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Supreme Court hears U.S. v Microsoft about whether the U.S. government has the power to search digital communications held on servers outside the country. Ivanka Trump rebuffs as “inappropriate” a question about whether her father’s accusers should be believed. Federal court rules that gays and lesbians are protected under anti-discrimination law, contrary to the position taken by the Trump Justice Department. Anti-Semitic incidents soared in 2017, study shows. -Suzanne Nossel, Executive Director

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


Supreme Court to hear Microsoft case: A question of law and borders
What began as a challenge by tech giant Microsoft to a routine search warrant for a suspected drug dealer’s emails has become a marquee case over data access in the internet age. At issue is whether a U.S. company must comply with a court order to turn over emails, even if they are held abroad.

Ivanka Trump claims question on her father’s accusers is ‘inappropriate’
White House senior adviser Ivanka Trump criticized a reporter for asking about women who have accused her father, President Donald Trump, of sexual misconduct—claiming it’s an “inappropriate question to ask a daughter.”

Employers can’t discriminate based on sexual orientation, court says
Discriminating against someone on the basis of sexual orientation is prohibited under federal civil rights law, a federal appeals court ruled as it sided with a gay skydiving instructor who was fired from his job after discussing his sexuality with a client.

Anti-Semitic incidents soared in 2017, marking nation’s largest single-year increase, report finds
Anti-Semitic activities in the United States shot up an unprecedented 57 percent last year, marked by hate crimes in schools and bomb threats against Jewish institutions, according to a report released by the Anti-Defamation League.


Watchdog: Yemeni writer held after criticizing UAE forces
CPJ said Monday that Awad Kashmeem was detained last Wednesday in the coastal city of Mukalla in southern Yemen’s Hadramawt province and is being held at the military intelligence headquarters there. Kashmeem criticized local UAE-backed forces and said they’d waged a fake campaign against al-Qaida.

China pushes back against criticism of plan for Xi to stay in power
China’s plan for President Xi Jinping to remain in office indefinitely has sparked social media opposition, drawing comparisons to North Korea’s ruling dynasty and prompting a Hong Kong pro-democracy activist to accuse it of creating a dictator.

Easing controls on Hong Kong media is welcome start for all parties
Television and radio broadcasters around the world are struggling to survive in the internet age. The challenges facing Hong Kong operators are even more daunting. Archaic law and rigid control mean operators have limited flexibility to compete with online media. The need for an overhaul of the regulatory regime is evident.

Kashmir journalist Kamran Yusuf faces life imprisonment
The 22-year-old freelance photojournalist, who has been documenting the conflict in Indian-administered Kashmir, has been slapped with charges of “stone throwing” and “waging war against India.” He has been in jail since then.

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