Free expression in the news
23 May 2013

Stockholm Internet Forum: Balancing rights and security
Does surveillance and monitoring chill free expression? Is population-wide mass surveillance always a bad idea? Amongst many questions and debates at today’s Stockholm Internet Forum, the answers to these two questions are surely obvious – yes to both, writes Index on Censorship CEO Kirsty Hughes from Sweden. (Index on Censorship)

Religion, freedom and social peace
I RECENTLY watched an impassioned 18-minute film on the subject of religion and freedom, made as a kind of personal statement by Jacob Mchangama, a Danish human-rights lawyer. (The Economist)

How to Fix the EU’s ‘Right to Be Forgotten’
It has been more than a year since the European Union Data Protection Regulation (DPR) was unveiled, including a controversial proposal known as the “Right to Be Forgotten” (RTBF). While the proposal is intended to give Internet users more control over their data, many critics, including CDT, have charged that the new right would pose significant unintended risks for free expression online. As the European Parliament considers amendments to the Data Protection Regulation, ensuring that good intentions do not undermine the free expression rights of EU Internet users must be a top priority. (Huffington Post)

Myanmar’s media faces fresh challenges
It is a new dawn for media in Myanmar—censorship has been lifted; 10 daily newspapers are now being printed, with another 14 on the way; and, reporters are free to write what they please. But the rush to this liberalized market has brought with it a fresh batch of problems for journalists, editors and media company owners. (Burma News International)

Al Jazeera reposts ‘anti-Jewish’ article after censorship backlash
Al Jazeera has republished a controversial article on its website after inexplicably removing it amid claims the story was “anti-Jewish”. (Al Arabyia)

Japanese Chat App LINE Kowtows To Chinese Censorship
Japan’s chat app LINE which is reportedly challenging Facebook in terms of the number of users, is now set to bow down to the Chinese government by building a mechanism to censor contends of its users in China. (International Digital Times)

Adam to face sedition charge tomorrow
The student activist was arrested on May 18 for remarks he allegedly made during a post-GE13 forum on May 13. (Free Malaysia Today)

Court awards N750m against The Nation, Ogele over libel
AN Ado-Ekiti High Court has awarded the sum of N750 million damages against The Nation Newspapers and a human rights activist, Mr. Morakinyo Ogele, for libel and defamation of character of the Mr. Segun Ilori, former Chief of Staff to Ekiti State Governor, Segun Oni. (The Guardian Nigeria)

South Africa’s secrecy bill signals growing political intolerance
The so-called secrecy bill’s passage through the South African parliament mirrors an increasing political intolerance towards diverse views that in some cases has spilled over in violence, Christi van der Westhuizen reports. (Index on Censorship)

Controversial Youth Website Dodges Censorship
“Outoilet” is an Afrikaans word meaning “old toilet”, but it also refers to a cellphone chat site, aimed mainly at Cape Flats youth. Its URLs are blocked by several service providers, but the site frequently re-emerges with different URLs. (

Today is Bassel’s second birthday in prison
Software engineer and open-source advocate Bassel Khartabil will spend his second birthday in prison today. Palestinian-born Bassel was arrested on 15 March last year by Syrian security forces, and has been in prison ever since. On his birthday and the 799th day of Syria’s conflict, Index calls on the Syrian government to release Khartabil. (Index on Censorship)

Obama’s War on Free Expression
It’s the most fundamental right. Without it all others are endangered. Obama’s waging war to destroy it. He’s done so throughout his tenure. (The People’s

Convicted drug trafficker sues local newspaper for libel
A newspaper, which published a story about a man who pled guilty to a federal drug case, is being sued in federal court. (KGBT)

Notice of appeal filed in Campfield libel lawsuit
A former Democratic candidate for the state House has filed notice that he will appeal the dismissal of his libel lawsuit against state Sen. Stacey Campfield. (SeattlePI)

Why Facebook ‘likes’ won’t be a ‘vital’ part of free speech any time soon
Facebook recently argued in court that the “Like” feature is an integral part of free speech. A lawyer for the company argued that “Likes” are “vital” to the 500m people who use Facebook every day and that they should be protected by the US Constitution. (memeburn)

Ordinance Targeting Free Speech in Residential Zones Results in Arrests of Peaceful Christians
A Florida ordinance that was passed with the intention of hindering pro-life Christians from picketing the homes of abortionists has resulted in the arrests of three Christians. (Christian News)

Playwright Seeks Legal Intervention Over Banning of Peace Play
An award winning playwright in Zimbabwe is seeking legal intervention after his play, whose central theme is peace, was banned last year. (

2 responses to “Free expression in the news”

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