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The Director of National Intelligence tells Senate that Russia is expected to “continue” using propaganda and other information manipulations to sow division in the U.S. and influence elections. Arizona Republican Senate candidate touts endorsement from conservative political site designed to mimic news organization as use of tactic expands. New York Times quickly parts ways with newly announced opinion writer on technology after more of her Twitter comments surface. -Dru Menaker, Chief Operating Officer

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


Russia Sees Midterm Elections as Chance to Sow Fresh Discord
Russia is already meddling in the midterm elections this year, the top American intelligence officials said, warning that Moscow is using a digital strategy to worsen the country’s political and social divisions.

Kelli Ward touts endorsement from fake-news site
It looked as if Arizona Senate candidate Kelli Ward had scored a big endorsement: On October 28, she posted a link on her campaign website and blasted out a Facebook post, quoting extensively from a column in the Arizona Monitor. But despite its reputable sounding name, the Arizona Monitor is not a real news site.

After a Twitter Storm, The Times and a New Hire Part Ways
On Tuesday afternoon, The New York Times announced that it had hired Quinn Norton, a journalist and an essayist known for her work at Wired magazine, as the editorial board’s lead opinion writer on technology. On Tuesday evening, Norton said in a Twitter post that she would no longer be joining The Times.

College Leaders Think Free Speech Is at Risk Everywhere—Except on Their Own Campuses
America’s colleges and universities are experiencing an intellectual crisis. While this is usually cast in terms of “free speech,” that is only a symptom of a deeper sickness. The root issue is whether universities remain true to their foundational mission or whether they are no longer invested in safeguarding free inquiry and welcoming heterodox thought. A new survey of college and university leaders offers little grounds for optimism.


In Modi’s India, journalists face bullying, criminal cases, and worse
Times are tough for journalists in India, where many reporters and editors say it’s becoming increasingly difficult to do their jobs. Loyalists to the country’s powerful Hindu nationalist prime minister, Narendra Modi, have bullied editors into taking down critical stories, hushed government bureaucrats, and shifted from the common practice of filing defamation cases to lodging more serious criminal complaints

Before Merkel meeting, Turkish PM talks of release of journalist
Turkey’s prime minister raised the prospect today that a German-Turkish journalist could soon be freed from a jail, something that would remove what Berlin considers a major impediment to normalized relations with Ankara.

Inxeba gets same classification as hardcore porn, pulled from movie houses
The film has received public backlash for its depiction of the traditional ritual of ukwaluka—a Xhosa tradition into manhood—as well as sexual identity in the form of a gay love story.

Commentary: House of Representatives waging war against free speech (Indonesia)
Public debate over the controversial provisions in the draft penal code, which has been widely criticized for being anticriticism, is not over yet. Now, out of the blue, lawmakers have just passed a law granting the House of Representatives (DPR) ethics body the power to press charges against those critical of the legislative body and its members.

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