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

AUSTRALIA
When does mission creep become censorship?
The sort of abuse of power we’re seeing out of ASIC is endemic to the regulatory state, argues Chris Berg. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission is completely out of control. (The Drum)

AZERBAIJAN
Azerbaijan accused of restricting freedom of expression online
A group of Azerbaijani youths met in Baku city centre and made a Harlem Shake video, the dance that has become something off an online sensation in recent months. This video was uploaded in February and seems pretty harmless, no different from all the others doing the rounds on the web, and yet Ilkin Rustemzade may well go to prison. The opposition activist was arrested and charged with hooliganism for making this video. (France 24)

CHINA
Messaging app Line prepares the groundwork for censoring politically sensitive phrases in China
Earlier this year, Tencent-owned WeChat, a mobile messaging app with more than 300 million users, came under fire for censoring ‘sensitive’ topics that its users were discussing. Now, Line, a rival app developed in Japan which has 150 million users, is the next in line to pal up to the Chinese government and restrict the use of certain phrases on its service. (The Next Web)

EGYPT
US urges Egypt gov’t to defend political speech
The Obama administration is calling on the Egyptian government to rein in prosecutions of political expression amid what it called a “growing trend” of efforts to punish and deter people from speaking their mind. (AP via Post Bulletin)

FRANCE
‘Day Of Nude On Facebook’: French Users Protest Censorship With Bare-Skinned Photos
“Day of Nude on Facebook” — a French protest aimed at challenging Facebook’s unnecessary censorship of photos — backfired when the social media site took down the event page and suspended the accounts of some involved in the online demonstration. (Huffington Post)

JORDAN
Jordan premier: Arab Spring forces governments to widen press freedoms
The Arab Spring uprisings that toppled four Arab leaders have forced Mideast governments to allow more freedom of expression and of the press, Jordan’s prime minister said Monday, but critics charged that Jordan itself is not doing enough. (Washington Post

NEPAL
Libel charge at SC against press council
A libel case has been filed at the Supreme Court (SC) against the tri-monthly newssheet Sanhita published by Press Council.
Journalist Roshan Puri, Govinda Devkota and advocate Shree Krishna Subedi moved the court accusing that an article titled ‘Dai, JayaNepal, Comrade Abhinandan’ published in the Chaitra issue of the newssheet has slandered the petitioners. (Kantipur)

TUNISIA
Tunisian feminist arrested for ‘provocative’ appearance in holy city
A Tunisian feminist who scandalized her country by posting topless photos of herself online has been arrested after allegedly sneaking into Tunisia’s holiest city disguised in a veil, then trying to get undressed during a protest. (Washington Post)

UGANDA
Monitor offices under police siege
Police officers Monday searched Monitor offices, claiming they were looking for the Gen David Sejusa’s letter. The police later shut down the newspaper’s printing press and its sister FM radio stations – KFM and Dembe FM.Time Check, 11:15am and three fully packed police patrol vans stop outside Monitor offices. (Daily Monitor)

UNITED STATES
Fox News responds to ‘chilling’ DOJ investigation
Fox News has responded to a Justice Department probe of reporter James Rosen, reported by the Washington Post, that involved tracking his movements, phone calls and e-mails. (Washington Post)

Is A Facebook ‘Like’ Protected Under The Right to Free Speech?
Six former sheriff’s department employees who said they were fired in 2009 for “Liking” their boss’ political rival on Facebook appeared in Virginia federal appeals court this past week. (Opposing Views)

Column: Forced union dues violate free speech
Just as the government cannot stop you from supporting a political candidate, it cannot make you pay to support a candidate. The First Amendment protects both the right to support political causes and the right to not support them. But in California, that right is denied to hundreds of thousands of public school teachers who currently must pay exorbitant fees to bankroll the agenda of powerful teachers’ unions. (USA Today)

Attorney: Evansville man’s Twitter messages are protected free speech
The attorney for an Evansville man accused of making threats on the social media outlet Twitter is arguing the remarks are free speech protected by the U.S. Constitution. (CourierPress)

Movie studios send fraudulent censorship demands over Pirate Bay documentary
You’ll remember last month’s news that Fox had sent fraudulent takedown notices regarding my novel Homeland. This is hardly an isolated incident: the studios routinely exhibit depraved indifference to the inaccuracies in their automated censorship threats to search engines and webhosts. (Boing Boing)

US Supreme Court Accepts Religion Case: Will Legislative Prayer Survive Religious Censorship?
The case out of New York presents an opportunity for the US Supreme Court to bring needed clarity to Establishment Clause jurisprudence. I hope they do so. We have witnessed a growing governmental hostility toward religious faith and expression in the public square. (Catholic Online)

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