free speech

John Lister's picture

Supreme Court Debates Social Media, Deplatforming

The Supreme Court has blocked a Texas law that would have stopped social media companies from banning users based on political views. A 5-4 majority of judges said the law violated the First Amendment. In this case, the right to free speech in ... question is not that of individual users, but that of the social media companies. They had argued that they have the right to decide what content does and doesn't appear on their platforms. The verdict doesn't throw the law out. Instead, it means it cannot take effect until ongoing lawsuits about its measures have been resolved. Because it was an ... (view more)

John Lister's picture

Online Free Speech Rules Derail Defense Bill

A dispute over Internet law has led to a Presidential veto of a major defense bill. Lawmakers will now decide whether to reject Donald Trump's demands to remove rules on how websites and services handle content posted by users. The bill in question ... authorizes US military spending for the next year. One of the quirks of the US legislative system is that bills can include measures which have little or nothing to do with the main subject of the proposed law. These measures are often the result of negotiation between politicians. In this case, Trump wants the defense bill to include a repeal of ... (view more)

John Lister's picture

Chinese Apps TikTok, WeChat Won't Be Banned

A judge has blocked a Department of Commerce ban on a Chinese messaging app. The judge said there wasn't enough specific evidence against the app to override free speech complaints. The department introduced the ban on WeChat (along with video app ... TikTok) following an executive order from the President. The ban meant it was illegal for app stores to distribute or update the apps in the US. The ban also outlawed US use of WeChat's mobile payment facility, which is hugely popular with American citizens of Asian descent. One estimate puts the number of US users at 19 million. In both cases, the ... (view more)

Dennis Faas's picture

US Internet 'Kill Switch' Bill to be Reconsidered

The situation in Egypt is dire. The government, which is facing enormous protests has turned to shutting off communications, most notably the Internet , as a way to silence dissension. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has gone on record ... admonishing the Egyptian Internet blackout , calling it a senseless attempt to bring order to a country at the cost of basic democratic rights. Could an Internet Blackout Happen in the United States? While most Americans have viewed the entire debacle as something that simply couldn't and wouldn't happen in the United States, some political pundits ... (view more)

Dennis Faas's picture

First Amendment No Excuse For Misleading Spam, Court Rules

A North Carolina man has become the first person jailed in the US for spamming, despite his attempts to cite the First Amendment. The Virginia Supreme Court upheld a nine year sentence given to Jeremy Jaynes, though only by a 4-3 margin. It's ... thought he sent ten million spam messages in July and August of 2003 alone, though the original prosecutors only presented evidence of 53,000 messages sent over a three-day period (it's a felony crime to send more than 10,000 spams a day). He was found guilty on three counts, and given a three year-sentence for each. Jaybes was prosecuted in Virginia, ... (view more)

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