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Category Archives: Censorship

Teachers face threats, books are banned as China pushes party line in Hong Kong schools

Washington Post: “As China’s Communist Party dismantles Hong Kong’s freedoms, teachers are facing pressure to toe Beijing’s line. Schools are emerging as ideological battlegrounds as officials seek to transform freethinking students into patriots loyal to the motherland through punishment, coercion, surveillance and propaganda-style education. “I feel like we have suddenly been put on the front line,” said Chan, whose Chinese history syllabus officials have made compulsory for the first time. “The government seems to have found that education is easier to blame for the current situation in Hong Kong, and easier to fix.” A culture of self-censorship and government control that was already growing in schools intensified recently as Beijing introduced a security law aimed at eliminating dissent, according to nearly a dozen teachers and students who spoke to The Washington Post. The law, published June 30, compels Hong Kong’s government to “promote national security education” and pinpoints campuses for “supervision and regulation.” This week, education authorities told schools to review their library collections and remove books that could violate the law. Titles including those by democracy activist Joshua Wong have already disappeared from public libraries….”

Social Media: Threat to or Tool of Authoritarianism?

HBR – “…Given the growing weight of social media’s influence on society, the key question is whether social media will become a sentinel against systematic oppression and injustice, effectively posing a serious challenge to authoritarian regimes. In the case of China, while social media may not have the power to cause a regime change, it… Continue Reading

How the World Missed COVID-19’s Silent Spread

The New York Times – “…Interviews with doctors and public health officials in more than a dozen countries show that for two crucial months — and in the face of mounting genetic evidence — Western health officials and political leaders played down or denied the risk of symptomless spreading. Leading health agencies including the World… Continue Reading

John Bolton’s Book That Trump Wanted to Stop Is Spreading Widely on Piracy Sites

Motherboard: ‘The Room Where it Happened’ is tearing up the charts on sites where people download the book for free. Former National Security Advisor John Bolton’s memoir The Room Where It Happened is set to release tomorrow, but it’s already a huge hit on pirate sites. According to Torrent Freak, The Pirate Bay, Google Drive,… Continue Reading

Complaint: Trump Sues John Bolton Over His Memoir

Law.com – “…This is a civil action by the United States to prevent Defendant John R. Bolton, a former National Security Advisor, from compromising national security by publishing a book containing classified information,” the Justice Department said in its complaint Tuesday in Washington. The Trump administration on Tuesday went to court in Washington in an… Continue Reading

The Economist Democracy Index 2019

“The twelfth edition of the Democracy Index finds that the average global score has fallen from 5.48 in 2018, to 5.44. This is the worst average global score since The Economist Intelligence Unit first produced the Democracy Index in 2006. Driven by sharp regressions in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa, four out of the five… Continue Reading

Voter Registration: Recent Developments and Issues for Congress

CRS report via LC: Voter Registration: Recent Developments and Issues for Congress. June 10, 2020: “…The National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA) expanded registration opportunities by creating a federal mail-based registration form and requiring states to provide voter registration opportunities alongside services provided by departments of motor vehicles (DMVs) and at other agencies. NVRA… Continue Reading

Section 230 and the Executive Order on Preventing Online Censorship

CRS Legal Sidebar via LC – Section 230 and the Executive Order on Preventing Online Censorship – June 3, 2020: “On May 28, 2020, President Trump issued the Executive Order on Preventing Online Censorship (EO), expressing the executive branch’s views on Section 230 of the federal Communications Decency Act. As discussed in this Legal Sidebar,… Continue Reading

Trump’s order to curtail power of social media giants faces legal challenge

Legal Insider: “Mayer Brown has filed a lawsuit against President Donald Trump on behalf of non-profit digital rights group Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT), alleging that his recent executive order to curtail the protection of social media giants such as Twitter violates the First Amendment, which protects freedom of speech. The lawsuit alleges that… Continue Reading

AG Barr on DC protests – expect increased law enforcement in the region

@ABCNewsPolitics: “Attorney General Bill Barr releases statement on protests in Washington, D.C., saying, “there will be even greater law enforcement resources and support in the region tonight…” Meanwhile our area remains under surveillance overhead by military helicopters, planes and drones. Via Wired – The Feds Are Now Using ‘Stingrays’ in Planes to Spy on Our… Continue Reading

Bad state data hides coronavirus threat as Trump pushes reopening

Politico – Test counts inflated, death tolls deflated, metrics shifted: “Federal and state officials across the country have altered or hidden public health data crucial to tracking the coronavirus’ spread, hindering the ability to detect a surge of infections as President Donald Trump pushes the nation to reopen rapidly. In at least a dozen states,… Continue Reading

How to Preserve Civil Liberties in a Pandemic

POGO – “As the coronavirus pandemic continues, our country faces numerous challenges that will require not only extraordinary responses, but extraordinary vigilance to prevent the abuse of power during this crisis. And as unprecedented as many of these challenges are, the fear the virus provokes is not entirely novel. Accordingly, responses to past crises—most notably,… Continue Reading