Trump levies unsubstantiated allegation that Obama ordered wiretap of Trump Tower, sparking frenzied denials and speculation that the charge derived from right wing media peddling fraudulent news. Meanwhile, a violent attack on a professor and a controversial author at Middlebury College brings campus free speech concerns into the spotlight. See the PEN America statement on the incident and report on campus free speech here. Also, sexism abounds in critiques of Trump frontwoman Kellyanne Conway. -Suzanne Nossel, Executive Director

DARE: Daily Alert on Rights and Expression

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


Congress will investigate Trump’s wiretap claims
Key members of Congress say they will honor President Trump’s request to investigate his unsubstantiated claim that Barack Obama overstepped his authority and had Trump’s telephones tapped during the election campaign.

Attack on ‘Bell Curve’ author stuns Middlebury College
Students and professors at Middlebury College were ashamed and embarrassed after violent attacks on a controversial conservative social scientist has forced the school to reconsider what it means to embrace free speech.

A major Supreme Court case could affect the way you access Twitter and Facebook
The Supreme Court case Peckingham v. North Carolina could prevent sex offenders from using social media. While the law may seem targeted, constitutional scholars warn it could have chilling effects on many Americans’ First Amendment rights.

Sexist Political Criticism Finds a New Target: Kellyanne Conway
Misogyny, it seems, remains a bipartisan exercise. Whatever legitimate criticisms can be leveled at women in politics, it’s striking how often that anger is expressed using the same sexist themes, from women as well as men.

At the Gridiron dinner, the jokes were on Trump’s Russia connections
President Donald Trump wasn’t in the white-tie-clad audience at the Saturday night annual dinner of the Gridiron Club — an elite group of 65 of Washington’s top journalists — but he was there in spirit, or at least as a target.


UN experts express concern about growth of ‘fake news’ 
Experts monitoring freedom of expression at the United Nations and key regional organizations expressed concern on Friday at the growing prevalence of “fake news” and propaganda, and at public authorities denigrating the media as “lying” or “the opposition”.

Journalist shot dead by apparent hit squad in Mexico
A journalist was murdered in the troubled southern state of Guerrero, Mexican authorities said Friday, adding to a long list of killed reporters in what is considered one of the world’s most dangerous countries for media professionals.

Arrested journalist says in solitary confinement in Turkey
Deniz Yucel, a German-Turkish journalist arrested last week in Turkey, views his solitary confinement in Turkey as “almost a form of torture,” but said his health and mental condition are good.

Cancellation of book session an act of self-censorship
Activist Teesta Setalvad says that Oxford Bookstore canceling her session is an unnecessary act of self-censorship. The popular bookstore in Delhi had canceled the session due to “volatile” situations in the city in the wake of back-to-back student protests.

This Is Not Yet Another Piece On Gurmehar Kaur’s Video
So much has been written on Gurmehar Kaur’s video and the subsequent hyper-nationalistic outburst, that another piece on it will simply drown in the septic tank that is Indian social media. Rather, here’s a tutorial on what is and isn’t free speech.

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