Press Freedom / Media-Government Relations
Articles and Resources
Date Fairness.com Resource Read it at: May 26, 2016 Billionaire Peter Thiel’s attack on Gawker is called “champerty,” and it used to be illegal
QUOTE: Billionaire Peter Thiel appears to be helping to fund Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit against Gawker Media. But the lawsuit and its outcome are a mere sideshow to the main story, which is that this case is a terrifying development for those of us who value a free, democratic media.
Quartz Feb 28, 2015 Fear Envelops Russia After Killing of Putin Critic Boris Nemtsov
QUOTE: About two weeks before he was shot and killed in the highest-profile political assassination in Russia in a decade, Boris Y. Nemtsov met with an old friend to discuss his latest research into what he said was dissembling and misdeeds in the Kremlin... he wanted to publish the research in a pamphlet to be called “Putin and the War,” about President Vladimir V. Putin and Russian involvement in the Ukraine conflict
New York Times Jun 02, 2014 Supreme Court Rejects Appeal From Times Reporter Over Refusal to Identify Source
QUOTE: The Supreme Court on Monday turned down an appeal from James Risen, a reporter for The New York Times facing jail for refusing to identify a confidential source....The case arose from a subpoena to Mr. Risen seeking information about his source for a chapter of his 2006 book, “State of War.” Prosecutors say they need Mr. Risen’s testimony to prove that the source was Jeffrey Sterling, a former C.I.A. official.
New York Times Aug 18, 2013 Glenn Greenwald's partner detained at Heathrow airport for nine hours David Miranda, partner of Guardian interviewer of whistleblower Edward Snowden, questioned under Terrorism Act
QUOTE: "This is a profound attack on press freedoms and the news gathering process," Greenwald said. "To detain my partner for a full nine hours while denying him a lawyer, and then seize large amounts of his possessions, is clearly intended to send a message of intimidation to those of us who have been reporting on the NSA and GCHQ. The actions of the UK pose a serious threat to journalists everywhere."
Guardian Unlimited Jul 02, 2013 America's founders would be horrified at this United States of Surveillance: How did we become so fearful and timid that we've given away essential liberties? Some are even afraid to speak up
QUOTE: No one with common sense believes Obama is planning to become a dictator. But...Obama, building on the initiatives of his immediate predecessors, has helped create the foundation for a future police state. This has happened with bipartisan support from patriotic but short-sighted members of Congress and, sad to say, the general public. The American media have played an essential role. For decades, newspaper editors and television programmers, especially local ones, have chased readers and ratings by spewing panic-inducing "journalism" and entertainment that helped foster support for anti-liberty policies.
Guardian Unlimited Jun 27, 2013 NSA collected US email records in bulk for more than two years under Obama
QUOTE: The Obama administration for more than two years permitted the National Security Agency to continue collecting vast amounts of records detailing the email and internet usage of Americans...under the program, launched in 2001, a federal judge sitting on the secret surveillance panel called the Fisa court would approve a bulk collection order for internet metadata "every 90 days"... The collection of these records began under the Bush administration's wide-ranging warrantless surveillance program, collectively known by the NSA codename Stellar Wind.
Guardian Unlimited Mar 13, 2013 Death to Whistle-Blowers? (Op-Ed)
QUOTE: ...Private Manning still faces trial on the most serious charges, including the potential capital offense of “aiding the enemy” — though the prosecution is not seeking the death penalty in this case, “only” a life sentence. If successful, the prosecution will establish a chilling precedent: national security leaks may subject the leakers to a capital prosecution or at least life imprisonment. Anyone who holds freedom of the press dear should shudder at the threat that the prosecution’s theory presents to journalists, their sources and the public that relies on them.
New York Times Nov 16, 2012 Will Twitter war become the new norm?
QUOTE: The military's live spin about the strike, and Hamas' response on a separate Twitter feed, have been called an unprecedented use of social media. BuzzFeed wrote that it "may well be the most meaningful change in our consumption of war in over 20 years." It's raising questions about the ethics and implications of live-tweeting a violent conflict.
CNN (Cable News Network) Nov 11, 2012 BBC Chairman Says Network Needs Radical Overhaul
QUOTE: The BBC’s chairman said Sunday that the broadcasting organization was in a “ghastly mess” as a result of its bungled coverage of a decades-old sexual abuse scandal and in need of a fundamental shake-up.
New York Times Oct 15, 2012 Do facts matter?
QUOTE: it is not clear what impact the fact checkers are having on the public at large or, nearly as important, on the politicians. They keep laying out the facts and the politicians keep stretching the truth. There is little evidence that the public is outraged by any of the revelations nor that it has any real influence on how the politicians conduct themselves...
