Free expression in the news
01 Aug 13

Tell Europe’s leaders to stop mass surveillance #dontspyonme
Index on Censorship launches a petition calling on European Union Heads of Government to stop the US, UK and other governments from carrying out mass surveillance. We want to use public pressure to ensure Europe’s leaders put on the record their opposition to mass surveillance. They must place this issue firmly on the agenda for the next European Council Summit in October so action can be taken to stop this attack on the basic human right of free speech and privacy.
(Index on Censorship)

Prominent Bahrain blogger arrested: Activist
The massive street demonstrations that roiled Brazil last month have eased but more radical groups are coming to the fore and resorting to violence.
(Strat Risks)

Brazil’s social unrest easing but turning more radical
A rights activist in Bahrain says authorities have arrested a prominent blogger just days after warning of harsher measures against anti-government protesters in the violence-wracked Gulf kingdom.
(Ahram Online)

Singer’s Arrest in China Fires Free Speech Debate
Hours after a man with long-running grievances against officialdom set off a homemade explosive at Beijing’s airport, a singer-songwriter turned to the Internet to release her own sarcastic wish list of to-be-bombed targets.
(ABC News)

China dismisses allegations over obstruction of Google’s Gmail service
Chinese authorities say Google’s claims that they are to blame for technical problems with the Gmail are ‘unacceptable’
(The Guardian)

How Hollywood bowed to the wishes of Hitler
A Harvard film scholar has revealed in terrifying detail how Hollywood was at the whim of the Nazis throughout the 1930s – censoring films and dropping others in a sinister collaboration with Hitler.
(The Daily Mail)

The Picket Fenced Internet: Why Free Communication Is Over…If It Ever Existed?
The most harrowing realization of Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks is that the World Wide Web is no longer free.
(Huffington Post)

‘The biggest form of blasphemy we commit is to force another to live in fear’
YouTube has been blocked in Pakistan since September 2012 for hosting the “blasphemous” Innocence of Muslims film. But now the country’s parliament has been asked to define what actually constitutes blasphemy. Here are some suggestions to get them going
(Index on Censorship)

Videotaped Bullying Of Gay Russian Youths Highlights Growing Homophobia
Some show youths being forced to drink urine, or having it poured over their heads. Others show young men being taunted with phallic sex toys, threatened with axes, and forced to carry wooden crucifixes.
(Radio Free Europe)

Russia’s anti-internet piracy law faces backlash
It’s championed by some as a new weapon to defend content-makers, decried by others as a blunt tool that could extend censorship of the net.

SA’s outdated censorship legislation
Cracks cobwebbing across the broken screen of his tablet PC seem a metaphor for the stormy greeting given film maker Jahmil XT Qubeka’s third feature, Of Good Report.
(Financial Mail)

Free speech is a bitter Twitter privilege
For too long the trolls have hidden behind cowardly anonymity in a virtual world they believe to be free of consequence
(The Daily Mirror)

Cameron Looks to China to Supply Europe’s First Internet Censorship Wall in Britain
So David Cameron’s government has finally laid his cards on the table. Getting the press and the public to comply with the draconian Leveson Star Chamber’s clampdown on freedom of expression and information was a hard sell, to say the least.
(21st Century Wire)

Ex-Tory treasurer Peter Cruddas wins £180,000 libel award
Billionaire businessman also awarded interim costs of £500,000 against The Sunday Times
(The Independent)

Twitter Abuse Isn’t a Censorship or Freedom of Speech Issue, It’s a Human Issue
Imagine you’re queuing up for a coffee. You order, and pull out a £10 note with which to pay. “Wouldn’t it be great to have a woman on a banknote?” you might remark as you hand it to the barista. “F*ck you, you f***ing sl*t,” he snarls back. “I’m going to wait for you outside later and rape you.” What do you do? Cry? Run away? Look around for help? Let’s say you look around for help. You turn to the woman standing next to you.
(Huffington Post)

Keller lawsuit vs. gamer EA Sports, NCAA clears major hurdle
Free speech – at least in the world of video games – took a hit Wednesday in the ongoing battle regarding player likenesses.
(CBS Sports)

No, the IRS Did Not Target Progressives Like It Targeted Conservatives
NPR’s politics blog has published a chart — compiled from a House Ways and Means staff analysis — of the different levels of IRS targeting between conservative and progressive groups. Bottom line? Far more conservative groups faced IRS scrutiny, they faced more questions, and were approved at a much lower rate than progressives. The chart is based on the IRS’s now-discredited “BOLO” (be on the lookout) lists.
(American Center for Law and Justice)

Does chief have right to post profane gun videos?
Police Chief Mark Kessler of Gilberton, Schuylkill County, has come under fire after posting profanity-laced videos on YouTube. Some have argued it’s a free-speech issue. Others have said it’s outrageous behavior for a police chief who is also a school board member. Reporter Nicole Radzievich” talks with two people with opposing viewpoints.
(The Morning Call)

Your free speech right comes with a hefty price tag these days’
They used to say freedom of the press belongs to those who can afford to own one. Perhaps, we should now say the right to exercise your free speech rights before local government agencies belongs only to those who can afford to pay for sending out public notices.
(4th ST8)

ACLU says begging is ‘free speech’
Calling the statute an infringement on free speech, the American Civil Liberties Union wants a federal judge to block police in Arizona from enforcing a law making begging a crime.
(Maricopa Monitor)

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