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Facebook under fire for not protecting its users after new reveals on how a political data firm with links to the 2016 Trump campaign was able to harvest private information from more than 50 million Facebook profiles. Reports say Cambridge Analytica used the data to develop personality profiles and target voters with manipulative political advertising. Veteran law enforcement and intelligence officials take to Twitter to challenge President Trump’s accusations. Washington Post reports the Trump White House demanded staff members sign nondisclosure agreements imposing monetary damages if they spoke to press or otherwise shared confidential information. -Dru Menaker, Chief Operating Officer

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


Facebook’s Role in Data Misuse Sets Off Storms on Two Continents
The fallout from the reports added to questions Facebook was already confronting over the use of its platform by those seeking to spread Russian propaganda and fake news. The social media giant has grappled with the criticism over the issue for much of the past year, and struggled to keep public opinion on its side.

Revealed: 50 million Facebook profiles harvested for Cambridge Analytica in major data breach
The data analytics firm that worked with Donald Trump’s election team and the winning Brexit campaign harvested millions of Facebook profiles of US voters, in one of the tech giant’s biggest ever data breaches, and used them to build a powerful software program to predict and influence choices at the ballot box.

‘You Will Not Destroy America’: A Trump Battle Is No Longer One-Sided
As President Trump has voiced his grievances against the F.B.I. with a series of insult-laden tweets, his targets have responded nearly in kind, turning a conflict that would in the past have stayed behind closed doors into a brawl for all to see.

Trump had senior staff sign nondisclosure agreements. They’re supposed to last beyond his presidency.
Unlike employees of private enterprises, White House aides have First Amendment rights when it comes to their employer, the federal government. As outlined in the document, this restriction would cover Trump aides not only during their White House service but also “at all times thereafter.”


Embracing China, Facebook and Himself, Cambodia’s Ruler Digs In
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen’s enduring grip on power has been supported by China’s largess, which comes without the West’s admonishments to protect human rights and democratic institutions. “Cambodia is in danger of returning to being a totalitarian state,” said Mao Monyvann, a Cambodian former opposition lawmaker.

Spanish rappers may go to prison for insulting the king, glorifying terrorists
For his lyrics, in songs circulated on YouTube videos and music-sharing platforms, a judge sentenced Josep Miquel Arenas to three years and six months. Civil libertarians here say Spain is repurposing laws meant to stop incitement to terrorism to cover what should be protected political speech—including lyrics by rap artists.

Russian voices in western media leave regulators with new type of headache
UK parliamentarians are considering whether the Kremlin-funded RT should be part of a crackdown on Russian presence. The Möbius strip of perpetual arguments over whether political propaganda and extremism can or should remain protected by the principles of free speech is being stretched to breaking point.

Who is Zehra Doğan? Banksy Mural in New York Protests Turkish Artist’s Imprisonment
The 70-foot-long mural features a tally of days that Turkish artist and journalist Zehra Doğan has spent in prison. Doğan was sentenced to prison a year ago for a painting of the Turkish town of Nusaybin, destroyed by state security forces, with the Turkish flag flying over the ruins. She still has 18 months left to serve.

Myanmar considers law that could restrict work of United Nations, nongovernmental groups
The proposed law comes at a time of a wider crackdown on democratic freedoms under Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and her government, as they struggle to deal with the fallout of military operations that have sent nearly 700,000 Rohingya fleeing over the border to Bangladesh since August.

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