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Category Archives: Free Speech

North Korea: UN Commission documents wide-ranging and ongoing crimes against humanity

UN Commission on Human Rights – “A wide array of crimes against humanity, arising from “policies established at the highest level of State,” have been committed and continue to take place in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, according to a UN report released Monday, which also calls for urgent action by the international communityContinue Reading

Reporters Without Borders Releases Press Freedom Index

“Reporters Without Borders today released its 2014 World Press Freedom Index, spotlighting major declines in media freedom in such varied countries as the United States, Central African Republic, and Guatemala while noting marked improvements in Ecuador, Bolivia, and South Africa. The same trio of Finland, Netherlands, and Norway heads the index again, while Turkmenistan, North Korea and EritreaContinue Reading

Report – Democracy in Crisis: Corruption, Media, and Power in Turkey

A Freedom House Special Report, February 2014: “Turkey’s government is improperly using its leverage over media to limit public debate about government actions and punish journalists and media owners who dispute government claims, deepening the country’s political and social polarization, Freedom House concludes in a report issued on February 3. “The government must recognize that its efforts to control aContinue Reading

Free definitive guide to verifying digital content for emergency coverage

“Authored by leading journalists from the BBC, Storyful, ABC, Digital First Media and other verification experts, the Verification Handbook is a groundbreaking new resource for journalists and aid providers. It provides the tools, techniques and step-by-step guidelines for how to deal with user-generated content (UGC) during emergencies.” [Currently available on the web. Printed, ePub and free PDF versionsContinue Reading

Freedom in the World 2014

“The state of freedom declined for the eighth consecutive year in 2013, according to Freedom in the World 2014, Freedom House’s annual country-by-country report on global political rights and civil liberties. Particularly notable were developments in Egypt, which endured across-the-board reversals in its democratic institutions following a military coup. There were also serious setbacks to democratic rightsContinue Reading

Spy Agencies Scour Mobile Phone Apps for Personal Data

This ProPublic story was co-produced with The New York Times and The Guardian. “When a smartphone user opens Angry Birds, the popular game application, and starts slinging birds at chortling green pigs, spy agencies have plotted how to lurk in the background to snatch data revealing the player’s location, age, sex and other personal information, according to secretContinue Reading

Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board Issues Report on NSA Massive Metadata Surveillance

Report on the Telephone Records Program Conducted under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act and on the Operations of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. January 23, 2014. “The PCLOB is an independent bipartisan agency within the executive branch established by the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007.6 The Board is comprised ofContinue Reading

A Reporter’s Guide to the Millennium Development Goals

Editor’s Note/Global Investigative Journalism Network: “For the next two weeks, GIJN is running a series drawn from the newly released Reporter’s Guide to the Millennium Development Goals: Covering Development Commitments for 2015 and Beyond, published by the International Press Institute. Agreed to in 2000, the UN Millennium Goals comprise an ambitious agenda to improve quality of life around the world,Continue Reading

Russian Political, Economic, and Security Issues and U.S. Interests

CRS - Russian Political, Economic, and Security Issues and U.S. Interests. Jim Nichol, Coordinator, Specialist in Russian and Eurasian Affairs, January 9, 2014. “After the Soviet Union’s collapse, the United States sought a cooperative relationship with Moscow and supplied almost $19 billion in aid for Russia from FY1992 through FY2010 to encourage democracy and market reforms and in particular to preventContinue Reading

HuffPo: James Risen Takes His Press Freedom Fight To The Supreme Court

Jack Mirkinson: “New York Times reporter James Risen said Monday that he has formally taken his legal battle to prevent him from having to reveal confidential sources all the way to the Supreme Court.  Risen was ordered last year to testify in the trial of Jeffrey Sterling, a former CIA agent charged with leaking classified informationContinue Reading

Small San Francisco mobile company first to release transparency report

Wired – Kim Zetter: “A small telecom believed to be at the center of a historic court battle over government surveillance published its first transparency report on Thursday, noting that it had received 16 government requests for customer data in 2013. But the report may be most significant for what it doesn’t say. Credo Mobile, theContinue Reading

CRS – National Security Letters in Foreign Intelligence Investigations

National Security Letters in Foreign Intelligence Investigations: Legal Background, January 3, 2014: “Five statutory provisions vest government agencies responsible for certain foreign intelligence investigations (principally the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)) with authority to issue written commands comparable to administrative subpoenas. A National Security Letter (NSL)  seeks customer and consumer transaction information in national security investigations from communications providers,Continue Reading