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Google admits that its contractors can listen to recordings from the company’s home AI devices, including audio that was captured accidentally. Memphis Noticias reporter Manuel Duran Ortega released from ICE custody as his immigration case proceeds (see PEN America’s reaction, and call for deportation proceedings to be cancelled, here.) Vice report finds 40% spike in hateful speech on messaging board 4chan. President Trump abandons efforts to include a question about citizenship in the 2020 census, seen widely as an attempt to create an undercount of immigrants and undocumented residents. -Anoosh Gasparian, External Relations Manager

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


Google Workers Can Listen to What People Say to its AI Home Devices
The company admitted that humans can access recordings made by the Assistant, after some of its Dutch language recordings were leaked. The recordings were obtained by the Belgian public broadcaster VRT, which reviewed more than 1,000 audio clips and found 153 had been captured accidentally.

Spanish-Language Reporter Released from Immigration Custody
Manuel Duran Ortega, who has been facing deportation since his arrest 15 months ago while covering an immigration protest in Tennessee, was released Thursday from custody as his case proceeds. He ran the Memphis Noticias online news outlet and reported on the effects of U.S. immigration policies.

We Analyzed More than 1 Million Commens on 4chan. Hate Speech Has Spiked by 40% Since 2015.
On the “politically incorrect” board, slurs against racial, ethnic, religious, or sexual or gender minorities have increased by 40% since 2015, while neo-Nazi propaganda has proliferated. Comments that include both hate speech and violent language have increased by 25% over the same period.

Trump Says He Will Seek Citizenship Information From Existing Federal Records, Not the Census
Trump abandoned his quest for a question about citizenship, and instructed the government to compile data from existing federal records instead. Government experts predicted that the question would result in many immigrants refusing to participate in the census, leading to an undercount of about 6.5 million people.


Can Hong Kong’s Resistance Win?
Ai Weiwei writes, “I feel a duty to speak out because the people of Hong Kong need to know that their fears of an encroaching authoritarian Chinese state are well founded… Hundreds of imprisoned dissidents in China would be telling them this if they could. Muzzled, they cannot.”

Glenn Greenwald Becomes Focus of Brazil Press Freedom Debate
Greenwald, an attorney-turned-journalist who has long been a free-speech advocate, has found himself at the center of the first major test of press freedom under Bolsonaro, who has openly expressed nostalgia for Brazil’s 1964-1985 military dictatorship, when newspapers were censored and some journalists tortured.

Reporters Without Borders Concerned Over Three Journalists On Hunger Strike In Iran Jail
Photojournalist and blogger Soheil Arabi has been on hunger strike for more than twenty days, while two student reporters, Ms. Sanaz Allahyari and Amir Hossein Mohammadifar, have also gone on hunger strike protesting their condition behind bars and mistreatment by prison authorities.

Once A Symbol Of Freedom, Sudan’s Pop Radio Station Has Fallen Almost Silent
An explosion of new media followed the revolution last spring, such as Capital FM—a popular music station at the center of the cultural revolution. But the surge of cultural awakening ended when the military junta violently broke up the protests in the capital, Khartoum. Now, Capital FM is fighting for survival.

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