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Category Archives: Free Speech

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 Holmes’s First Amendment conversion between March and November 1919, when he launched his marketplace of ideas theory and strong-form version of the clear and present danger doctrine. Healy’s book demonstrates that fresh perspectives on this vital and ever-intriguing change of mind or transformation on Holmes’s part remain possible. The review offers its own perspective by highlighting the process of “reverse mentoring” which took place, in which the older jurist was mentored on free speech issues by the emerging thought leaders of the day – Laski, Frankfurter, Chafee – and showing how Justice Holmes’s landmark dissent in Abrams was nonetheless and indisputably a product of his own jurisprudential ingenuity.”

Global Trends – Forced Displacement in 2015

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees – Global Trends – Forced Displacement in 2015 “The total number of refugees has increased for the fifth consecutive year, from 10.4 million at end-2011 – a 55 per cent rise in just four years. This increase was driven mainly by the conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic, which… Continue Reading

New initiative from Privacy International tracks the global surveillance industry

“A new initiative launched today by Privacy International aims to track the growth and scale of the global surveillance industry, a shadowy sector consisting of companies selling a wide range of electronic surveillance technology to government agencies across the world. Made available today is the world’s largest publicly available educational resource of data and documents… Continue Reading

Which countries still outlaw apostasy and blasphemy?

Pew Research Center – “Apostasy and blasphemy may seem to many like artifacts of history. But in dozens of countries around the world, laws against apostasy and blasphemy remain on the books and often are enforced…We counted and categorized these laws in 2014 as part of our research for a major report on restrictions on… Continue Reading

House Intelligence Committee Publishes Recently Declassified Redacted Version of “28 Pages”

News release: “Today, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), under the direction of Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) and Ranking Member Adam Schiff (D-CA), approved publication of a newly declassified section of the 2002 Joint Congressional Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001.   Following a declassification… Continue Reading

Smithsonian Magazine – An Oral History of the March on Washington

Summer 1963 – “The potent symbolism of a demonstration at the Lincoln Memorial—timed to coincide with the centenary of the Emancipation Proclamation and following President John F. Kennedy’s announcement in June that he would submit a civil rights bill to Congress—transfixed the nation. The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom also catapulted 34-year-old Martin… Continue Reading

CRS – State Voter Identification Requirements

State Voter Identification Requirements: Analysis, Legal Issues, and Policy Considerations. Eric A. Fischer, Senior Specialist in Science and Technology; R. Sam Garrett, Specialist in American National Government; L. Paige Whitaker, Legislative Attorney. July 5, 2016: “About 60% of U.S. voters live in the 33 states that require a voter at a polling place to produce… Continue Reading

House Homeland Security Report – Going Dark, Going Forward: A Primer on the Encryption Debate

June 29, 2016: “Terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino have sparked a public debate on the use of encryption in our society because the attackers used encrypted communications to evade detection, a phenomenon known as “going dark.” Today, the Majority Staff of the House Homeland Security Committee released a new report entitled, Going Dark,… Continue Reading

MSU McLellan Free Expression Online Library

“MSU Law’s First Amendment Law Clinic is the only clinical program in the country solely dedicated to the protection of student speech and press rights. Now, a $500,000 donation from leading Michigan attorney and MSU Law Trustee Richard D. McLellan will expand the clinic’s impact nationwide by creating a Free Expression Online Library and Resource… Continue Reading

USNews article – Google as global censor across all its brands

Robert Epstein, June 22, 2016: Google, Inc., isn’t just the world’s biggest purveyor of information; it is also the world’s biggest censor. “…But as the golden gateway to all knowledge, Google has rapidly become an essential in people’s lives – nearly as essential as air or water. We don’t let public utilities make arbitrary and… Continue Reading

Announcing the Net Data Directory

“The Berkman Center for Internet & Society is delighted to announce the launch of the Net Data Directory, a free, publicly available, searchable database of different sources of data about the Internet. The directory is intended to make finding useful quantitative data about a broad range of Internet-related topics—broadband, cybersecurity, freedom of expression, and more—easier… Continue Reading

Set your data free and reap the rewards

“…Make data available. So what do you do? Many disciplines, universities, and federal agencies have started to build repositories, slowly filling caverns of data to mine. The best ones allow for easy uploading and a pathway to making these observations machine-readable, with provenance information and metadata inseparable from the pudding that is your data. Well-known… Continue Reading