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Free Speech Group Gives Muzzle Awards For First Amendment Violations

Free Speech Group Gives Muzzle Awards For First Amendment Violations | Free Expression | Scoop.it
A professor at Sam Houston State University in Texas was cited for cutting the "f-word" from a university-approved "free-speech wall," on which students were invited to express themselves by writing on the wall's parchment paper.
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Free Expression
The Never-Ending Fight to Ensure Your Right to Express Yourself
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Ed Feulner - Muzzling the Marketplace of Ideas

Ed Feulner - Muzzling the Marketplace of Ideas | Free Expression | Scoop.it
Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech. The words of the First Amendment couldnt be plainer. Yet more than two centuries after the Bill of Rights was written, they remain the subject of fierce debate.

Via Thomas Wentzel
Roger Gunn's insight:

These days, apparently, we’re all so thin-skinned that we can’t bear to hear an opinion that challenges our worldview.

 This is even true, ironically, at our institutions of higher learning. Some colleges are far more interested in swaddling their students in a protective bubble than in teaching free speech.

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How Corporations Took Over the First Amendment

How Corporations Took Over the First Amendment | Free Expression | Scoop.it
More and more, it's companies—not individuals—that are benefiting from free-speech rights.
Roger Gunn's insight:

To determine the most-frequent beneficiaries of First Amendment, Coates analyzed the 423 Supreme Court cases between 1946 and 2014 that dealt with questions of speech.

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Americans have First Amendment right to film police, US appeals court rules

Americans have First Amendment right to film police, US appeals court rules | Free Expression | Scoop.it
A federal appeals court has ruled that Americans have the right to videotape police officers in public, thereby allowing a court case brought against New Hampshire police to progress.
Roger Gunn's insight:

The decision comes amid a flurry of court cases involving citizens attempting to express their First Amendment rights by filming their encounters with law enforcement officers, many of whom say the recordings interfere with their work, to say nothing of the possibility that a camera may be mistaken for a weapon.

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Bill Maher says President Obama is 'Perhaps the Worst' on Freedom of the Press -  

Bill Maher says President Obama is 'Perhaps the Worst' on Freedom of the Press -   | Free Expression | Scoop.it

Bill Maher is throwing some shade on President Obama’s credentials as a supposed champion of freedom of the Press.

Roger Gunn's insight:

 

The host of HBO’s “Real Time” sat down Friday to discuss media coverage of secret government work with documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras, one of the journalists centrally involved in bringing revelations from former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden to light.

“I don’t understand why he is perhaps the worst president we’ve had on clamping down on the press,” Maher said.

“He’s used the Espionage Act more than any other president, right?” Maher added.

Other members of the media have blasted the Obama administration’s treatment of journalists.

This week former CBS News reporter Sharyl Attkisson told a Senate panel that Obama officials treat investigative journalists and their sources like “enemies of the state.”

“The job of getting at the truth has never been more difficult,” she said during the confirmation hearing for Loretta Lynch, the attorney general nominee.

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The Supreme Court Is Tackling Facebook, Rap Lyrics, and the First Amendment - Boston.com

The Supreme Court Is Tackling Facebook, Rap Lyrics, and the First Amendment - Boston.com | Free Expression | Scoop.it
ICYMI the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments last week about whether or not violent statements posted on social media are proof of intent.
Roger Gunn's insight:

The Supreme Court seems hung up on whether there’s a difference in the creative liberties allowed to artists and those allowed to independent individuals. The intent of a statement—whether or not it is meant to incite fear and/or violence—has been paramount in previous cases brought before the justices and the lower courts. Also, in some cases, it’s more about who the threats are directed at—the military, the President of the United States, your family and peers. Sometimes a test known as the “Dinwiddie factors,” which gauges the frequency, medium, and reaction to a said threat, is used to determine whether or not it’s valid.

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Free speech taking hits right and left (but mostly left) - LancasterOnline

Free speech taking hits right and left (but mostly left) - LancasterOnline | Free Expression | Scoop.it
Support among Americans, particularly liberals, for the First Amendment rights of political opponents has declined.
Roger Gunn's insight:

Over the past few decades, there has been a rather fundamental shift in liberal ideology, especially as it relates to free speech and civil liberties.  The Left has become less likely to support First Amendment rights, increasingly favoring restrictions on liberties in the name of advancing equality.  

