardian. AP, Time and USA Today boycotted the briefing in protest. Trump […]

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Whistleblowers score major victory in bank case

The U.S. Supreme Court issued an important ruling for whistleblowers Feb. 21 in determining that in a case from the 2008 financial crisis that courts have been using too narrow a legal standard in considering whistleblower suits under the False Claims Act that punishes those defrauding the government. The decision will open the gates to […]

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FOIA: California legislature leaders request details on immigration raids

California state legislators filed a Freedom of Information Act request for information about recent ICE raids and the policies the agents are following. Citing public fear and confusion over the recent surge in immigration operations, the lawmakers from Southern California said there was an urgent need for transparency on the issue. It was believed to […]

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Harvard tops list of top 10 worst colleges for free speech

FIRE published its list of the 10 worst colleges for free speech in 2017. It based its rankings on speech codes adopted by each college. Heading the list are academic strongholds, Harvard, Williams and Georgetown. Also included on the list are Northern Michigan, Cal State Los Angeles, Fordham, Oregon, Cal State Long Beach, South Carolina […]

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