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Immigration and Customs Enforcement used facial recognition technology to cull through drivers’ license photos without drivers’ knowledge in at least two states that grant licenses to undocumented residents. (See PEN America’s collection of essays from writers reflecting on the immigration crisis, as well as our work urging DHS to cease surveillance of activists and journalists working on immigration issues.) Chicago Defender newspaper, historically serving Black Chicagoans, set to end paper distribution, transitioning to digital-only subscription. (See PEN America’s recent coalition work supporting funding for local news.) Alt-right rally in D.C. draws heavy police presence as anti-racist counter-protesters outnumber the extremist group. President Trump fires criticism at Fox News, claiming it is ‘loading up with Democrats & even using Fake unsourced @nytimes a “source” of information.’ -Nora Benavidez, Director of U.S. Free Expression Programs

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


ICE Used Facial Recognition to Mine State Driver’s License Databases
The documents, obtained through public records requests by Georgetown Law’s Center on Privacy and Technology, mark the first known instance of ICE using facial recognition technology to scan state driver’s license databases, including photos of legal residents and citizens.

‘An Essential Force in American History,’ Chicago Defender to Stop Print Publication
The Chicago Defender will cease print operations next week, ending a storied 114-year newspaper legacy that included driving the Great Migration of Black Americans to Chicago from the South and bolstering the black electorate as a key constituency in national politics.

Anti-Racists Outnumber Far-Right Proud Boys at D.C. Rally
Counterprotesters outnumbered members of the far-right Proud Boys group and their supporters at a Saturday rally that took place a few blocks from the White House in Washington, D.C. Despite a large police presence and a few minor scuffles between the opposing camps, no major outbreaks of violence took place.

Trump Unexpectedly Tees off on Fox News
The president’s condemnations were part of a larger attack on one of his favorite targets, the news media, but what was unusual was that Trump lumped Fox News, long his preferred outlet, in with other news organizations including CNN and NBC. It’s not clear what triggered Sunday’s complaints.


Australian Police Obtained Journalist’s Travel Records from Airline in Leak Inquiry
The Australian federal police obtained from Qantas Airways the personal travel records of a journalist, a revelation that alarmed the media industry after police raids on journalists last month raised questions about press freedoms in the country.

Australia’s Anti-Encryption Laws Being Used to Bypass Journalist Protections, Expert Says
The anti-encryption laws passed by the federal parliament last year have been used to bypass journalist protections in other national security laws, a cybersecurity researcher has said. The Department of Home Affairs admitted to using the new power in a submission to the review.

Hong Kong Press Watchdogs Condemn Police over Insults, ‘Malicious Jostling’ of Journalists during Protest Clearance
The Hong Kong Journalists Association and the Hong Kong Press Photographers Association said in a joint statement that when police tried to clear the protesters, officers used their shields to push journalists and their cameras multiple times. Some also shouted at and assaulted reporters, according to the statement.

Turkish Journalists Take Legal Action over ‘Blacklisting’ Report
A union of Turkish journalists has filed a legal complaint against an Ankara-based think-tank, alleging that a report published by it makes dozens of journalists working for foreign media organizations “public targets.”

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