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President Trump attacks the credibility of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who has been targeted by death threats and harassment since coming forward to accuse Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault when they were teenagers. AT&T brings up President Trump’s expressed interest in blocking its acquisition of Time Warner, parent company to CNN, in court case on the Justice Department’s attempt to do just that. Former New York Review of Books editor Ian Buruma, who left his position amid controversy about publishing men accused in the #MeToo movement, says he was “convicted on Twitter”. PEN America is mobilizing communities across the country to stand in defense of press freedom with the PEN Across America initiative and its reopened Press Freedom Incentive Fund. Read more here. -Dru Menaker, Chief Operating Officer

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

U.S.

Trump Attacks Kavanaugh Accuser By Name Amid Negotiations For Hearing
Trump has ended what had been a notably restrained response to the accusation by Christine Blasey Ford that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her more than 30 years ago in a series of tweets that dismiss the veracity and seriousness of her allegations, and ridicule the calls for an FBI investigation.
NPR

AT&T Brings Trump Back into Justice Department’s Antitrust Case
In a brief filed Thursday, AT&T reminded the court that Trump said during his campaign that he would block the merger, and that he didn’t like one of its networks, CNN. In June, AT&T successfully fended off the Justice Deparment’s first crack at stopping its purchase of Time Warner, CNN’s parent company.
CNN

Ex-New York Review of Books Editor: I Was ‘Convicted on Twitter’ over Essay
Ian Buruma has complained of being “publicly pilloried” and “convicted on Twitter” amid a row over his editorial judgment relating to #MeToo, and his decision to publish an article by the former Canadian broadcaster Jian Ghomeshi, accused of multiple instances of sexual assault.
GUARDIAN

Data Journalism and the Law
“Journalists’ access to information is restricted by threats of criminal penalties, corporate secrecy, or an inadequate legal understanding of technological advances. The intimidation of the press by public officials presents unique challenges in an oversaturated information economy where there are fewer resources and protections in place for journalists to discern the truth.”
COLUMBIA JOURNALISM REVIEW

‘Treating Protest as Terrorism’: U.S. Plans Crackdown on Keystone XL Activists
Recently relesed documents suggest that police were organizing to launch an aggressive response to possible Keystone protests, echoing the actions against the Standing Rock movement in North Dakota. There, officers engaged in intense surveillance and faced widespread accusations of excessive force and brutality.
GUARDIAN

 
Global

Digital Security Bill Passed in Bangladesh
The much-debated Digital Security Bill 2018 was passed in parliament with a provision allowing police officials to search or arrest anyone without any warrant. Journalists and rights activists have expressed worries over the new law, saying it was passed without addressing their concerns.
DAILY STAR

Singapore Parliamentary Committee Recommends Regulation of Tech Firms over Fake News
The committee, set up to make recommendations on fighting “deliberate online falsehoods”, said measures were needed as companies such as Facebook, Google and Twitter “have a policy of generally not acting against” content known to be false. Global tech companies have expressed concern about these plans.
REUTERS

Jordan Peterson Threatened to Sue a Critic for Calling Him a Misogynist
Jordan Peterson, author, psychology professor at the University of Toronto, and self-styled free speech warrior, is threatening to sue author and Cornell University assistant professor Kate Manne for defamation, after she criticized his book, 12 Rules For Life, and more generally called his work misogynistic in an interview with Vox.
THE CUT

101 Ways To Thwart A Reporter In Pyongyang
All Things Considered host Mary Louise Kelly shares her experience of reporting from North Korea: “The guide assigned by the Foreign Ministry has been glued to my side ever since we cleared passport control, acting as an interpreter, fixer, bridge between our worlds—and a stunningly efficient one-man journalism prevention service.”
NPR

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