CNN (Cable News Network) Jul 24, 2012 First they came for Wikileaks, then the New York Times
QUOTE: There are signs that the U.S. government wants to target mainstream journalists and media outlets for the same kind of investigation that WikiLeaks has been subjected to for publishing classified information, which makes it even more important to defend WikiLeaks’ status as a media entity.
GigaOM Mar 28, 2012 The reason I'm helping Chris Hedges' lawsuit against the NDAA: By placing journalists in jeopardy for reporting on 'terrorists', the Homeland Battlefield Bill has had a chilling effect on media work
QUOTE: I believe part of my job involves meeting with, discussing ideas with, and publishing stories about persons and groups who have, or are under threat of being, labeled a terrorist or terrorist group. My understanding of the [NDAA] bill, however, has forced me to decline to meet with certain newsworthy individuals, and groups of people, for fear that my communications with them and publishing articles on these individuals could be considered to be providing material support to a terrorist or terrorist organization.
Guardian Unlimited Jan 27, 2012 Censoring of Tweets Sets Off #Outrage
QUOTE: [Twitter] became a bullhorn for millions of people worldwide, especially vital in nations that tend to muzzle their own people. But this week, in a sort of coming-of-age moment, Twitter announced that upon request, it would block certain messages in countries where they were deemed illegal. The move immediately prompted outcry, argument and even calls for a boycott from some users.
New York Times Jan 23, 2012 MegaUpload: The content cartel strikes back
QUOTE: Like SOPA and PIPA, the bust comes with its own collateral damage. Along with those pirated movies and music, the feds took down noninfringing data from thousands of legit MegaUpload users, who are howling in protest and demanding -- futilely, so far -- the return of their stuff.
InfoWorld Jan 02, 2012 The Rules on News Coverage Are Clear, but the Police Keep Pushing
QUOTE: But the decade-long trajectory in New York is toward expanded police power. Officers routinely infiltrate groups engaged in lawful dissent, spy on churches and mosques, and often toss demonstrators and reporters around with impunity. When this is challenged, the police commissioner and the mayor often shrug it off and fight court orders.
New York Times Dec 26, 2011 Debate Persists on Deadly Flu Made Airborne
QUOTE: The discovery has led advisers to the United States government, which paid for the research, to urge that the details be kept secret and not published in scientific journals to prevent the work from being replicated by terrorists, hostile governments or rogue scientists. Journal editors are taking the recommendation seriously, even though they normally resist any form of censorship.
New York Times Dec 06, 2011 Crystal Cox, Oregon Blogger, Isn't a Journalist, Concludes U.S. Court--Imposes $2.5 Million Judgement on Her
QUOTE: A U.S. District Court judge in Portland has drawn a line in the sand between "journalist" and "blogger." And for Crystal Cox, a woman on the latter end of that comparison, the distinction has cost her $2.5 million....was sued by investment firm Obsidian Finance Group in January for defamation, to the tune of $10 million...
Seattle Weekly Jul 09, 2011 Scandals Redefine Rules for the Press in Europe
QUOTE: A widening phone-hacking scandal is prompting a broad reassessment of the balance between press freedom and privacy in Britain, even as France grapples with the consequences of its tradition of protecting the powerful.
New York Times Jul 04, 2011 Pakistan’s Spies Tied to Slaying of a Journalist
QUOTE: Obama administration officials believe that Pakistan’s powerful spy agency ordered the killing of a Pakistani journalist who had written scathing reports about the infiltration of militants in the country’s military, according to American officials.
New York Times Jun 26, 2011 Avoid Gaza Flotilla, Israel Warns Foreign Journalists
QUOTE: Israel threatened Sunday to bar for up to a decade any foreign journalist who boards a flotilla seeking to challenge an Israeli naval blockade of Gaza.
New York Times Jun 15, 2011 Ex-Spy Alleges Bush White House Sought to Discredit Critic
QUOTE: A former senior C.I.A. official says that officials in the Bush White House sought damaging personal information on a prominent American critic of the Iraq war in order to discredit him. Glenn L. Carle, a former Central Intelligence Agency officer who was a top counterterrorism official during the administration of President George W. Bush, said the White House at least twice asked intelligence officials to gather sensitive information on Juan Cole, a University of Michigan professor who writes an influential blog that criticized the war.
New York Times May 31, 2011 Web Hackings Rattle Media Companies
QUOTE: latest examples of what security experts call “reputational attacks” on media companies that publish material that the hackers disagree with. Such companies are particularly vulnerable to such attacks because many of them depend on online advertising and subscription revenue from Web sites that can be upended by the clicks of a hacker’s keyboard — and because unlike other targets, like government entities and defense contractors, they are less likely to have state-of-the-art security to thwart attacks.
