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Popular encrypted messaging app WhatsApp discovers vulnerabilities that could expose users to hacking after select users were targeted for surveillance, including journalists and human rights defenders. Florida judge dismisses contempt case brought by the Broward county school board against the South Floria Sun Sentinel, after the newspaper published records related to the Parkland school shooting. CIA warns colleagues of the late journalist Jamal Khashoggi of possible threats from Saudi Arabia, related to their efforts to continue his work. -Anoosh Gasparian, External Relations Manager

 

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

U.S.

WhatsApp Discovers ‘Targeted’ Surveillance Attack
Hackers were able to remotely install surveillance software on phones and other devices using a major vulnerability in messaging app WhatsApp. The app, which is owned by Facebook, said the attack targeted a “select number” of users and was orchestrated by “an advanced cyber-actor.” A fix has been rolled out.
BBC NEWS

Contempt Case Dismissed Against Sun Sentinel Reporters
Months after the Broward school board called for contempt hearings against the South Florida Sun Sentinel for coverage of the Parkland school shooting, a Broward judge issued her formal ruling Monday. She said no.
SOUTH FLORIDA SUN SENTINEL

‘People Now Are Scared’: Activist Claims Saudi Arabian Campaign of Terror Continues
An Arab pro-democracy activist in Europe has told CBS News that he and two other colleagues of slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi—including one in the United States—have received threats from Saudi Arabia for continuing Khashoggi’s work. Palestinian-born activist Iyad el-Baghdadi recently said the CIA had tipped off Norwegian authorities about threats to his safety originating from the Islamic kingdom.
CBS NEWS

Should a Colorado Library Publish Local News?
Voters in Longmont could be asked to consider new taxes to fund a “library district,” a special governmental subdivision that would operate a community library. Roughly a dozen residents are pushing to explore the library district to include some form of community news component.
COLUMBIA JOURNALISM REVIEW

 
Global

Slovak Journalist Murder Suspects Charged with Second Killing
Two of the suspects charged with the murder of Jan Kuciak, a Slovak journalist investigating corruption, were implicated in another killing, according to national police. Police identified the men only as T.S. and M.M., adding that the murder weapon, a gun, was recovered from a river.
VOICE OF AMERICA

Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp Banned Again in Sri Lanka after Violence Against Muslims
The Sri Lankan government has once again temporarily banned social media networks, this time after attacks apparently sparked by a Facebook post. It’s the third time authorities have blocked social media in the country since the suicide bombings that killed hundreds on Easter Sunday, and it’s part of a worrisome trend of governments blocking citizens’ internet access.
VICE NEWS

Singapore’s Anti-Fake News Law Criticized as ‘Orwellian’ Threat to Freedom of Speech
Singapore has passed a controversial bill targeted at eliminating ‘fake news’ and disinformation, providing broad powers for authorities to police speech online, including in encrypted messaging applications. Critics say the legislation is the most far-reaching of its kind in the world and threatens to further restrict freedom of media and speech in the South-East Asian city-state.
ABC NEWS

China Blocks Access to All Language Editions of Wikipedia
China appears to be blocking all access to Wikipedia after previously only censoring the Chinese-language editions of the online encyclopedia. The blocking started last month, according to an internet monitoring service operated by the Tor Project. Attempting to access any Wikipedia page from within the country, no matter the language, will now trigger a connection error.
PC MAG

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