Free expression in the news
INDEX REPORT Taking the offensive – defending artistic freedom of expression in the UK Report Contents: Summary | Introduction | What is artistic freedom of expression? | What are the limits to freedom of expression? | Institutional self-censorship | Reinforcing support for artistic freedom of expression | Conclusion | Appendix I: Audience Feedback and Statistics […]
03 Jun 13

Taking the offensive – defending artistic freedom of expression in the UK

Report Contents: Summary | Introduction | What is artistic freedom of expression? | What are the limits to freedom of expression? | Institutional self-censorship | Reinforcing support for artistic freedom of expression | Conclusion | Appendix I: Audience Feedback and Statistics | Appendix II: Conference Programme | Appendix III: Cases of Censored Artwork | Artist Videos | Full report in PDF

10 June: Caught in the web: how free are we online?
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.

23 June: Turkey vs the UK: what’s the score on free expression?
The Turkish Writers Football Club is coming to London to play the England Writers Team and the pressure is on. But it’s not just about sport. Index on Censorship is grabbing the chance to bring both sides together to debate the state of free expression in both countries.

UN report calls for freedom of expression in post-2015 development
Calling for a transformation in the approach to global development that includes a larger role for freedom of expression, the United Nations’ High Level Panel of Eminent Persons released its report Post-2015 Development Agenda report, Milana Knezevic writes. (Index on Censorship)

Cryptography as a means to counter Internet censorship
Traffic analysis is the first prerequisite for mass surveillance of the Web. George Orwell’s depiction of dystopia in his classic 1984, a society devoid of privacy, may have seemed like an exaggeration in 1949. But, with technology intruding deep into our lives today, we may actually be heading into a less obvious version of a similar state. (The Hindu)

Internet censorship around the world
Singapore’s government is set to tighten regulations for news websites – a move that has drawn accusations that the authorities are trying to control blogs that post anti-government comments. (BBC)

Facebook embroiled in multiple free speech battles
Facebook landed in the crosshairs of a fiery hate-speech protest last week that garnered so much media attention that the Menlo Park company had to issue a public mea culpa. Turns out it was just one of many First Amendment conflicts to put Facebook in the awkward and unenviable position of deciding what type of speech must be policed. (San Francisco Examiner)

Racism, bigotry and debate, Australian-style
There is a very Australian way to have a racism controversy. Whenever bigotry, prejudice or discrimination is revealed on the national stage, all of us can agree: Yes, it’s horrible and we would never dream of endorsing it. We can all say, hand on heart, that racism is abhorrent and warrants our condemnation. (The Sydney Morning Herald)

Our duty to look -Why censoring press photos is wrong
When Destination NSW censored an outdoor photography exhibition meant to appear as part of the Vivid Sydney festival, they offended more than just the photographers who risk life and limb to take these “distressing” pictures.
(World News Australia)

Free speech court victory over illegal move-on notices
Perth activist Kamala Emanuel won a resounding victory on May 28 in an important court case addressing the right to protest. (Green Left)

Fiji media still self-censoring says academic
Professor Robert Hooper, a professor at UC San Diego who has taught journalism in Fiji, has just published an academic paper called “When the barking stopped: Censorship, self-censorship and spin in Fiji”.(Radio Australia)

World press alliance urges China to free journalists
A global alliance of newspapers and news publishers called on China Sunday to release all journalists languishing in its jails and end attacks on freedom of expression. (The Economic Times)

Sina debuts sophisticated new censorship tactics for June 4 anniversary
Since Friday morning, Weibo users have been able to search for sensitive terms such as ‘June 4 incident’ and ‘Tiananmen Square Incident’ without receiving a censorship notice. Instead, such searches show partial, unhelpful results, according to (Shanghaist)

China experimenting with Web censorship methods, which monitors blocked sites, says keyword search results for 1989 Tiananmen Square protests have been amended or thoroughly filtered, instead of showing the usual message stating sites cannot be displayed. (ZDNet)

Jordan attempts mass internet censorship
Jordan has become the latest country attempting to censor internet-published dissent by blocking access to a large number of websites from within the country. (ITNews)

Cybercrime draft law draws flak
A draft cybercrime law approved by the State Cabinet late last week has kicked up a row, with Qatar’s media freedom watchdog severely criticising it for dealing with issues that concern freedom of expression on the Internet. (The Peninsula)

