On a night when Trump used Twitter to excoriated the FBI for leaks, it was revealed that White House officials asked the FBI to leak the results of an ongoing investigation in order to rebut NY Times reporting. Meanwhile, Gavin Grimm, a 17-year old trans student, leads the charge against Trump rollback of protections.
-Suzanne Nossel, Executive Director

DARE: Daily Alert on Rights and Expression

PEN America’s take on today’s most pressing threats to free expression


Proposed regulations for protests run up against First Amendment concerns
While many have viewed the protests since Trump’s election as examples of “democracy in action,” not everyone agrees. Some have insinuated that many protesters have been paid to take action, or have been highly disruptive.

White House Asked FBI to Refute Stories on Trump-Russia Ties
New reports reveal that the White House asked the FBI to say that the stories on Russian ties were untrue – a request that violates longstanding procedure memos that limit communications between the White House and the Justice Department about ongoing investigations.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Says What Makes America Great is the Idea of Being ‘Welcoming of All’
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is praising the media at a time when the Trump administration has accused reporters of being dishonest and delivering “fake news,” saying “reporters are trying to tell the public the truth.”

Retired Navy admiral: Trump’s remark about media ‘the greatest threat to democracy’
Will McRaven, a retired Navy admiral and University of Texas system chancellor, is pushing back on President Trump’s description of the media as “the enemy of the American people.”

If newspapers won’t check viral stories, who will listen to them about fake news?
Even as the media continues to take Facebook to task over its fake news problem, many parts of the news business are doing their best to undermine their argument that they should be considered more trustworthy.


Free speech fears as Member of Scottish Parliament in £750,000 defamation threat
A business offering “fun” titles in exchange for just £30 has accused Andy Wightman of damaging its reputation in blogs written before he was elected as a Green MSP in 2016.

Danish Man Who Burned Quran Is Prosecuted for Blasphemy
A 42-year-old man who burned a Quran and posted a video of it on Facebook has been charged with blasphemy in Denmark, a striking decision by prosecutors in a country that is largely secular but has grappled with the role of Islam in public life.

Maltese minister: ‘We’re not censoring the internet’
Ordinary Maltese citizens posting their opinion on social media or blogs will not be required to register under a proposed new defamation law, says Malta’s centER-left minister for justice, Owen Bonnici.

Bollywood stars miffed about censor snub
The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) refusing to certify the upcoming film ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’ has started a string of angry responses from all around.

It’s good, bad and mad
Every so often it is the sad duty of impartial academics to speak the inconvenient truth. My conscience does not permit me to keep silent in the face of the government’s publication of the proposed Media and Defamation Act (Mada).

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