New York Times May 22, 2011 Free Speech on Twitter Faces Test
QUOTE: The soccer player has been granted a so-called super-injunction, a stringent and controversial British legal measure that prevents media outlets from identifying him, reporting on the story or even from revealing the existence of the court order itself. But tens of thousands of Internet users have flouted the injunction by revealing his name on Twitter, Facebook and online soccer forums, sites that blur the definition of the press and are virtually impossible to police.
New York Times May 21, 2011 'Shoe leather' leads to Schwarzenegger's secret son
QUOTE: Schwarzenegger's quick admission was surprising, perhaps, considering the history of the newspaper, the former governor and allegations of his misbehavior involving women.
CNN (Cable News Network) May 21, 2011 Was It Something I Wrote?
QUOTE: In Russia today, journalists are murdered like Anna Politkovskaya, beaten like Oleg Kashin and intimidated like me... The real problem is that journalists are ignored.
New York Times Apr 26, 2011 Who Protects the Animals?
QUOTE: The problem is the system that enables cruelty and a lack not just of law enforcement but actual laws… The biggest problem of all is that we’ve created a system in which standard factory-farming practices are inhumane, and the kinds of abuses documented at E6 are really just reminders of that.
New York Times Apr 22, 2011 Lies and Videotape (Op-Ed)
QUOTE: For most authoritarian states, state news media, especially television, have helped leaders stay in power by creating a parallel reality for their populations and depriving dissenters of a wider audience.
New York Times Apr 19, 2011 Freedom on the Net 2011
QUOTE: A large number of governments are also engaging in deliberate efforts to block access to information related to politics, social issues, and human rights.
CNN (Cable News Network) Jan 29, 2011 Arab media revolution spreading change
QUOTE: Egyptians have overcome their fear of the police state....There is a direct line between this revolt and the Arab media revolution launched 15 years ago. One might even argue it is the inevitable result.
CNN (Cable News Network) Jan 03, 2011 A Clear Danger to Free Speech
QUOTE: THE so-called Shield bill, which was recently introduced in both houses of Congress in response to the WikiLeaks disclosures, would amend the Espionage Act of 1917 to make it a crime for any person knowingly and willfully to disseminate, “in any manner prejudicial to the safety or interest of the United States,” any classified information “concerning the human intelligence activities of the United States.” Although this proposed law may be constitutional as applied to government employees who unlawfully leak such material to people who are unauthorized to receive it, it would plainly violate the First Amendment to punish anyone who might publish or otherwise circulate the information after it has been leaked.
New York Times Dec 19, 2010 Music Web Sites Dispute Legality of Their Closing
QUOTE: federal authorities shut down five Web sites last month on suspicion of copyright infringement, they gave no warning and offered no details of their investigation... the operators of several of the sites said in interviews that they were innocent of infringement, and criticized the investigation for misrepresenting how their sites worked.
New York Times Dec 10, 2010 Chinese dissident awarded Nobel Peace Prize
QUOTE: hina has responded furiously since the Nobel committee announced on October 8 that Liu Xiaobo would be its peace prize winner. Officials have repeatedly called Liu a common criminal and declared the award a Western plot against China....While Chinese officials have said the prize represents a Western perspective, Jagland said, human rights activists in China "represent the world's common values and standards."
CNN (Cable News Network) Dec 08, 2010 ‘Operation Payback’ Attacks Fell Visa.com (The Lede)
QUOTE: A group of Internet activists took credit for crashing the Visa.com Web site on Wednesday afternoon, hours after they launched a similar attack on MasterCard. The cyber attacks, by activists who call themselves Anonymous, are aimed at punishing companies that have acted to stop the flow of donations to WikiLeaks in recent days. The group explained that its distributed denial of service attacks — in which they essentially flood Web sites site with traffic to slow them down or knock them offline — were part of a broader effort called Operation Payback, which began as a way of punishing companies that attempted to stop Internet file-sharing and movie downloads.
New York Times Dec 01, 2010 How Lieberman Got Amazon To Drop Wikileaks
QUOTE: [Amazon's] terms of acceptable use include a ban on illegal activities (it's not yet clear whether Wikileaks has broken any laws) and content "that may be harmful to our users, operations, or reputation." It also prohibits using Amazon's servers "to violate the security or integrity of any network, computer or communications system," although Wikileaks obviously obtained the cables long before hopping on Amazon's servers.
Talking Points Memo (TPM) Jul 18, 2010 China’s Censors Rein in ‘Vulgar’ Reality TV Show
QUOTE: The shows [broadcasted on Chinese television] are now forbidden to “hype up marginal issues, show the ugly side of things, or overly depressing, dark or decadent topics,” according to the directive. Instead, the shows have to “maintain core Socialist values.”
