DARE: A Secret U.S. Government List Targeting Journalists and Activists Is under More Expansive Investigation
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Department of Homeland Security investigates Customs and Border Protection’s database of journalists, immigration advocates, and attorneys, many of whom were stopped and questioned while crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. Twitter shuts down Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s campaign account after it shared a video of protesters shouting threats outside his home. Guardian investigation finds law enforcement groups including the FBI have been monitoring environmental activists in Oregon. -Anoosh Gasparian, External Relations Manager
The most pressing threats and notable goings-on in free expression today
A Secret U.S. Government List Targeting Journalists and Activists Is under More Expansive Investigation
A July 15 letter to Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico from Jennifer Costello, the acting inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security, said the agency is investigating allegations of harassment faced by people on the database and whether CBP complied with U.S. laws.
BUZZFEED NEWS *See PEN America’s coalition letter to the DHS opposing surveillance of activists, journalists, and lawyers here
Twitter Freezes McConnell Campaign Account for Posting Video of Protester’s Violent Threats
Twitter locked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s campaign account from further activity as punishment for its sharing of a video of protesters screaming obscenities outside the Kentucky Republican’s home. The social media company will not unlock @TeamMitch unless it agrees to remove the video.
Revealed: FBI and Police Monitoring Oregon Anti-Pipeline Activists
Law enforcement groups, including the FBI, have been monitoring opponents of a natural gas infrastructure project in Oregon and circulated intelligence to an email list that included a Republican-aligned anti-environmental PR operative.
Protest Seeks to Stop U.S. Libraries Supporting Drag Queen Story Hour
Nearly 100,000 Christians have signed a petition to the American Library Association protesting against its support of “Drag Queen Story Hour,” but the ALA has said it “strongly opposes any effort to limit access to information, ideas, and programs that patrons wish to explore.”
Opinion: Reading Toni Morrison in Beijing
“I had sought to educate myself, but reading [Toni Morrison] was more than an education of literature or history. Her writing showed me, and continues to show me, that history, vulnerable to the attacks of misused and misleading language, can be protected by the language that achieves the purity of truth.”
NEW YORK TIMES
Artists Wade into Row over Japanese Triennial That Censored Its Own Show on Censorship
More than 70 artists participating in the Aichi Triennale in central Japan have signed a statement demanding that an exhibition dedicated to freedom of speech re-opens after appropriate security measures are put in place.
Australian Court Upholds Dismissal of Woman over Tweets
Australia’s highest court upheld a government decision to fire Michaela Banerji, a public servant who used a pseudonym to criticize government immigration policy on Twitter. A department investigation discovered that Banerji was behind the tweets and had breached the Australian Public Service Code of Conduct.
Chinese Films Banned from Joining Taiwan’s Golden Horse Awards
China’s film regulator has banned mainland Chinese movies and stars from participating in an annual awards ceremony dubbed the “Chinese Oscars.” The China Film Administration did not give any reason why it was boycotting the Golden Horse Awards, which take place in Taiwan.
DARE is a project of PEN America’s #LouderTogether campaign, bringing you a daily-curated roundup of the most important free expression-related news from the U.S. and abroad. Send your feedback and story suggestions to [email protected]