No Place for Guriev in Putin’s Russia
Sergei Guriev’s decision to resign as dean of the New Economic School and to stay abroad was widely discussed in Russia and in the West. Not only is Guriev an internationally respected economist, but his school was a top-notch, world-renowned educational institution. (The Moscow Times)

In Singapore, A Rare Call for Protest Against Blogging Censorship
Singapore’s blogging community is rebelling against a stringent new law that requires online news sites to put up a performance bond of US $40,000 and to submit to government censorship, calling for the general public and bloggers to rally next Saturday against the measure. (Irrawaddy)

Thai filmmakers challenge censorship
There was public outcry in Thailand when a politically sensitive documentary was banned by the government. The movie, “Boundary”, tackles the deep political division within the country and the territorial dispute with neighbouring Cambodia. (Al Jazeera)

3 Femen women held in Tunis after baring breasts
Feminist activists could face up to 6 months in jail for topless protest in support of Amina Tyler. (AhramOnline)

Turkish Leader Says Protests Will Not Stop Plans for Park
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey dismissed the tens of thousands of protesters who battled for two days with police officers in the streets of Istanbul as “looters” and “bums” on Sunday. He vowed to push ahead with plans to demolish a public park — a trigger for the spasm of public anger that left Istanbul’s main commercial district strewn with graffiti and broken glass.(The New York Times)

Turkey’s Urban Revolt Signals a Critical Phase in Turkish Politics
Despite the astonishing, far-reaching changes that Turkey has undergone in recent years, clouds of anxiety are gathering over the country. (Huffington Post)

The voices of Turkish protesters have been heard
It started out small, but has taken on a life of its own. Last Monday, a handful of peaceful protesters occupied Gezi park on Taksim Square, one of the few green spaces in Istanbul, in protest against plans for its redevelopment into a mall (The Guardian)

When is a tweet hate speech?
After the recent slaying of a British soldier in a suspected Islamist-extremist attack, angry social media users took to Twitter and Facebook, with some dispatching racially and religiously charged comments that got them quickly noticed on the busy boulevards of the Internet. (Winnepeg Free Press)

Contempt for free press
During his May 23 speech on national security, President Barack Obama promised to chat with Attorney General Eric Holder about reviewing his policies for investigating the news media. (Arizona Repubic)

US company accused of aiding Syria in censorship efforts
Despite trade sanctions against this type of technology, it would seem the US continues to supply the Syrian regime with material and software used to monitor the Internet and trace opponents. These findings are from a study of the Syrian web infrastructure carried out by cyber activists from Telecomix last week. The data suggests that 34 servers in Syria have been updated with software from the firm Blue Coat. (France 24)

Administration dams free flow of information
Freedom to report the news requires the freedom to gather it. In the months ahead, that basic concept — so central to the First Amendment’s protection of a free press — will also be at the heart of the ongoing debate over how far government officials may go in pursuit of those responsible for “leaking” classified information to journalists. (The Daily Progress)

Journalist Lemmings Dive Off Cliff While AG Holder Spies, Blusters & Prevaricates
Of all of the accidentally hilarious aspects of the implosion of Obama’s War Against the Bill of Rights, none is more informative than his broadside against journalism and Freedom of the Press. What does it say about those who take their very sustenance from the 1st Amendment Free Speech clause that many want to extinguish other people’s constitutional liberties at every possible opportunity? (Canada Free Press)

Why Cheerleaders Can Post Bible Verses
So a school district, that has already lost in a lower court, attempting to ban both religious belief and free expression thereof, now wants to spend tax-payer money to attempt to thwart those same rights of religious belief, and free expression.

The real IRS scandal is over free speech
Should you need a license from the government to exercise free speech? The real scandal at the Internal Revenue Service should be seen not as a left-versus-right issue but instead as infringement on the First Amendment. The people targeted were political entrepreneurs with unorthodox political voices. More to the point, IRS discrimination was consistent with 40 years of institutionalized hostility by the federal government to such views. (Denver Post)

Google ordered to hand private customer data over to FBI investigators
A US judge has ordered Google to comply with FBI secret demands for customer data, despite earlier ruling the warrantless orders unconstitutional. (The Guardian)

Colorado Legislature Must Have Been Smoking Something
Colorado voters have legalized recreational pot smoking, but this week the governor signed an unconstitutional bill that prohibits marijuana-centric magazines from being sold except from under the counter, three magazines claim in court. (Courthouse News)