Free expression in the news
20 May 2013

Social media isn’t a free-for-all space
It is often thought that social media breaks down barriers and allows the oppressed an avenue for free speech. Social media can also allow easy sharing of information with a wider audience, all with just a click of a button. (Asia One)

Cannes 2013:Iran’s Farhadi and China’s Jia talk cinema & censorship
Two directors from countries with tough film censorship brought bold and probing movies to the Cannes Film Festival on Friday — one exploring China’s social problems, the other delving into the mysteries of the human heart. (India Live)

Algerian newspaper editor accuses government of censorship
An editor has accused Algeria’s government of censorship after it blocked the publication of his two newspapers. (Washington Post)

Bouteflika’s ‘coma’ leads to censorship of two Algerian dailies
Algeria censored two dailies over reports that President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, hospitalised in Paris since April 27, will return home in a coma after his health took a turn for the worse, their chief said on Sunday. (Middle East Online)

Letter: Bahrain citizens denied basic rights
In the U.S., many citizens exercise their right to peaceful assembly. However, in Bahrain this basic human right is being denied. Citizens are subject to ridiculous punishments for peaceful expression and assembly. Bloomington Pantagraph

Video: Surveillance for Sale: ‘UK exports spyware to Bahrain to track activists’
The Bahraini government is accused of using surveillance software from a UK-based company, to spy on a leading rights activist. That’s according to documents filed at the High Court in London, by one of the founders of the rights group, Bahrain Watch. The programme works by infecting your computer, and then recording your Skype conversations and social media activity. It can also take screenshots without your knowledge, and access information on your hard disk. Alaa Shehabi, who filed the court documents – told RT that digital surveillance has been spreading in Bahrain, since former high ranking UK police officer John Yates became security advisor there. (RT)

Send Section 66A bullies home
We’re all familiar with the use of IT Act Section 66A to stifle dissent. Even the apex court has admitted that the law cannot be entrusted to ordinary policemen. But now big organisations are figuring out how to take advantage of this censorship tool too. (India Today

Amanda Knox claims she is penniless after facing libel lawsuits over her memoir
Amanda Knox has revealed that she is almost broke because of her huge legal bills – despite a $1.5million book advance. (Daily Mail

EU ‘worried’ about Russia’s human rights record
The European Union criticised Russia’s human rights record, saying it was increasingly concerned at a wave of restrictive legislation and prosecutions against activists. (TV New Zealand)

What We Said 150 Years Ago: How free speech is abridged
The New York copperheads (who were Democrats living in northern states opposed to the Civil War) had a meeting the other afternoon to denounce the (Lincoln) administration for suppressing the liberty of “free speech.” (Wisonsin State Journal)

Ashley: Chilling effect on free expression worth worrying about
What’s going on here? By coincidence or terrible karma, the unsettling developments on the free expression of ideas, open government and our ability to monitor that government are reason for concern and anger. (The Herald-Sun)

‘IRS suppressed advocates of free speech’
The Internal Revenue Service has sought to “suppress” advocates of free speech by targeting conservative groups based on their ideology, says Jim W. Dean, managing editor and columnist at Veterans Today. (Press TV)

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