New York Times Jun 03, 2010 In Leaked Lecture, Details of China’s News Cleanups
QUOTE: The content of Mr. Xia’s speech, transcribed and posted online by someone who attended the May 15 lecture at Tianjin Foreign Studies University, has become something of a sensation in recent days, providing the Chinese a rare insight into how their news is stage-managed for mass consumption.
New York Times May 21, 2010 Pakistan blocks YouTube a day after shutdown of Facebook over Muhammad issue
QUOTE: A simmering clash between free speech and religious sensibilities in Pakistan burst from the streets onto the Internet on Thursday, as the government blocked the video-sharing site YouTube and other pages it deemed "sacrilegious" to the nation's Muslim majority.
Washington Post May 17, 2010 Russian Journalists, Fighting Graft, Pay in Blood
QUOTE: the violence was an omen, beginning a wave of unsolved attacks and official harassment against journalists, human rights activists and opposition politicians around the region, which includes the Moscow suburbs, but not the city itself. Rarely, if ever, is anyone held responsible.
New York Times May 16, 2010 Pressure Grows on Spain to Curb Digital Piracy
QUOTE: For the third year running, the American trade representative has included Spain on its watch list of countries that breach intellectual property rights because of its “particularly significant Internet piracy.” Critics say it will be extremely difficult to stop illegal downloading in Spain because of the popularity of these Web sites and a perceived indifference to piracy as a crime.
New York Times Apr 27, 2010 China Moves to Tighten Data Controls
QUOTE: China is on the verge of requiring telecommunications companies and Internet service providers to halt and report leaks of what the government deems to be state secrets, the latest in a series of moves intended to strengthen the government’s control over private communications.
New York Times Apr 21, 2010 After police raid, JMU editor gets crash course on privacy act
QUOTE: Congress established the federal Privacy Protection Act in 1980 to protect newsrooms after authorities raided Stanford University’s Stanford Daily in 1971....Subpoenas are the established method for authorities to request photographs or other material from newsrooms...
Daily Progress Apr 19, 2010 Amazon fights demand for customer records
QUOTE: Amazon.com filed a lawsuit on Monday to fend off a sweeping demand from North Carolina's tax collectors: detailed records including names and addresses of customers and information about exactly what they purchased.
CNET Mar 02, 2010 Abuse Case Rouses India’s Middle Class
QUOTE: Girls are molested all the time in India; powerful officials often abuse their office to avoid criminal prosecution; sclerotic courts are painfully slow and often corrupt. But the case is emblematic of the way India’s growing middle class, egged on by a lively news media hungry for sensational stories, is increasingly unwilling to accept these seemingly immutable truths...
New York Times Oct 24, 2009 With ban over, who should cover the fallen at Dover?: Few in media choosing to capture events, but military posts pictures
QUOTE: "Taking pictures of the returning casualties to Dover is a measure of the human cost of war," said Ralph Begleiter, a journalism professor at the University of Delaware... "Do you want the government ultimately to have control over what we see or not see? Or do you want independent observers, an independent press or media, relaying those images?"
Washington Post Oct 22, 2009 Shut up or be sued: Eastern Europe's media woes
QUOTE: The 2009 World Press Freedom index, compiled by Reporters Without Borders, a media watchdog, rates most eastern EU members a lot worse this year than in 2008...
Economist Oct 19, 2009 Investment firm dares to cry corruption in Russia: British company outlines tax fraud's many accomplices
QUOTE: Hermitage Capital Management, once the largest foreign investor in the Russian stock market, is escalating its campaign to force the Kremlin to punish officials suspected of stealing $230 million from the government last year...
Washington Post Oct 16, 2009 C.I.A. Is Still Cagey About Oswald Mystery
QUOTE: For six years, the agency [the C.I.A] has fought in federal court to keep secret hundreds of documents from 1963, when an anti-Castro Cuban group it paid clashed publicly with the soon-to-be assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald.
New York Times Oct 14, 2009 Schwarzenegger signs bill to crack down on paparazzi: The law will toughen existing regulations on paparazzi, but it could be challenged in court on First Amendment grounds.
QUOTE: Some legal experts agree that it [the new paparazzi law] raises First Amendment issues and could chill the gathering of information.
Christian Science Monitor Oct 10, 2009 Argentina Enacts Law on Broadcasters
QUOTE: While many media experts have said the old[media] law [in Argentina] was outdated and in need of reform, analysts say the move by the Kirchner government seemed intended to give the executive branch significant discretion in the regulation of broadcasters.
New York Times Oct 09, 2009 The ZDnet/Iran affair: Who's the Yahoo now? (Notes From the Field)
QUOTE: Using information he received from an Iranian blogger, [Richard] Koman accused Yahoo of handing over the account information for 200,000 Iranian bloggers  to the country's authorities...
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