Hundreds of Canadian artists call for repeal of surveillance law


Bill C-51 is a sweeping, radical mass-surveillance bill proposed by the current Canadian Tory government, which will be fighting an election next month. Read the rest

Free speech versus "compelled attention"


Yesterday's story about a woman who made her Twitter account private because of harassment from men sparked a lot of discussion about how blocking and free speech interact with each other. Here's my $0.02 on the matter: Read the rest

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Library offers Tor nodes; DHS tells them to stop

John writes, "After a library created a Tor node on its network, the DHS and local police contacted them to ask them to stop. For now they have; their Board of Trustees will vote soon on whether to renew the service." Read the rest

Fight censorship with the new Humble Bundle full of Gaiman rarities

More than a dozen rare and unpublished Neil Gaiman titles are available DRM-free on a name-your-price basis at Humble Bundle this week, with proceeds to benefit the brilliant Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, as well as other free-speech causes. Read the rest

The End of the Internet Dream: the speech that won Black Hat (and Defcon)

"The End of the Internet Dream," cyberlawyer Jennifer Granick's keynote at Black Hat, was all anyone could talk about at this year's Defcon -- Black Hat being the grown-up, buttoned-down, military-industrial cousin to Defcon's wild and exuberant anarchy. Read the rest

Student suspended for tweeting two words will get to sue his school, police chief

Rogers, MN honor student Reid Sagehorn was suspended after he tweeted two words, using his own device, on his own time, off school property. Read the rest

FBI opened a file on George Carlin for telling "bad taste" Hoover jokes

Michael from Muckrock writes, "After George Carlin satirized FBI and J. Edgar Hoover in a bit "considered to be in very poor taste" (but which was incredibly tame by Carlin standards), the Bureau took a special interest in the famed comedian, starting a file and sending out queries across the country as to Carlin's loyalties and background." Read the rest

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Ellen Pao: “The trolls are winning.”


“I have just endured one of the largest trolling attacks in history,” writes Reddit's recently-departed interim CEO Ellen Pao in a Washington Post op-ed today. “And I have just been blessed with the most astonishing human responses to that attack.” Read the rest

Australian woman imprisoned in Abu Dhabi for Facebook post


Did you know that if you post a photo of a car parked across two disabled spaces in Abu Dhabi you can go to prison for “writing bad words about a person?” Jodi Magi, 39, did not know that. The Australian woman posted the photo to her Facebook page and even obscured the license plate number on the car. But that didn't matter to authorities. She was fined $2,700 and offered to pay, but when she tried to leave the country Abu Dhabi authorities turned down the offer and insisted that she go to court.

At this point she was arrested and taken away in a police van.

"No one's talking to me. No one's telling me what's going on," she told the Australian broadcaster, ABC, from the back of the van.

“They were about to put me in male lock-up and then they turned me away and no one knows what to do with me. I'm pretty scared."

It is still unclear how long Ms Magi will remain in custody.

What do you bet the car in the photo belongs to a powerful person in Abu Dhabi? But, it's good you're locking up Jodi, Your Honor. A real good thing. And tomorrow... tomorrow's gonna be a... real good day! Read the rest

NZ's anti-troll law: gift to trolls, bad for free speech

If you set out to create the platonic ideal of a badly considered anti-trolling bill that made a bunch of ineffectual gestures at ending harassment without regard to the collateral damage on everything else on the Internet, well, you'd be New Zealand's Parliament, apparently. Read the rest

After lying and covering up, Facebook finally changes rules for inmates' pages

After at least four years of lying about its rubberstamp takedown process for prison authorities and omitting prison takedowns from its transparency reports, Facebook is finally bringing a crumb of due process to its treatment of prisoners. Read the rest

Atlanta pays $20,000 to critic forced to post pro-cop message to Facebook

Atlanta police Lt. Jeffrey Cantin told Baton Bob, a street performer, that he wouldn't be released on Bond unless he posted complementary remarks about the Atlanta police department to his Facebook page. Read the rest

Comics Connector: matching comics professionals with teachers/librarians for visits

Charles from the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund writes, "Comic Book Legal Defense Fund continues the celebration of Children's Book Week by launching its newest resource -- the Comics Connector, a directory that connects educators and librarians with comics professionals who are able to provide classroom/library visits." Read the rest

Sony sends pre-emptive threat letter to journalists

A lawyer retained by Sony has sent threat-letters to media outlets hinting at repercussions if they report on material in the huge dump of internal Sony docs from the North Korea hack that Wikileaks put online. Read the rest

Clean Reader is a free speech issue

My latest Guardian column, Allow Clean Reader to swap 'bad' words in books – it's a matter of free speech expands on last week's editorial about the controversial ebook reader, which lets readers mangle the books they read by programatically swapping swear-words for milder alternatives. Read the rest

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