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Pro-Russian Twitter account found spreading confidential information linked to the Mueller investigation. Facebook and Google face backlash for encouraging teens to install data-collection apps. A study published in the Journal of Communications finds that the loss of local newspapers and media sources contributes to political polarization. New York’s Governor Cuomo proposes harsher penalties for violence toward members of the press. The bipartisan Congressional-Executive Commission on China nominates 2014 Freedom to Write Award honoree Ilham Tohti to receive the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize. -Anoosh Gasparian, External Relations Manager

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


Pro-Russian Twitter Account Used Non-Public Material from Mueller’s Team in Effort to Discredit Russia Probe
More than a thousand of those documents were part of the case’s evidence collection, listed online and known only to those involved in the case. Other documents published online and mixed in with the real evidence were “junk material.”

Facebook, Google Draw Scrutiny over Apps That Collected Data from Teens
In the latest revelation to raise privacy concerns about Silicon Valley’s tech titans, reports have surfaced that Facebook and Google offered adults and teens gift cards for installing apps that would let the companies collect data on their smartphones.

Loss of Newspapers Contributes to Political Polarization
With fewer opportunities to find out about local politicians, citizens are more likely to turn to national sources like cable news and apply their feelings about national politics to people running for the town council or state legislature.

Cuomo Proposes Tougher Penalties for Violence against the Media
Attacking a member of the media in New York could soon carry the same penalties as violence against New York City sanitation workers, registered nurses, school crossing guards, and other protected professions.

U.S. Lawmakers Nominate Jailed Uyghur Academic Ilham Tohti to Receive Nobel Peace Prize *PEN Case List: Learn More
More than a dozen bipartisan U.S. lawmakers have nominated jailed Uyghur academic and blogger Ilham Tohti to receive the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize, citing his commitment to peaceful interethnic dialogue between members of his ethnic group and China’s Han Chinese majority.


Venezuela Detains Foreign Journalists Amid Crackdown on Protests
Venezuela authorities have arrested three foreign journalists and a driver working for Spanish news agency EFE in the latest arrests of reporters covering U.S.-backed efforts to overthrow President Nicolas Maduro.

Behrouz Boochani: Detained Asylum Seeker Wins Australia’s Richest Literary Prize
Behrouz Boochani’s book “No Friend But the Mountains”—composed one text message at a time from within the detention center—has been recognized by a government from the same country that denied him access and locked him up.

Twitter Suspends Accounts Aiming Fake News at the Israeli Public
Twitter suspended 61 accounts linked to foreign fake news manipulation campaigns aimed at the Israeli public. The move brings to 343 the number of accounts suspended by Twitter since Israeli elections were announced last month.

Manipur Journalist Kishorechandra Wangkhem’s Arrest Draws Massive Criticism
The meeting had a retired Supreme Court judge, lawyers, and activists condemning the arrest of the journalist under a draconian law in no uncertain terms. Wangkhem was initially charged with sedition, and when the case did not stick and the magistrate granted him bail, he was booked under the National Security Act.

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