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Journalists shouldn't be on trial. Support NYT reporter James Risen and freedom of the press.

Journalists shouldn't be on trial. Support NYT reporter James Risen and freedom of the press. | Free Expression | Scoop.it
If Risen refuses to testify against his alleged source, as he has vowed to, he would likely face harsh fines or imprisonment.
Roger Gunn's insight:

Join the Project On Government Oversight in supporting Risen's fight to protect his sources and in supporing freedom of the press.

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Ten years after, Bush protesters lose free speech case

Ten years after, Bush protesters lose free speech case | Free Expression | Scoop.it

The justices ruled unanimously that the Secret Service acted appropriately when it moved anti-Bush protesters several blocks further away from the president's dinner table, even while allowing a friendly crowd of demonstrators to hold their ground.

Roger Gunn's insight:

"People are not at liberty to speak whenever, however, and wherever they please," Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg ruled for the court. "In that regard, we have recognized that securing the safety of the president is a vital concern."

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SOCIALISM OR YOUR MONEY BACK: Freedom Of The Press

SOCIALISM OR YOUR MONEY BACK: Freedom Of The Press | Free Expression | Scoop.it

The U.S. government is insisting that New York Times "national security" reporter James Risen reveal a confidential source -- or go to jail. Risen says he won’t capitulate.

Roger Gunn's insight:

The Freedom of the Press Foundation has called the government's effort to force Risen to reveal a source "one of the most significant press freedom cases in decades."

Daniel Ellsberg says: "The pursuit of Risen is a warning to potential sources that journalists cannot promise them confidentiality for disclosing Executive Branch criminality, recklessness, deception, unconstitutional policies or lying us into war. Without protecting confidentiality, investigative journalism required for accountability and democracy will wither and disappear."

A recent brief from the Obama administration to the nation's top court "is unflinchingly hostile to the idea of the Supreme Court creating or finding protections for journalists," Politico reported.

The newspaper added that Risen "might be sent to jail or fined if he refuses to identify his sources or testify about other details of his reporting."

This threat is truly ominous. As Ellsberg puts it, "We would know less than we do now about government abuses, less than we need to know to hold officials accountable and to influence policy democratically."
        

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FAA's ban on newsgathering drones violates the First Amendment (Editorial) - The Post-Standard

FAA's ban on newsgathering drones violates the First Amendment (Editorial) - The Post-Standard | Free Expression | Scoop.it

For years, the press has used helicopters and airplanes to cover the news.

Drones are a new technology, but they already have been shown to enhance the public's understanding of events. Drones were used to capture footage of massive demonstrations in Ukraine, the scene of a gas explosion in New York City, thesmoldering wreckage of a derailed oil train in Lynchburg, Va., and the aftermath of a tornado in Arkansas. 


 
Roger Gunn's insight:

The FAA has sent "cease and desist'' letters to journalists using drones and even suggested to a newspaper that publishing photos taken by a drone hobbyist would violate its policy. This has had an impermissible chilling effect on news coverage.

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A 'flash' of insight about our free speech: First Amendment column - Stevenspointjournal

A 'flash' of insight about our free speech: First Amendment column - Stevenspointjournal | Free Expression | Scoop.it
A 'flash' of insight about our free speech: First Amendment column
Stevenspointjournal
Nonetheless, Elli proceeded with a federal lawsuit. In early February, U.S.
Roger Gunn's insight:

In Houston, Justice William J. Brennan wrote that “the right of individuals verbally to oppose or challenge police action without thereby risking arrest is one of the principal characteristics by which we distinguish a free nation from a police state. … The First Amendment recognizes, wisely we think, that a certain amount of expressive disorder not only is inevitable in a society committed to individual freedom, but must itself be protected if that freedom would survive.”

