Department of Justice charges National Security contractor (with the improbable name Reality Leigh Winner) with espionage after she is caught leaking a classified document on Russian hacking to The Intercept. Trump launches a Twitter storm attacking his own Department of Justice and, in so doing, undercuts and contradicts arguments the DOJ made just last week in seeking to get the Supreme Court to overturn stays to what the President now admits is a “travel ban.” Top national security officials were blindsided when the President chose to omit cleared language in his NATO speech committing to Article 5 defense. U.S. career diplomats are breaking ranks with the President in a string of high profile incidents, including the resignation of the top official at the US Embassy in Beijing. London Mayor Sadiq Khan fires back at Trump after being targeted by the President on Twitter. Harvard rescinds admissions offers for 10 students caught sharing offensive online memes. – Suzanne Nossel, Executive Director


DARE: Daily Alert on Rights and Expression

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


Contractor charged in NSA document leak case
Winner was accused of gathering, transmitting or losing defense information — the first criminal charge filed in a leak investigation during the Trump administration. Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein said investigators’ fast work “allowed us quickly to identify and arrest the defendant. Releasing classified material without authorization threatens our nation’s security and undermines public faith in government. People who are trusted with classified information and pledge to protect it must be held accountable when they violate that obligation.”

Trump Grows Discontented With Attorney General Jeff Sessions
ew Republicans were quicker to embrace President Trump’s campaign last year than Jeff Sessions, and his reward was one of the most prestigious jobs in America. But more than four months into his presidency, Mr. Trump has grown sour on Mr. Sessions, now his attorney general, blaming him for various troubles that have plagued the White House. Mr. Trump accused Mr. Sessions’s department of devising a “politically correct” version of the ban — as if the president had nothing to do with it.

Trump National Security Team Blindsided by NATO Speech
National security adviser H.R. McMaster, Defense Secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson all supported Trump affirming the United States’ committment to the Article 5 provision, and had worked to make sure it was included in the speech. It was not until the next day, when Trump started talking at an opening ceremony for NATO’s new Brussels headquarters, that the president’s national security team realized their boss had made a decision with major consequences—without consulting or even informing them in advance of the change.

US attaché in China resigns over Paris accord withdrawal
David Rank announced his departure as US deputy chief of mission in a town-hall meeting at the embassy on Monday. Mr Rank, a career state department official who has been privately critical of the Trump administration, was supposed to have delivered the formal notification of the US exit from the global climate change pact. He told his embassy colleagues on Monday that he could not support that policy. 

London Mayor Sadiq Khan Says Trump’s U.K. Visit Should Be Canceled After Tweets
Trump has previously clashed with Khan, who is one of the West’s most prominent Muslim politicians. He challenged Khan to an intelligence test during the U.S election campaign, and in 2015 said certain areas of London were no-go zones. His latest comments caused widespread anger in Britain, where prominent figures and lawmakers from across the political spectrum rallied to Khan’s defense. PM May told reporters: “I think Sadiq Khan is doing a good job and it’s wrong to say anything else.”

Harvard bars students for posting ‘obscene memes’
“Obscene” memes posted on a private Facebook page have cost 10 students their place at Harvard. The obscene material was posted to a chat forum on Facebook that grew out of a messaging group set up by students due to start studying at Harvard this year. In a statement to the Crimson, a spokeswoman for Harvard said it did “not comment publicly on the admissions status of individual applicants”.


TV in breakaway Ukraine has a distinct Soviet tint to it
By the 1980s, television had become a key component of Soviet mass-media culture, and today it remains the main news source for Russians and Ukrainians. Eastern Ukraine’s war-racked landscape of coal mines, factories and steel mills is a Soviet time warp in which communist nostalgia and heavy industry have a bearing on the identity of many. So news is staged to highlight the state’s wisdom and generosity — as it was under Soviet control.

Chinese Firms Help Government Monitor Citizens with Big Data
A Chinese city is using big data provided by a phone company to track the movement of its migrant worker population, expanding the many ways China is using big data to not just enhance performance but also track the daily lives of its citizens. The tracking of people posting critical comments in social media is already going on and social media data will also be fed into the system, which on economic and social behaviors with an intention to allocate rewards and punishments.

Myanmar police arrest journalists over satirical story
Police in Myanmar have arrested a newspaper’s chief editor and a columnist for allegedly defaming the military by publishing an article mocking its role in the country’s efforts to reach a peace agreement with fractious minority groups, one of their lawyers said Monday. Free speech advocates have criticized the law, and several journalists said they plan to wear armbands in protest of the arrests.”

India editors criticise raid on NDTV channel
The Editors Guild has expressed concern over a federal investigative agency’s decision to raid the offices of a leading TV channel, and said it “condemns any attempt to muzzle the media”. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) raided the offices of NDTV and the homes of its promoters on Monday in connection with an alleged case of financial misconduct. NDTV denied any wrongdoing and accused the government of “a witch hunt”.

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