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Daily Archives: September 2, 2019

Insult of Public Officials: A Free Speech Perspective

Bezemek, Christoph, Insult of Public Officials: A Free Speech Perspective (June 12, 2019). Forthcoming in Schauer/Stone (eds), Oxford Handbook on Freedom of Speech (2019). Available at SSRN:

“Free speech, it is said, is the necessary prerequisite to “speak truth to power”. And of course: those in power may often (or maybe even: typically) dislike the truth thus spoken. But how far does that go? Does free speech give license to verbally attack or to outright insult those acting in an official capacity? And if not: according to which criteria is the line to be drawn between protected speech and unprotected insult? The paper addresses these and other questions related to the topic from the perspective of the First Amendment to the US Constitution and International Human Rights Law.”

Toward a new kind of Big Deal for open source academic articles

Inside Higher Ed – University librarians and some academic publishers are optimistic about the possibility of reaching new agreements to make more academic articles fully open, but they acknowledge many challenges ahead. “Making the transition from paying to read to paying to publish academic research won’t be easy for universities or publishers. But it is… Continue Reading

How The Times Uses FOIA to Obtain Information the Public Has a Right to Know

The New York Times – Our lawyer provides an update on why we’re still filing so many Freedom of Information Act lawsuits – “…what we face every day in The New York Times’s legal department as we continue to push against government secrecy through the use of FOIA. Whether it is helping our reporters as… Continue Reading

FY 2019 Domestic Terrorism Prosecutions Twice Number for International Terrorism

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse – “Prosecutions for domestic terrorism outnumber those for acts of international terrorism by 2-to-1. The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during the first ten months of FY 2019 the government reported 204 terrorism-related prosecutions had been filed. Of these 71 or one in three were for acts… Continue Reading

Misinformation Has Created a New World Disorder

Scientific American – Our willingness to share content without thinking is exploited to spread disinformation – By Claire Wardle = “As someone who studies the impact of misinformation on society, I often wish the young entrepreneurs of Silicon Valley who enabled communication at speed had been forced to run a 9/11 scenario with their technologies… Continue Reading

The Internet Is Rotting⁠—Let’s Embrace It

JSTOR Daily – Forgetting is beneficial for the human brain. But the internet has made it harder to let go of painful or problematic memories. “Every year, some thousands of sites—including ones with unique information—go offline. Countless further webpages become inaccessible; instead of information, users encounter error messages. Where some commentators may lament yet another… Continue Reading

Republican senators just sent the US Supreme Court a strange letter

Quartz: “US senators are weighing in on a gun-rights case under review in the Supreme Court. Democrats filed an amicus brief that caused an uproar earlier this month and Republicans responded in a letter to the court this week. The missive, sent by Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, reminds the justices that the judiciary is… Continue Reading