Want to receive this digest in your inbox? To subscribe, simply click here and choose DARE: Daily Alert on Rights and Expression from the list. 

Verizon under fire for allegedly slowing flow of vital data to California firefighters who had maxed out on their plan, illustrating perils of abolishing net neutrality. Rutgers University issues disciplinary finding over a Facebook post on gentrification by a tenured professor (see PEN America’s statement here). Long suppressed report on leaks to the news media from the Ken Starr inquiry is released. -Suzanne Nossel, Chief Executive Officer


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


Verizon Under Fire for ‘Throttling’ Firefighters’ Data in California Blaze
California firefighters’ ability to battle a huge wildfire was impeded by Verizon Wireless throttling their internet connection, in a moment advocates say demonstrates the high stakes of the battle over net neutrality.

White Professor Accused of Antiwhite Racism
Debaters of free speech have once again gathered to debate the conduct of a professor, this time of James Livingston of Rutgers University who posted what he calls a satirical critique of gentrification and white privilege in Harlem.

Judge Orders Release of 20-Year-Old Report into Media Leaks from Starr’s Clinton Probe
A federal judge ordered the government to quickly process and release a long-secret report detailing an investigation into whether anyone in the independent counsel’s office in the 1990s leaked grand jury information to the press.

Amazon Now Offers Cody Wilson’s 3-D Printed Gun Code in Book Form
As the judge deliberates on a hearing on whether or not Defense Distributed founder Cody Wilson will be able to republish computer files that would let users print a plastic gun, the book is already for sale on Amazon.

Finally Some Good News: Trust in News is Up, Especially for Local Media
After decades of declining trust in the press, coupled with relentless rhetorical attacks on the media by President Trump, there’s finally some good news: Trust in media is up since last year, and the great majority of Americans trust their local news sources.


Opinion: How Far Will Myanmar Go to Cover Up an Atrocity? *PEN Case List
“Human rights and media advocacy groups around the world have condemned the prosecution and called for Reuter’s journalists’ [Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo] release… This case [is] a test of whether Myanmar is still committed to democratic principles.”

China Denies Tibet Activist’s Appeal of Jail Sentence *PEN Case List
China has turned down Tibetan language rights activist Tashi Wangchuk’s appeal of his five-year prison sentence on the charge of inciting separatism. “China’s rejection of [his] appeal is a travesty of justice and shows a disdain for international concern.”

China Forces Out Buzzfeed Journalist
American reporter Megha Rajagopalan for Buzzfeed News has become the latest foreign journalist to be forced from China, which has a history of retaliating against news organizations and individual journalists for critical coverage.

The Memes that Might Get You Jailed in Russia
The case of a young woman, Maria Motuznaya, facing jail for sharing memes on social media and being charged with hate speech and offending religious believers’ has prompted a major debate about abuse of law and censorship in Russia.

Saudi Arabia, which has Been Calling Out Canada Over Women’s Rights, May Soon Behead a Female Activist for the First Time
Saudi Arabia, which has called out Canada over its treatment of women, is on the cusp of executing a female political activist Israa al-Ghomgham for demanding an end to discrimination against Shia Muslims and release of political prisoners.

Long Before Facebook, the KGB Spread Fake News about AIDS
A few years ago, historian Douglas Selvage discovered the blueprint for a fake news campaign outlining how the Soviet Union and its allies were working to promote the idea that AIDS was an American biological weapon.

DARE is a project of PEN America’s #LouderTogether campaign, bringing you a daily-curated roundup of the most important free expression-related news from the U.S. and abroad. Send your feedback and story suggestions to [email protected]