Want to receive this digest in your inbox? To subscribe, simply click here and choose DARE: Daily Alert on Rights and Expression from the list. 

Mainstream media detractors stoop to a new level as shadowy group is exposed for a failed effort to convince the Washington Post to believe false accusations in underage sex scandal surrounding Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore; the Post blows the whistle, depriving their antagonists of the chance to nail the paper for printing what would have been called out as “fake news.” Trump attacks CNN within hours of Russia’s Vladimir Putin signing a new law, in apparent retaliation for the imposition of foreign agent registration requirements on RT (formerly Russia Today) that requires some U.S. news media to register as foreign agents. Guantanamo Bay detention center wardens threaten to end longstanding practice of allowing detainees to make, exhibit, and share artworks. -Suzanne Nossel, Executive Director

The most pressing threats and notable goings-on in free expression today


A woman approached The Post with dramatic—and false—tale about Roy Moore. She appears to be part of undercover sting operation.
A woman who falsely claimed to The Washington Post that Roy Moore, the Republican U.S. Senate candidate in Alabama, impregnated her as a teenager appears to work with an organization that uses deceptive tactics to secretly record conversations in an effort to embarrass its targets.

Trump and Russia Seem to Find Common Foe: The American Press
Trump’s attack on CNN’s international arm came hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law requiring certain American media outlets working in Russia to register with the government as foreign agents, essentially identifying them as hostile entities.

Department of Defense Threatens to Shut Down New York Show of Artwork by Guantánamo Prisoners
A new policy of the Department of Defense threatens to shut down an exhibition of artworks by Guantánamo Bay prisoners at New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice, provoking a heated debate over art censorship and the appropriateness of displaying art by suspected terrorists.

Supreme court cellphone case puts free speech – not just privacy – at risk
The parties’ briefs make little mention of the first amendment, instead framing the dispute as one about the right to privacy. Yet the court’s resolution of the case is likely to have far-reaching implications for freedom of speech, press, and association.

Drawing a Line in the ‘Gay Wedding Cake’ Case
Phillips’s objection was about to whom it was sold; a user-based objection. The gay couple never even had the opportunity to discuss designs with Phillips, because the baker made it immediately clear that he would not sell them any wedding cake at all. Masterpiece once even refused a cupcake order to lesbians upon learning that they were for the couple’s commitment ceremony.


Egyptian journalist wins Nelson Mandela Innovation Award
Khaled el-Balshy, an Egyptian journalist and rights campaigner, has won the Nelson Mandela award for individual activism for 2017. “He has boldly and relentlessly pursued the cause of free speech, despite facing personal judicial and online harassment,” the Johannesburg-based organization, Civicus, said.

Myanmar adds additional charge against 2 foreign journalists
A court in Myanmar filed an additional charge against two foreign journalists, who already have been sentenced to jail for illegally flying a drone over parliament, for conducting illegal activities inside the country. The Committee to Protect Journalists urged Myanmar officials to drop the charges immediately, saying the country has no clear legislation or guidance for journalists for what’s allowed or forbidden.

Russian man sent to penal colony for insulting officials online
Vladimir Timoshenko was found guilty of writing a post on the popular Russian social network Vkontakte that “contained text of humiliating and insulting nature towards high-placed officials.”

Vietnamese court jails blogger for seven years in prison for ‘propaganda’ over toxic waste spill that propelled protests
A court in Vietnam jailed blogger Nguyen Van Hoa for seven years for “conducting propaganda against the state” after writing about a toxic waste spill. Despite sweeping economic reforms and growing openness to social change, including gay, lesbian, and transgender rights, Vietnam retains tight media censorship, and its government does not tolerate criticism.

How China’s WeChat is tackling fake news differently from Facebook
Called WeSeer, the internal tool is the ultimate gauge of China’s netizen hivemind: It can predict which articles will go viral in the next hour, pinpoint key accounts driving the spread of information, and identify stories of interest for different communities, whether it’s locals in Beijing or people who love AI.

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 DARE@pen.org