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Category Archives: Free Speech

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 review, the Obama Administration decided to declassify the Joint Inquiry’s only wholly classified section, commonly referred to as the “28 pages.” The Administration then sent this document, with redactions to protect sources and methods, to congressional leadership. HPSCI has posted the document on its website.

Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes said, “I support the Administration’s decision to declassify this section of the post-9/11 Joint Inquiry. Because the information can be released without jeopardizing national security, the American people should be able to access it. However, it’s important to note that this section does not put forward vetted conclusions, but rather unverified leads that were later fully investigated by the Intelligence Community. Many of the Intelligence Community’s findings were included in the 9/11 Commission report as well as in a newly declassified executive summary of a CIA-FBI joint assessment that will soon be released by the Director of National Intelligence.”

Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Schiff said, “I applaud the Administration’s decision to declassify the so-called 28 pages, a step I have been urging for several years.  The American people have the right to know the full scope of the matters examined by the Joint  Inquiry, and I have every confidence the public can assess the allegations raised in the 28 pages and the 9/11 Commission’s conclusions on those matters. I hope that the release of these pages, with appropriate redactions necessary to protect our nation’s intelligence sources and methods, will diminish speculation that they contain proof of official Saudi Government or senior Saudi official involvement in the 9/11 attacks. The Intelligence Community and the 9/11 Commission, which followed the Joint Inquiry that produced these so-called 28 pages, investigated the questions they raised and was never able to find sufficient evidence to support them.  I know that the release of these pages will not end debate over the issue, but it will quiet rumors over their contents – as is often the case, the reality is less damaging than the uncertainty.”

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

Study identifies metadata mining of telephone data by NSA

“Privacy protections against government surveillance are often scoped to communications content and exclude communications metadata. In the United States, the National Security Agency operated a particularly controversial program, collecting bulk telephone metadata nationwide. We investigate the privacy properties of telephone metadata to assess the impact of policies that distinguish between content and metadata. We find… Continue Reading

California’s Legislature Wants to Copyright All Government Works

Via Ernesto Falcon – EFF: “AB 2880 will give state and local governments dramatic powers to chill speech, stifle open government, and harm the public domain. The California Assembly Committee on Judiciary recently approved a bill (AB 2880) to grant local and state governments’ copyright authority along with other intellectual property rights. At its core,… Continue Reading

Economist and Time Websites blocked in China

New York Times: “The Economist and Time have joined the list of foreign news websites currently blocked in mainland China. The sites appear to have been censored as a result of recently published cover articles in the magazines critical of the growing power of China’s president, Xi Jinping. According to GreatFire.org, a website that tracks… Continue Reading

Free Expression on Campus: A Survey of U.S. College Students and U.S. Adults

Report by Gallup, The Knight Foundation and the Newseum Institute: “The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees Americans freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, freedom of the press and the right to petition the government without retribution. The ways in which the First Amendment has been interpreted and applied over time… Continue Reading