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A federal judge rules against another White House attempt to suspend press credentials, saying that targeting journalist Brian Karem of Playboy and CNN would harm his First Amendment rights. (See PEN America’s statement on the federal court’s ruling to reinstate Karem’s White House press pass). The Defense Department is reportedly launching a trial project to repel large scale, automated disinformation attacks. Facebook says the Homeland Security Department would be violating the company’s rules if it creates fake to monitor social media activity. A U.S. Attorney in Ohio puts free speech rights in context as he vows to protect communities against violent racism while announcing the indictment of a white nationalist for threats against a Jewish community center. —Dru Menaker, Chief Operating Officer

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


Federal Judge Rules to Reinstate PEN America Member Brian Karem’s White House Press Pass
A DC District Court judge ruled against the White House and ordered the Trump administration to reinstate the hard press pass for reporter and PEN American Member Brian Karem. PEN America previously filed an amicus brief In support of Karem’s lawsuit.

Federal Prosecutor in Ohio Indicts a White Nationalist over Anti-Semitic Posts
Federal prosecutors last week indicted an Ohio man named James Reardon, a self-described white nationalist who posted various anti-Semitic messages on the internet, for making threats against a Jewish community center. Read the prosecutor’s powerful remarks.

U.S. Unleashes Military to Fight Fake News, Disinformation
Fake news and social media posts are such a threat to U.S. security that the Defense Department is launching a project to repel “large-scale, automated disinformation attacks.” The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency wants custom software that can unearth fakes hidden among more than 500,000 stories, photos, video and audio clips.

U.S. Plans for Fake Social Media Run Afoul of Facebook Rules
Facebook said Tuesday that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security would be violating the company’s rules if agents create fake profiles to monitor the social media of foreigners seeking to enter the country. Facebook spokeswoman Sarah Pollack said that “operating fake accounts is not allowed, and we will act on any violating accounts.”


Hong Kong Government Withdraws Extradition Bill, A Key Demand Of Protesters
In a videotaped speech, Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam cited growing clashes between protesters and police and online harassment from both sides as an impetus for backing down regarding the bill. She refused to discuss dismissing criminal charges against protesters arrested for “rioting,” a charge that can carry a maximum punishment of five years of jail time. Read PEN America’s statement here.

UK Universities Urged to Do More to Tackle Online Harassment
Internet safety experts say less than a quarter of UK universities have adequate procedures to deal with harmful or illegal online behavior by students and staff. The Universities UK guidance calls for a zero-tolerance approach to online harassment and recommends that staff receive specialist training from internet safety experts or the police. Learn more and find resources at PEN America’s Online Field Harassment Manual.

Colombia’s Public News Program Goes Off the Air
The cancellation of Noticias Uno followed warnings by journalists that the government was trying to censor independent reporting through an ICT law passed in June, and has sent a shock wave through Colombia’s journalist community that has been battered by increasingly aggressive attempts to limit press freedom.

Iranian Musician Risks His Freedom to Promote Human Rights
Mehdi Rajabian is an Iranian musician who has been jailed twice for producing albums and supporting prohibited artists and female vocalists, who are forbidden to sing in Iran. He could be sent back to prison at anytime but continues to produce music banned under Iran’s strict censorship laws.

Transgender Women Face Systemic Discrimination in Lebanon
According to a new report from Human Rights Watch, transgender women face “systemic discrimination in education, employment, housing, and the provision of healthcare” in the country. “Legal gender recognition is an essential element of other fundamental rights including the right to privacy, the right to freedom of expression, rights related to employment, education, health, and the ability to move freely,” HRW said.

DARE is a project of PEN America’s #LouderTogether campaign, bringing you a daily-curated roundup of the most important free expression-related news from the U.S. and abroad. An article’s inclusion does not imply endorsement by PEN America. We welcome your comments. Send your feedback and story suggestions to DARE@pen.org