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

U.S.

Gianforte to give $50,000 to press freedom group after assaulting reporter
Greg Gianforte has agreed to donate $50,000 to the Committee to Protect Journalists and has issued a formal apology as part of a civil settlement with reporter Ben Jacobs. In a letter, Gianforte (R.-Mont.) wrote “I write to express my sincere apology for my conduct on the evening of May 24. My physical response to your legitimate question was unprofessional, unacceptable, and unlawful. As both a candidate for office and a public official, I should be held to a high standard in my interactions with the press and the public. My treatment of you did not meet that standard.”
POLITICO

Contractor charged in NSA document leak case
Winner was accused of gathering, transmitting or losing defense information — the first criminal charge filed in a leak investigation during the Trump administration. Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein said investigators’ fast work “allowed us quickly to identify and arrest the defendant. Releasing classified material without authorization threatens our nation’s security and undermines public faith in government. People who are trusted with classified information and pledge to protect it must be held accountable when they violate that obligation.”
THE WASHINGTON POST

Kids Are Quoting Trump To Bully Their Classmates And Teachers Don’t Know What To Do About It
Donald Trump’s campaign and election have added an alarming twist to school bullying, with white students using the president’s words and slogans to bully Latino, Middle Eastern, black, Asian, and Jewish classmates. The first school year of the Donald Trump presidency left educators struggling to navigate a climate where misogyny, religious intolerance, name-calling, and racial exclusion have become part of mainstream political speech.
BUZZFEED

U.S. Lawmakers Condemn Turkish Embassy Attack
Adam Schiff (D.-Calif.) was one of many lawmakers to condemn an attack on protesters outside the Turkish embassy last month: “Mr. Speaker, I stand here today to affirm that we will not allow Turkey to beat innocent protesters on the streets of our nation’s capital. We will continue to pursue justice, and to make clear that America will always stand up for the right of peaceful and free expression.”
VOICE OF AMERICA

 
Global

US suspects Russian hackers planted fake news behind Qatar crisis
US investigators believe Russian hackers breached Qatar’s state news agency and planted a fake news report that contributed to a crisis among the US’ closest Gulf allies, according to US officials briefed on the investigation. Intelligence gathered by the US security agencies indicates that Russian hackers were behind the intrusion first reported by the Qatari government two weeks ago.
CNN

Chinese Firms Help Government Monitor Citizens with Big Data
A Chinese city is using big data provided by a phone company to track the movement of its migrant worker population, expanding the many ways China is using big data to not just enhance performance but also track the daily lives of its citizens. The tracking of people posting critical comments in social media is already going on and social media data will also be fed into the system, which on economic and social behaviors with an intention to allocate rewards and punishments
VOICE OF AMERICA

Myanmar police arrest journalists over satirical story
Police in Myanmar have arrested a newspaper’s chief editor and a columnist for allegedly defaming the military by publishing an article mocking its role in the country’s efforts to reach a peace agreement with fractious minority groups, one of their lawyers said Monday. Free speech advocates have criticized the law, and several journalists said they plan to wear armbands in protest of the arrests.”
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Egypt’s Government Can’t Crush Independent Journalism
As we were winding up the day on May 24 at the office of Mada Masr, the news website where I work, we started to notice something strange. Our site had vanished from the internet in Egypt. After some technical tests and conversations with users of different internet service providers, we realized what had happened: Mada Masr was being blocked in Egypt.
NEW YORK TIMES

Deeper Analysis

Op-Ed: Actually, hate speech is protected speech
In the past year we’ve seen Nazis and white supremacists rally in our cities, angry protesters chase provocateurs off college campuses, a comedian wield a bloody effigy of the president’s severed head, and slurs and overt racial animus made a staple of political discourse. Controversial speech has people talking about what restrictions, if any, society can enforce on words we despise. That inquiry isn’t inherently bad. The dilemma is that the public debate about free speech relies on useless cliches, not on accurate information about the law.
LOS ANGELES TIMES

How Trump Stoked the Campus Debate on Speech and Violence
Nearly a century ago, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., famously suggested, in defense of free speech, that “every idea is an incitement.” But are words themselves violence? The striking acceptance of the notion that some speech can constitute violence—and therefore has no place on a university campus—has coincided, this year, with the eruption of actual physical violence over speech.
THE NEW YORKER

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