PEN’s Free Expression Digest brings you a daily curated round-up of the most important free expression-related stories from around the web. Please send your feedback and suggestions to

Iranian journalist sentenced to jail for spreading propaganda
An Iranian journalist and political activist said on Wednesday she had been sentenced to one year in jail after being found guilty of spreading propaganda against the Islamic Republic. Reyhaneh Tabatabaei told Reuters of the sentence, which also included a two-year ban on joining political parties and writing for any newspaper or website. REUTERS

Paris attacks reignite debate over encryption
Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris have revived the debate over whether U.S. tech companies should be required to build “backdoors” into encrypted phones, apps, and Internet sites to let law enforcement conduct surveillance of suspected terrorists. USA TODAY

Facebook, WhatsApp, Viber blocked in Bangladesh
The government has blocked popular social media platform Facebook, and online messaging and calling services WhatsApp and Viber on security grounds, said Dr. Shahjahan Mahmood, chairman of the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission. DHAKA TRIBUNE

Journalist detained in U.S. for covering protest
Jack Highberger, an Emmy-award winning reporter for Fox 9 in Minneapolis-St. Paul, was arrested on Monday while covering a Black Lives Matter protest on the side of a highway. Video of the arrest was posted on Highberger’s Facebook page. IFEX

Chinese media outlets reported to ‘take daily orders’ from government
A former columnist at a top newspaper who fled China after being recruited to spy on activists by state security police has revealed some of the inner workings of the Chinese propaganda regime, including a secret list of topics and sources off limits to media organizations. RADIO FREE ASIA

Newspaper in Turkey wins journalism prize
Can Dündar, Editor-in-Chief of Cumhuriyet, announced that the daily received the prize awarded by Reporters Without Borders on Tuesday night in Strasbourg and shared a photograph of him receiving the award during a ceremony. “We are proud,” he wrote in his remarks on Twitter. TODAY’S ZAMAN

Open source projects rely on donated time. What motivates participants?
Open source software packages like WordPress and Firefox have been major influences on modern computing. A recent paper in PNAS studied the developers who make this software so successful to understand what motivates them and why they find contributing satisfying. ARS TECHNICA