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FCC's New Assault on Freedom of the Press - Real Clear Politics

FCC's New Assault on Freedom of the Press - Real Clear Politics | Free Expression | Scoop.it

The First Amendment says "Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press…" 

Roger Gunn's insight:

But under the Obama administration, the Federal Communications Commission is planning to send government contractors into the nation's newsrooms to determine whether journalists are producing articles, television reports, Internet content, and commentary that meets the public's "critical information needs." Those "needs" will be defined by the administration, and news outlets that do not comply with the government's standards could face an uncertain future. It's hard to imagine a project more at odds with the First Amendment.

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Free speech under fire at American universities

Which schools are the worst offenders? (Free speech under fire at American universities http://t.co/GMIN4VE11d)
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We got in the habit of travelling around and teaching people to build radio stations: Pete Tridish | UNESCO Chair on Community Media

We got in the habit of travelling around and teaching people to build radio stations: Pete Tridish | UNESCO Chair on Community Media | Free Expression | Scoop.it

Over the years, as both the commercial and the non- commercial band filled up in the US, there was no longer much room to start a new radio station.


Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Roger Gunn's insight:

Stephen Dunifer, an activist, built a transmitter and operated it [Free Radio Berkeley] from 1993 as an act of civil disobedience and when he was caught, he said, we recognise the authority of the FCC and they are allowed to abridge our freedom of speech to have an orderly band. But they are supposed to be doing it in the way that’s the least harmful to the First Amendment. His lawyers said if my client has no radio stations, and Clear Channel has 1200 radio stations, how could this be the fairest system?

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Attorney: If the Supreme Court Keeps Going This Way Free Speech will be Dead - Freedom Outpost

Attorney: If the Supreme Court Keeps Going This Way Free Speech will be Dead - Freedom Outpost | Free Expression | Scoop.it
Attorney: If the Supreme Court Keeps Going This Way Free Speech will be Dead
Roger Gunn's insight:

He also said, "As I'm looking at the court decisions across the country in the lower courts and the Supreme Court, pretty soon anything that might offend somebody – and you can put quotes around that word 'might' – is going to be taboo. So free speech, as we've known it, I think is almost dead if this court continues the way it's going."
Read more at http://freedomoutpost.com/2015/04/attorney-if-the-supreme-court-keeps-going-this-way-free-speech-will-be-dead.

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Warner Bros. Asserts First Amendment Right to Hunt Copyright Pirates

Warner Bros. Asserts First Amendment Right to Hunt Copyright Pirates | Free Expression | Scoop.it
What's in the First Amendment? Free speech, free religion, free assembly? Of course. How about freedom to hunt copyright pirates? Look closely.

Via Andre Castaybert
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World Jewish Congress Seeks to Ban Freedom of Speech across Globe - The New Observer

World Jewish Congress Seeks to Ban Freedom of Speech across Globe - The New Observer | Free Expression | Scoop.it

Not content with already severely impeding freedom of speech in Europe, the World Jewish Congress (WJC) has launched an attempt to get the world’s largest online retailer, Amazon, to start censoring what they sell.

Roger Gunn's insight:

“It’s freedom of speech, I wonder if any of you all realize how hypocritical you all are with comments. You all are talking about burning the books, and all this stuff. Just because Amazon supports freedom of speech? Get over yourself that other people don’t believe what you all do. You can buy Communist books that support revolutions, you can buy books on violence and all this stuff yet the one thing that offends you is a book that no one is forcing you to read? It’s not being shoved down your throats, it’s simply up for people to buy. How is it wrong for people to read at their choosing?”

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Sharyl Attkisson: This Is The 'Worst White House' For Freedom Of The Press

Sharyl Attkisson: This Is The 'Worst White House' For Freedom Of The Press | Free Expression | Scoop.it
Sharyl Attkisson isn't afraid to criticize the Obama administration, because she believes she's just saying what every journalist already knows.
Roger Gunn's insight:

The former CBS News investigative reporter claims she was surveilled and heavily monitored while reporting on the White House administration. Attkisson said that there is now full "consensus" among the media that the current administration is the "worst White House they have dealt with in recent times for transparency and freedom of the press."

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Journalist facing jail for protecting source assails Obama Administration as ‘the greatest enemy of press freedom in a generation’

Journalist facing jail for protecting source assails Obama Administration as ‘the greatest enemy of press freedom in a generation’ | Free Expression | Scoop.it
By Madalena Araujo, CNN New York Times reporter James Risen, who is facing jail time for refusing to reveal his source for a story, has denounced the Obama Administration as “the greatest enemy of press freedom in a generation” in an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that aired Thursday.
Roger Gunn's insight:

The current administration has prosecuted more whistleblowers under The Espionage Act than all previous presidents combined.

