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Facebook agreements giving device makers access to vast amounts of users’ personal information come to light. Trump expected to nominate a conservative ally of Stephen Bannon to head Broadcasting Board of Governors, which controls U.S. government-funded media outlets including Voice of America and Radio Free Europe reaching more than 100 countries. Spotify says it is rescinding new policy on “hateful conduct” by artists who protested as form of censorship. -Dru Menaker, Chief Operating Officer

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


Facebook Gave Device Makers Deep Access to Data on Users and Friends
Facebook has reached data-sharing partnerships with at least 60 device makers—including Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft—allowing them access to user data without their explicit consent and after saying that it would no longer share such information.

White House Plans to Nominate Conservative Documentarian, Bannon Ally, to Lead Government Media Agency
There is concern Michael Pack will turn what has been considered America’s voice abroad toward a decidedly more pro-Trump bent, though the agencies under the BBG are independent of the presidential administration.

Spotify Cancels ‘Hateful Conduct’ Policy After an Industry Uproar
Spotify will rescind a new policy on “hateful conduct” by artists after an uproar among people in the music industry who say that the ill-defined guidelines represented a form of censorship. “We don’t aim to play judge and jury.”

Trump Again Refuses to Recognize LGBT Pride Month, but State Department is Celebrating It
Trump’s decision not to issue a statement about Pride Month, or issue any proclamations recognizing the month that celebrates the LGBT community have not gone unnoticed, with a number of LGBT people and allies taking to social media.


Indonesia Clamps Down on Simmering Independence Effort in Papua
Indonesia, despite its largely successful transition to democracy, continues to be criticized for the plight of Papua. Human rights groups have reported abuses including arbitrary arrests, extrajudicial killings, and abusive police/military tactics.

Ghosts of Lithuania’s Past Brought Back By a Child’s Toy
The Russian toy “Polite People” lets kids paint or assemble military figurines and stage their own occupation. People across Lithuania are angry with the toy and the Lithuanian government said its presence is an act of aggression.

Cambodia to Monitor Online News Ahead of July Election
Prime Minister Hun Sen’s ruling party have cracked down on government critics, including assigning staff who would “control news content, writing, audio, pictures, videos, and in other forms which have intention to cause instability.”

‘Everybody is Scared’: Pakistani Media Fighting—and Losing—Battle with ‘Extreme’ Censorship
Pakistani reporters say free media is now being shackled, as veteran reporters have been leaving after receiving threats, the nation’s most popular TV station being forced off air, and distribution of Pakistan’s oldest newspaper being halted.

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