Peter Scheer

A close look at Google’s handling of governments’ censorship demands

Google has released a new Transparency Report, its twice-yearly presentation of data about demands it receives to remove content from its services–everything from videos on YouTube to posts on Blogger to listings and links generated by Google searches. As a measure of the status of global free speech rights, it is a depressing but eye-opening trove of information. In the last six months of 2012, governments around the world (the U.S. included) sent Google 2,285

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Camera-shy, yes. But the Supreme Court also shares the raw data of its most important deliberations.

The Supreme Court is the branch of government that works hardest to be seen least. By banishing cameras from their courtroom, eschewing probing press interviews, and generally keeping a low  profile (except in their published opinions), the justices strive to preserve the fiction that they take their cues  directly from the text of the Constitution, unfiltered by ideology or politics or personal preferences. Like the Pope, the justices, in their proclamations from on high, channel

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Government officials beware: the “private” emails you write today will be public tomorrow

It has become a regrettably common practice. . . . Local government officials, when sending emails about government business, use their private email accounts–rather than their dot-gov accounts–to assure that the messages will never see the light of day. In a case involving the city of San Jose, a Superior Court judge recently ruled that this legal subterfuge will not suffice to transform public records into the private, personal property of government officials. If an

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