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Special Counsel Robert Mueller testifies before Congress, opening by calling Russian government interference a challenge to our democracy that ‘deserves the attention of every American.’ The Federal Trade Commission orders Facebook to create new oversight mechanisms for its handling of users’ personal data. President Trump tells a student gathering that he would be would be polling at ‘100 percent’ were it not for the news media, and leads booing of journalists covering the event. San Francisco police found not to have told judge that search warrant target was a journalist. New Hampshire Democratic Party says Twitter removed bogus account posing as the party’s official one. -Dru Menaker, Chief Operating Officer

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


Robert Mueller’s Opening Statement Before Congressional Hearings
“Over the course of my career, I’ve seen a number of challenges to our democracy. The Russian government’s effort to interfere in our election is among the most serious. As I said on May 29, this deserves the attention of every American.”
NPR *See PEN America’s response to special counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony, and the corrosive impact of disinformation on elections

Facebook Fined $5 Billion and Ordered to Add Oversight of Data Practices
Facebook was ordered to create new layers of oversight for its collection and handling of users’ personal data by the Federal Trade Commission, as the agency detailed a privacy settlement with the social network that signals Washington’s newfound energy in reining in powerful technology companies.

‘100 Percent’ Approval: Trump, Turning Point USA Teens Imagine Polls without ‘Liar’ Media
Trump spoke Tuesday at the Teen Student Action Summit in Washington, asking the young conservatives at the four-day conference to imagine how he would be polling at ‘100 Percent’ if it weren’t for the “liars” in the news media. Like most Trump rallies, the president led boos against the “fake news” journalists covering the event.

A Judge Signed a Warrant to Search a Journalist. But Police Didn’t Tell Her the Whole Story.
In an sworn affidavit submitted to a California Superior Court judge, a San Francisco police sergeant said Bryan Carmody was “not currently employed by any of the news organizations that obtained the death investigation report.”
WASHINGTON POST *See PEN America’s amicus letter filed in support of Bryan Carmody

NH Primary Source: Twitter Takes down Fake ‘@DemsNh’ Account
The state and Hillsborough County Republican committees have strongly denied the state Democratic Party’s suggestion that “someone affiliated with” the county committee was responsible for a bogus Twitter account that posted disparaging tweets about the NHDP and its chair.

Mali’s ‘Guitar Gods’ Tinariwen Receive Racist Threats Ahead of U.S. Tour
A guitar band from Mali called Tinariwen is famous worldwide. The band has fought extremism in their home country of Mali, and been victims themselves. But ahead of a September show in Winston-Salem, N.C., social media commenters are leveling violent, racist attacks against the musicians.


Russian LGBTQ Activist Is Killed after Being Listed on Gay-Hunting Website
A Russian LGBTQ activist, Yelena Grigoryeva, was fatally stabbed in St. Petersburg after her name was listed on a website that encourages people to “hunt” LGBTQ activists, inspired by the torture-themed film “Saw.”

Detained Daghestani Journalist Officially Charged with Financing Terrorism
Daghestani reporter Abdulmumin Gadzhiyev has been officially charged with financing terrorism. His colleagues at three local publications say his arrest was based on “trumped-up” charges, and published front pages devoted to his plight.

South Sudan Journalists’ Union Says Two Members Detained
South Sudan’s journalists’ union said that security agents had detained two of its members—Michael Christopher, the editor in chief of Arabic language daily newspaper Al Watan, and John Agok, a journalist working with a radio station in Eastern Lakes State—in the past two weeks.

Reporter Killed as Toll in Nigeria Rallies over Shia Leader Rises
Precious Owolabi, a journalist covering clashes between Nigerian security forces and supporters of a Shia group in Abuja, has been confirmed dead amid reports the death toll from the confrontation has risen to at least eight people.

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