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Let's Repeal Freedom of Speech? - Town Hall

Let's Repeal Freedom of Speech? - Town Hall | Free Expression | Scoop.it
Town Hall
Let's Repeal Freedom of Speech?
Town Hall
...
Roger Gunn's insight:

SJR 19’s lead sponsor, Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) states that his goal in re-writing our rights is to “give the power back to the Congress.”

But, wait, that would constitute amending reality as well. Congress never had any such power. The instructions in the Constitution’s First Amendment were written quite soberly, and remain crystal clear: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people to peacefully assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

SJR 19 would simply remove those words “freedom of speech” above from our highest law and allow Congress to make any speech-regulating law they damn well feel like.

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Underneath all the speech controversies, it's just business - CNN

Underneath all the speech controversies, it's just business - CNN | Free Expression | Scoop.it


(CNN) -- Free speech has consequences -- especially when business interests are involved.

Roger Gunn's insight:

"Do they have a legal right (to drop the Benhams)? Yes. Should we be cheering it? No, we should not," he told CNN's "New Day." "We ought to be big enough people that we can see people we don't agree with, let them fix their houses, help the nice people. What are we scared of?"

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“Freedom of the Press” and “The Shield Law”: “Protecting the Public ...

“Freedom of the Press” and “The Shield Law”: “Protecting the Public ... | Free Expression | Scoop.it

Journalists are much more able to conduct their work and bring information to public light if they do not need to worry about having to reveal their sources. While Shield Laws have occurred in the past, they have only been on the state level. This currently proposed Shield Law is the first one to reach the federal level and the main goal is to protect journalists from having to reveal confidential sources in federal cases

Roger Gunn's insight:

However, there are certain instances in which journalists will have to reveal sources, such as “(1) The party seeking disclosure has exhausted all reasonable alternative sources of the information; (2) The requested information is essential to resolving the matter; (3) Disclosure of the requested information would not be contrary to the public interest; and (4) In criminal cases, if the requesting party is the federal government, the government must show that there are reasonable grounds to believe that a crime has occurred.”[3]

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Is Obama Trying To Kill A Free Press? - Fox News (blog)

Is Obama Trying To Kill A Free Press? - Fox News (blog) | Free Expression | Scoop.it

The FCC is launching a new study, taking upon itself the task of deciding what news the public “needs” to hear, versus the news the public wants to hear.

Roger Gunn's insight:

From its inception, the Obama administration has proven that it’s not only intolerant of critics, but that it will use the full power of an increasingly partisan bureaucracy to intimidate Americans and rein in dissent. The administration turned the IRS on the Tea Party, it unleashed the Department of Justice on wayward reporters, and now the FCC is preparing to snoop into America’s television and radio studios.

In an era of divided government, it’s sometimes difficult to stop Obama administration excess, but this call to action should be easy:


Under no circumstances should the House of Representatives allocate even a single dime of taxpayer money to authorize or empower government monitors in any newsroom in America.

The free press is at stake.

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Prison Planet.com » Nancy Pelosi's Attack on the First Amendment

Prison Planet.com » Nancy Pelosi's Attack on the First Amendment | Free Expression | Scoop.it

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Maryland Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) signed on to the national  movement to amend the U.S. Constitution.

Roger Gunn's insight:

Pelosi and Sarbanes assume that before Citizens United corporations didn’t have any political speech, as if media corporations never engage in political speech. (Indeed, their column was a political opinion in a corporate media organ.) The Citizens United decision actually democratized political speech by allowing more than just media corporations to engage in political speech.

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FCC Proposes Initiative To Study How Journalists Operate - Attack On First Amendment?

FCC Proposes Initiative To Study How Journalists Operate - Attack On First Amendment? - The Kelly File =========================================== **Pleas...
Roger Gunn's insight:

Government and journalism don't mix! Very bad idea! Politicians are trying to influence what you hear! Rise up in protest! 

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