NEWS
Free expression in the news
30 May 2013
BY INDEX ON CENSORSHIP

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Caught in the web: how free are we online? June 10, 2013
The internet: free open space, wild wild west, or totalitarian state? However you view the web, in today’s world it is bringing both opportunities and threats for free expression. More >>>


GLOBAL
Blogs still aid global freedom of expression
While blogging has existed for more than a decade, WordPress, the software that runs millions of blogs and websites, celebrated its 10th anniversary. The free service has made it simple for anyone to share their views. (DW)

AUSTRALIA
Freedom of speech our basic right
SINCE October last year, I have been regularly warned that “dissent” against the views and interests of the State Government would jeopardise the riverfront funding, create dangerous “unintended consequences” in vaguely-defined ways, and even cause the government to appoint an administrator to strip council of legal and administrative powers. (Sunraysia Daily)

More Australian government departments admit censoring websites
A national security agency has used federal powers to block Australian access to websites, in the latest development surrounding revived fears of internet censorship. (Financial Review)

BRAZIL
Brazilian court gags protester in latest social media ruling
A judge from the Brazilian state of São Paulo has barred a protester from an allegedly illegal construction site or even posting about it on Facebook. It’s the latest in a string of rulings targeting social media in the country. (Index on Censorship)

IRAN
As Iran’s Presidential Election Approaches, Iranian Journalists Live In Fear
As Iran’s June presidential election approaches, Iranian authorities, as a precautionary measure, have intensified their crackdown on journalists. (International Business Times)

NORWAY
Norwegian Newspaper Dagbladet Sparks Outrage with ‘Blood Libel’ Cartoon
Norwegian newspaper, Dagbladet, has sparked outrage after publishing a cartoon “blood libel” Tuesday. Norway’s third largest newspaper, published the cartoon, in which a modestly dressed woman can be seen holding a blood soaked book and telling law enforcement officers: “Mistreating? No this is tradition, an important part of our belief”! (The Algemeiner)

PAKISTAN
Promoting culture: Artists want clear policy, freedom of expression
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz has won the elections and now people are wondering whether or not they will deliver on all that they promised in their manifesto and how. (The Express Tribune)

RUSSIA
Economist Sergei Guriev flees Russia
Sergei Guriev leaves after being questioned by state investigators amid clampdown on groups critical of Vladimir Putin.
(The Guardian)

UNITED KINGDOM
Index responds to Theresa May comments
Theresa May’s comments on the Andrew Marr Show have lead to a round of speculation around the actions that the Home Secretary will take in the wake of Woolwich, especially in regard to the shelved Communications Data Bill. (Index on Censorship)

UNITED STATES
Iowa Community College to Pay $14,000 to Settle Free Speech Lawsuit
An Iowa community college will pay nearly $14,000 to settle a free-speech lawsuit filed by a student who was barred from distributing fliers criticizing a conference on gay youth. (KCRG.com)

Conservative Media Predicted Obama’s First-Amendment Scandals
The Obama administration’s free-speech scandals of today were repeatedly and accurately predicted by conservative pundits during the 2008 election. Obama’s first presidential campaign launched a series of novel and troubling assaults on its critics, leading many conservatives to warn that both the press and political speech would come under attack should Obama be elected president. Some of the predictions about Obama made by conservative writers in 2008 seem uncannily on-the-mark today. (National Review Online)

How Did Facebook Let Rape Speech Go Unpoliced for So Long?
As of today, Facebook officially no longer allows the pages “Violently Raping Your Friend Just for Laughs” and “Kicking your Girlfriend in the Fanny because she won’t make you a Sandwich” to exist on its social network, and — what do you know? — it only took a well publicized media campaign and angry advertisers to do it. In a message to its users, Facebook has outlined a new policy for dealing with violent and hateful speech to better deal with — though, not outright ban — this kind of “distasteful humor,” which, of course, begs the question: How come Facebook wasn’t doing anything about this in the first place? (The Atlantic)

School Rules and a Twitter “Social Media Riot” or Student Free Speech?
A graduating high school senior finished a 3-day suspension on Wednesday for creating a Twitter hashtag about a budget controversy, but the upstate New York case continues to play out in social media. (Huffington Post)

Colorado county limits free speech to a remote, tiny area around its buildings
With much of Colorado embroiled in a debate about the Second Amendment, one county has decided to ruffle feathers over the First. (The Daily Caller)

The Kochs’ expansive power: PBS donations, censorship, bidding for the Tribune Company
When only six corporations own all of the media in America, who controls the narrative? Are we even a part of the conversation? Now the only bastion of “public programming,” Public Broadcasting Service, looks like it is not so independent of corporate control after all. Big money is also trying to get their corrupt paws on the Tribune Company but those who want to protect a free press are fighting to stop it. (All Voices)

LePage says Medicaid expansion pressure, Democrats’ ‘censorship’ starts in Washington
Gov. Paul LePage on Wednesday railed against an expansion of Medicaid eligibility in Maine, calling it a disturbing national trend of damaging federal mandates. LePage also linked what he called censorship he has experienced in the past two weeks to a pattern of the same at the national level, suggesting that citizens go home and arm themselves if it continues. (Bangor Daily News)

Comcast and Verizon’s Phony Free-Speech Claim
Judge Brett Kavanaugh of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit wrote this week that the First Amendment shields Comcast Corp. from Congress’s authority to ensure the free flow of information across the basic network connections it provides. (Bloomberg)

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