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Category Archives: Free Speech

Microsoft Corporation v. DOJ on sneak-and-peek searches

Via Bloomberg – “Microsoft Corp. persuaded a judge not to let the U.S. government out of a lawsuit alleging the company’s free-speech rights are violated by a law that blocks it from alerting users to the clandestine interception of their e-mails. The judge said Microsoft has at least made a plausible argument that federal law muzzles its right to speak about government investigations, while not ruling on the merits of the case. “The public debate has intensified as people increasingly store their information in the cloud and on devices with significant storage capacity,” U.S. District Judge James Robart in Seattle said in Thursday’s ruling. “Government surveillance aided by service providers creates unique considerations because of the vast amount of data service providers have about their customers.”

  • Reference – ORDER granting in part and denying in part Motion to Dismiss Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6) by Defendants Loretta Lynch, United States Department of Justice; by Judge James L. Robart. Wednesday, February 08, 2017.

Politico – Federal workers turn to encryption to thwart Trump

Via Politico: “Federal employees worried that President Donald Trump will gut their agencies are creating new email addresses, signing up for encrypted messaging apps and looking for other, protected ways to push back against the new administration’s agenda. Whether inside the Environmental Protection Agency, within the Foreign Service, on the edges of the Labor Department… Continue Reading

Reporters Committee releases report on Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch

February 2, 2017 – “U.S. Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch does not have an extensive history of cases involving free speech, free press, and freedom of information issues, but the opinions he authored or joined during his more than 10 years on the Tenth Circuit that do touch upon those issues reflect the application of… Continue Reading

Human Rights Watch World Report 2017

“In the 687-page World Report, its 27th edition, Human Rights Watch reviews human rights practices in more than 90 countries. In his introductory essay, Executive Director Kenneth Roth writes that a new generation of authoritarian populists seeks to overturn the concept of human rights protections, treating rights not as an essential check on official power… Continue Reading

Tech Giants Partner in Effort to Fight Online Terror Content

News release: “Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube are coming together to help curb the spread of terrorist content online. There is no place for content that promotes terrorism on our hosted consumer services. When alerted, we take swift action against this kind of content in accordance with our respective policies. Starting today, we commit to… Continue Reading

The Leaky Leviathan: Why the Government Condemns and Condones Unlawful Disclosures of Information

The Leaky Leviathan: Why the Government Condemns and Condones Unlawful Disclosures of Information. David E. Pozen. Dec 20, 2013. 127 Harv. L. Rev. 512. “The United States government leaks like a sieve. Presidents denounce the constant flow of classified information to the media from unauthorized, anonymous sources. National security professionals decry the consequences. And yet… Continue Reading

EFF – Librarians, Act Now to Protect Your Users

EFF Posting: “Books checked out from a library and terms searched on library computers can reveal a teenager’s questions about sexual orientation, a neighbor’s religious leanings, or a student’s political interests. Libraries across the country, particularly public libraries, make it part of their mission to serve the most vulnerable and underserved user groups, including users… Continue Reading

New on LLRX – Legal Tech Evangelist Calls for Engagement on Civil Liberties Post Election

Via LLRX.com – Legal Tech Evangelist Calls for Engagement on Civil Liberties Post Election. Nicole Black, a Rochester, New York attorney and Legal Technology Evangelist delivers a clarion call for colleagues to expand their engagement with groups that work for civil liberties in the United States. Continue Reading

EFF Fighting NSL Gag Orders With Help From CREDO and Internet Archive

News release: “…EFF has been litigating the constitutionality of NSLs on behalf of unnamed clients in a total of three related court cases beginning in 2011. This week, telecom provider CREDO confirmed that it was the company involved in one of these long-running cases, and published the letters it received three years ago. CREDO, represented… Continue Reading

Launch of Spanish Online Database of Case Law on Freedom of Expression

“Columbia University has launched a Spanish language online global database of freedom of expression case law and court rulings, in partnership with UNESCO, Dejusticia, FLIP (Fundacion para la Liberdad de Prensa), and Universidad Externado de Colombia. The database can be accessed through the following link: https://globalfreedomofexpression.columbia.edu/espanol “This initiative demonstrates the importance of creating multi-stakeholder synergies in… Continue Reading

Report – Yahoo scanned hundreds of millions of emails for gov surveillance

UK Guardian: “Yahoo last year secretly built a custom software program to search all of its customers’ incoming emails for specific information provided by US intelligence officials, sources have told Reuters. The company complied with a classified US government directive, scanning hundreds of millions of Yahoo Mail accounts at the behest of the National Security… Continue Reading

How Oliver Wendell Holmes Changed His Mind – And Changed the History of Free Speech in America

Cameron, Jamie, The Great Dissent: How Oliver Wendell Holmes Changed His Mind – And Changed the History of Free Speech in America, by Thomas Healy (August 10, 2016). Osgoode Legal Studies Research Paper No. 65/2016. Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2821109 “Thomas Healy’s The Great Dissent re-treads the familiar story of US Supreme Court Justice… Continue Reading