DARE: Press Secretary Sarah Sanders to Leave the White House
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White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, known to have repeated and propagated numerous falsehoods on behalf of President Trump and for having had a tense relationship with members of the press, set to leave her post. California lawmakers and advocates for privacy and law enforcement accountability at odds over the use of facial recognition technology in body cameras. Alabama passes legislation mandating that colleges and universities take a viewpoint-neutral approach to potentially offensive speakers. (See our most recent report on free expression on college campuses, which includes a breakdown of similar state-level efforts, as well as an updated set of PEN America principles for campus free speech.) -Anoosh Gasparian, External Relations Manager
The most pressing threats and notable goings-on in free expression today
Press Secretary Sarah Sanders to Leave the White House
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders is leaving the White House, President Trump tweeted. Sanders was known for frequent clashes with frustrated reporters who often struggled to get answers to questions about the president’s thinking on issues ranging from presidential pardoning authority to the role of the press.
‘Are They Going to Violate My Rights?’: California’s Battle over Police Body Cameras
As more and more police departments put body cameras to use, technology has caught up to advocates’ concerns. In April, the Microsoft president, Brad Smith, revealed that his company rejected an unidentified California police agency’s request to install facial recognition technology in officers’ cars and body cameras.
New Law Says Colleges Must Stay Neutral on Offensive Speakers
Alabama has joined a growing number of states to pass legislation proponents say is aimed at promoting free speech on college campuses. The bill requires colleges to establish free speech policies that include specific guidelines, such as not banning speakers just because their messages are “unwelcome, disagreeable, or offensive.”
Federal Watchdog Agency Recommends Removal of Kellyanne Conway from Federal Office for Violating the Hatch Act
The Office of Special Counsel recommended the removal of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway from federal office for violating the Hatch Act, which bars federal employees from engaging in political activity. The White House said the agency’s assessment was “deeply flawed” and violated “her constitutional rights to free speech and due process.”
How Duterte Used Facebook to Fuel the Philippine Drug War
Because using other data, like accessing a news website via a mobile web browser, is precious and expensive, for most Filipinos the only way online is through Facebook. The platform is a leading provider of news and information, and it was a key engine behind the wave of populist anger that carried Duterte all the way to the presidency.
UN Counter-Terror Tsar Visits Xinjiang Where Uighurs Held in Huge Numbers
Vladimir Voronkov, the under-secretary general for counter-terrorism, is the highest level UN official to visit Xinjiang, which activists have described as an open-air prison where people are deprived of religious freedom.
To End Mass Protests, Sudan Has Cut off Internet Access Nationwide. Here’s Why.
“Since December, Sudan’s capital of Khartoum has been swarming with protesters demanding democratic elections and freedoms. The government has responded with physical violence and online censorship. From December through April, the government ordered its telecommunications companies to block social media and to periodically disable access to the Internet nationwide.”
How Social Media Is Shaping What People Know—and Don’t Know—about the Hong Kong Protests
Social media has played an important role in Hong Kong’s anti-government protests over the past few days with protesters planning their moves via apps and mainland China users apparently blocked from learning about the unrest on multiple platforms.
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