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Former top Senate aide charged with leaking confidential information to reporters enters plea of not guilty. Apple to plug security backdoor that law enforcement has used to crack open devices. Republican Party fails to condemn Congressman Steve King (R-IA) for retweeting a known British neo-Nazi’s post on immigration. -Suzanne Nossel, Chief Executive Officer

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


Senate Intelligence Aide Pleads Not Guilty to Lying in Leak Probe
James Wolfe was indicted last week on three felony false-statement charges over statements he made denying certain interactions with journalists and denying that he disclosed confidential committee information.

Apple to Close iPhone Security Hole That Law Enforcement Uses to Crack Devices
Apple is closing the technological loophole that let authorities hack into iPhones, angering police and officials and reigniting a debate over whether the government has a right to get into the personal devices that are at the center of modern life.

A GOP Congressman Retweeted a Self-Described ‘Nazi Sympathizer.’ His Party Did Not Rebuke Him.
Republican rep. Steve King, whose racially inflected comments on subjects such as immigration and Western culture have drawn headlines, retweeted the British white nationalist who had shared a statistic about opinions of “mass immigration” in Italy.

In Name of Free Speech, States Crack Down on Campus Protests
The spate of new policies shows how conservatives are successfully advancing one of their longstanding goals: to turn the tables in the debate over the First Amendment by casting the left as an enemy of open and free political expression on campuses.

With Net Neutrality Repealed ISPs Now Have the Censoring Power of an Authoritarian Government
“We’ve given these corporations a level of power we wouldn’t dream of giving our own government, because we have grown fearful of government itself instead of fearing the real danger: an abuse of power.”


India Rejects U.N. Report on Human Rights Violation in Kashmir as Fallacious
“India rejects the report. It is fallacious, tendentious and motivated. We question the intent in bringing out such a report… It is a selective compilation of largely unverified information. It is overtly prejudiced and seeks to build a false narrative.”

Pacific News Journalists Grapple with Challenges of Social Media, Harsh Laws
Last month’s Pacific Media Summit discussions centered around concerns with the change that social media brought in terms of the traditional dissemination of receiving, consuming, sharing, and interpreting news and information.

An Indian Chess Champ Pulls Out of a Competition in Iran Because of its Mandatory Headscarf Rule
One of India’s top women chess players has pulled out of an upcoming championship in Iran in protest at having to wear an Islamic headscarf. “I find the Iranian law of compulsory headscarf to be in direct violation of my basic human rights.”

Jailed Russian Journalists Take the Field in Pre-World Cup Protest
Reporters Without Borders (RSF), which organized the free speech protest, says seven journalists are in prison in Russia due to their work and 34 have been killed since President Vladimir Putin came to power in 2000.

Iran Arrests Two Prominent Supporters of Anti-Head Scarf Protests
The arrests of Nasrin Sotoudeh and Farhad Jafari suggest that Iran’s crackdown against human rights defenders and dissidents is escalating as the judiciary and clerical establishment seeks to keep a lid on public anger.

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