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Britain levies maximum fine against Facebook for letting Cambridge Analytica, firm set up by Trump campaign supporters, to harvest millions of people’s personal data without their consent in order to profile American voters. Republican congressmen introduce “Unmasking Antifa Act of 2018,” providing for potential 15-year prison sentences for wearing a mask, including while protesting. Scrutiny turns to the WhatsApp private messaging platform in fight against spread of misinformation. Lawyer for woman accused of encouraging her boyfriend to kill himself cites her 1st Amendment free speech rights in appeal. –Dru Menaker, Chief Operating Officer

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

U.S.

Facebook Fined in U.K. Over Cambridge Analytica Leak
Facebook was hit with the maximum possible fine in Britain for allowing the political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica to harvest the information of millions of people without their consent, in what amounts to the social network’s first financial penalty since the data leak was revealed.
NEW YORK TIMES

‘Unmasking Antifa Act’ Includes 15-Year Prison Term Proposal
The “Unmasking Antifa Act of 2018,” legislation introduced in the House, carries a potential 15-year prison sentence for those caught engaging in behaviors typically associated with the “antifa” movement of anti-fascist activists. Antifa activists, who often wear masks, have gained nationwide attention for engaging in violent clashes.
THE HILL

WhatsApp on its Misinformation Problem: ‘Fact-Checking is Going to be Essential’
WhatsApp became a top source of political misinformation ahead of local elections in India, where the platform has more than 200 million users (its largest market). WhatsApp is taking several baby steps to help fact-checkers and researchers fight misinformation, after the app has become increasingly weaponized.
POYNTER

First Amendment Protects Woman Who Gave Boyfriend Suicide Instructions, Lawyers Argue
New lawyers have argued that convicting Michelle Carter, 21, on charges of involuntary manslaughter on the basis of her words alone would infringe upon her First Amendment rights. If Carter’s conviction stands, she will be the first person in the U.S. to be charged with involuntary manslaughter by means of words alone.
NEWSWEEK

 
Global

Qin Yongmin: Prominent Chinese Dissident Jailed for 13 Years
Qin Yongmin, 64, one of China’s highest-profile democracy campaigners has been sentenced to 13 years in prison for “subversion of state power”. Qin is a co-founder of the China Democracy Party, and was handed a 12-year prison term in 1998 after trying to register it officially. A year later, while still in prison, he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
BBC NEWS

Cuba Imposes More Taxes and Controls on Private Sector and Increases Censorship on the Arts
The Cuban government issued new measures to limit the accumulation of wealth by Cubans who own private businesses on the island. The decree may be used by the Ministry of Culture to increase control over artists and musicians and impose more censorship in the country.
MIAMI HERALD

Apple Censorship Code for China Crashed iPhone Apps
With the release of iOS 11.4.1 this week, Apple has patched a bug that caused iPhone apps to crash if a user tried to insert the Taiwanese flag emoji, while the locality of their devices was set to China. China considers Taiwan as a renegade province, and does not recognize the sovereignty of the island nation.
IT NEWS

Four Turkish Graduates Arrested Over Erdogan cartoon
Four recent graduates of a top Turkish university have been arrested for displaying a cartoon mocking Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan at their graduation ceremony. Turkey has been waging a crackdown on dissent against Erdogan since a failed coup attempt in 2016. Erdogan has led Turkey for the past 15 years.
EURONEWS

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