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.

Is your doorbell spying on you? Privacy activists have spoken out after reports revealed that Amazon’s smart doorbell service has partnered with 400 police agencies around the country. MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell was forced to retract an erroneous story about the president’s financial dealings, saying he made an “error in judgment.” New York City’s Union Square has functioned as a public venue for free speech for a century and a half; an architecture professor weighs in on its history in advance of Labor Day. Famed photographer Nan Goldin is arrested after taking part in a protest outside the New York governor’s office; she and other protesters are calling on the state to do more to fight the opioid crisis. Talks are reportedly underway for a potential prisoner exchange that could free Ukrainian filmmaker and PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write honoree  Oleg Sentsov from a Russian prison.

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


Check to see if your police department is getting information from Amazon’s Ring cameras
Amazon’s Ring home surveillance system has partnered with more than 400 police agencies around the country, raising privacy concerns.

MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell retracts report that Trump loan had Russian signers
MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell retracts and apologizes for a report alleging Russian billionaires co-signed a loan to President Trump.

How New York’s Union Square helped shape free speech in the U.S.
In advance of Labor Day, architecture professor Joanna Merwood-Salisbury reflects on New York’s Union Square and its 150-year history as a contentious site for free speech.

Artist Nan Goldin Arrested in Protest Outside Governor Cuomo’s Office in NYC
The photographer was arrested during a drug policy protest. The demonstration’s organizers are calling on the governor to establish overdose prevention centers to combat the growing opioid epidemic.

She reported her sexual assault. Her high school suspended her for ‘sexual impropriety.’
A Georgia court case sheds light on how high schools may retaliate against women who speak up about sexual abuse.


Ukraine frees jailed Russian journalist Kirill Vyshinsky amid Ukraine-Russia prisoner swap conversations
A court in Ukraine ordered jailed Russian journalist Kirill Vyshinsky to be freed on bail and released from custody, as Moscow and Kiev reportedly hold talks on additional prisoner swaps, potentially including PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write honoree Oleg Sentsov.

Thai human rights group says 25 still imprisoned for insulting the royal family
The two dozen are imprisoned under the country’s notorious “lese-majeste” law, which makes it illegal to insult the royal family.

Iran sentences journalist Marzieh Amiri to 10.5 years in prison, 148 lashes
In Iran, journalist and activist Marzieh Amiri has reportedly been sentenced to over 10 years in prison—and 148 lashes—for charges relating to her coverage of a labor protest.

Hong Kong police ban an upcoming pro-democracy rally, citing ‘public order’
Hong Kong police have banned both a rally and a march organized by the Civil Human Rights Front. This marks the first time that an entire event organized by the pro-democracy coalition has been prohibited due to concerns over public order.  

Myanmar court sends filmmaker to prison for army remarks
Burmese filmmaker Min Htin Ko Ko Gyi was sentenced to a year in prison for “defaming” the military. “This arrest is just one piece of a broader, persistent pattern of cracking down on any form of dissent in Myanmar,” PEN America said earlier this year.

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. An article’s inclusion does not imply endorsement by PEN America. We welcome your comments. Send your feedback and story suggestions to DARE@pen.org