Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002

Category Archives: Free Speech


iCivics works to ensure every student in America receives a quality and engaging civic education and graduates from high school well prepared and enthusiastic for citizenship. With your support, that vision is within our reach. Today, more than 108,000 teachers and 6 million students in all 50 states utilize iCivics’ innovative and free online resources. We rely entirely on philanthropy to keep those resources free and relevant. Your tax-deductible donation will help us further our reach and deepen our impact on student engagement in civic life…In 2009, a 79 year-old former Supreme Court Justice, who had never played a video game in her life, founded an educational video-game company to reimagine civic education in America. Ten years later, iCivics is the nation’s leading provider of civic education curriculum and resources. Last year alone, our games were played nearly 19 million times. 108,000 teachers now actively engage with our platform, and iCivics benefits 6.75 million students in all 50 states. That is an increase of nearly 30% over the previous year! Most importantly, behind those numbers is something far more meaningful: countless young people, who otherwise would not care, now appreciate the significance of their civic roles in society – and are inspired by it.

Some of our notable acheivements in 2019 include: Read more in our 2019 annual report and view a celebratory 10-year timeline.

  • Two new games released: Newsfeed Defenders and our first-ever history game, Race to Ratify
  • Received the President’s Award from TESOL – the largest organization of English learners
  • Developed 25 new curricular materials including lesson plans on the Constitution, mini-lessons on the Legislative Branch of government, game Extension Packs, and infographics
  • CivXNow coalition surpasses 100+ members..”

Protecting the Legal Foundation of the Internet: 2019 in Review

EFF: “When someone says something unlawful online, they should be the one held responsible for it, not the website or platform where they said it. Section 230—the most important law protecting free speech online—reflects that common-sense principle. This year, EFF defended Section 230 in Congress, the courts, and on the Internet…” Continue Reading

The Decade Tech Lost Its Way

The New York Times – The Decade Tech Lost Its Way – An oral history of the 2010s – “When the decade began, tech meant promise — cars that could drive themselves, social networks that could take down dictators. It connected us in ways we could barely imagine. But somewhere along the way, the flaws of technology… Continue Reading

Journalists imprisoned in 2019

“The number of journalists imprisoned globally for their work in 2019 remained near record highs, as China tightened its iron grip on the press and Turkey, having stamped out virtually all independent reporting, released journalists awaiting trial or appeal. Authoritarianism, instability, and protests in the Middle East led to a rise in the number of… Continue Reading

Book burning by Chinese county library sparks fury

The Guardian UK – Blaze complying with ministry directive meant for schools harks back to Qin dynasty and Nazi Germany, critics say – “A county library in north-western China has been criticised for burning books in line with a nationwide cull of “illegal” or “improper” materials used in school libraries. Reports and photos of two women… Continue Reading

76 things you can do to boost civic engagement

Brookings: “The year 1776 was an auspicious year for democracy. The idea that a people could govern themselves was radical at the time. The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution that followed are for most Americans revered documents and a cornerstone of our democracy. Over the years, this idea of democratic republicanism has become central… Continue Reading

Freedom on the Net 2019 The Crisis of Social Media

Freedom House – “Governments around the world are increasingly using social media to manipulate elections and monitor their citizens, tilting the technology toward digital authoritarianism. As a result of these trends, global internet freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year, according to Freedom on the Net 2019, the latest edition of the annual country-by-country assessment… Continue Reading

We’ve made the decision to stop all political advertising on Twitter globally

Via @Jack – Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey –  “We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought. Why? A few reasons…A political message earns reach when people decide to follow an account or retweet. Paying for reach removes that decision, forcing highly optimized and targeted political messages on people. We believe this decision should… Continue Reading

BBC News launches ‘dark web’ Tor mirror

BBC News: “The BBC has made its international news website available via Tor, in a bid to thwart censorship attempts. Tor is a privacy-focused web browser used to access pages on the dark web. The browser can obscure who is using it and what data is being accessed, which can help people avoid government surveillance… Continue Reading

Insult of Public Officials: A Free Speech Perspective

Bezemek, Christoph, Insult of Public Officials: A Free Speech Perspective (June 12, 2019). Forthcoming in Schauer/Stone (eds), Oxford Handbook on Freedom of Speech (2019). Available at SSRN: “Free speech, it is said, is the necessary prerequisite to “speak truth to power”. And of course: those in power may often (or maybe even: typically) dislike… Continue Reading