Punishing protest : government tactics that suppress free speech

Paying for Free Speech: Proposed laws would regulate public protests
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Focus: Election misinformation. Despite the intense interest, what legislation will actually look like is still unclear. Lawmakers disagree over who should be punished for the dissemination of misinformation — creators, sharers or content providers. The bills also vary in terms of which parts of the law they propose to alter. Supreme Court Justice Luiz Fux signed a similar agreement with Brazilian political parties earlier that month.

Focus: Misinformation. Action: Law and state broadcasts. In May, the government passed a measure that gave it the authority to block media that it thinks threatens national security. The Guardian reported that three ministries have been assigned to monitor social media posts for potential violations. In January , The Cambodia Daily reported that the government was launching a live TV program during which it will address misinformation.

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The Court rules that libel against groups, like libel against individuals, has no place in the marketplace of ideas. Action: Government fact-checking site. Action: Government Twitter account. Some people have more opportunities to speak than others; more resources to disseminate their speech than others; more opportunities to be heard than others; and greater ability to drown out the voices of others. This applied to the entire student political spectrum, not just the liberal elements that drove the Free Speech Movement. In New York Times Co.

Other governments and organizations condemned the sentence, and a representative from Human Rights Watch suggested it was a move to cover up issues of poverty and sex work the country faces. In the global crackdown on misinformation, Cameroon has emerged as a key detainer of journalists.

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The Washington Post reported in December that journalists covering violence between separatists and the government were primary targets. Poynter profiled a couple of the journalists imprisoned and released on false news charges in January. Action: Media literacy campaign , government task force. Focus: Media literacy, foreign disinformation campaigns. In January , the Canadian government announced a multi-pronged effort to combat misinformation ahead of elections in the fall.

Second, the government called on social media platforms to do more to combat disinformation ahead of the election. The move comes in tandem with Bill C , legislation that aims to compel tech companies to be more transparent about their anti-disinformation and advertising policies. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said it was designed to target fake news and hate speech and to hold social media platforms accountable to their role in allowing disinformation to spread.

Action: Bill.

Action: Laws and online reporting portal. Another law in requires social media platforms to solely republish and link to news articles from registered news media. This year, authorities went one step further and started requiring microblogging sites to highlight and refute rumors on their platforms. In late August , Chinese authorities launched an app that lets people report potential fakery.

Reuters reported that the app, which also leverages artificial intelligence to automatically detect rumors, has accounts on platforms like Weibo and WeChat, on which it broadcasts reports from state-owned media.

Punishing Protest - Government Tactics that Suppress Free Speech, National Lawyers Guild, 2007

Punishing Protest: Government Tactics that Suppress Free Speech () is report from the Guild's then-executive director Heidi Boghosian. Punishing Protest - Government Tactics that Suppress Free Speech, National Lawyers Guild, • Feb. 25, • Locations: United States of America.

But Lobognan said he was arrested for political reasons — not spreading false information. Action: Bills. The bill, which primarily takes aim at Facebook, endeavors to primarily educate citizens as opposed to sanctioning the spread of misinformation. The draft bill is the product of a working group from the Central State Office for Digital Society, which concluded that hate speech, public incitement to violence and the spread of fake news should all be addressed in one law only the first two are covered by the criminal code.

The legislation was scheduled to be released by June Action: Government WhatsApp account. Amid an ongoing Ebola outbreak in Congo, the government created a WhatsApp tip line to field misinformation about the disease. Focus: Misinformation and media literacy. The group, which formed in September , is responsible for developing responses to widespread misinformation campaigns and foreign disinformation attacks. A task force within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was also set up to discover new pieces of misinformation online, TjekDet.

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Danish authorities bolstered their efforts to get ahead of misinformation problems by repurposing some media literacy material from Sweden. The government is distributing brochures with tips on how to avoid falling for misinformation. Finally, the Danish government came up with a plan to avoid foreign interference in the May parliamentary elections. Among the action items include strengthening the Police Intelligence Service and the Defense Intelligence Service, as well as closer dialogue with the media companies and political parties.

The Egyptian government is now regulating social media accounts with large followings in an alleged attempt to cut down on misinformation. In addition to punishing those who publish false information, the law requires websites to obtain a license from the Supreme Council or face suspension, fines or getting blocked altogether. The country has no press freedom, according to Freedom House. One human rights activist was sentenced to two years in prison after posting a video criticizing the government over the level of sexual harassment in the country, the BBC reported.

Even the son of jailed former president Mohamed Morsi has been detained under the fake news law. In March , The Associated Press reported that the Egyptian government had tightened its regulations on the media. In early January , President Macron told journalists that he would be presenting a new law to fight the spread of misinformation during elections.

The legislation gives authorities the power to remove fake content spread via social media and even block the sites that publish it, as well as enforce more financial transparency for sponsored content, in the three months before election periods. The law contains three major provisions. For the judge to act, a specific request must be filed by political groups, public authorities or individuals. Second, platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube will be required to publish who has purchased sponsored content or campaign ads and for what price. And finally, the law grants the Higher Audiovisual Council CSA , the broadcasting regulator, new administrative and executive powers to ensure that platforms abide by the law.

French lawmakers debated the proposed law on June 7, and it passed in early July. During election periods, the legislation will allow candidates to sue for the removal of contested news stories, Politico reported, and tech platforms will have to disclose the funding sources for sponsored content. More than 50 senators from the French Republican Party LR and the Centrist Union group appealed to the Constitutional court over the law, which is among the first of its kind in Europe. The lawmakers of the opposition parties argued that the law falls short of the principle of proportional justice, 20minutes reported.

In December, the law was validated by the Constitutional Council and enacted three days later. Having gone into effect Jan.

Aimed at social networks with more than 2 million members — such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter — the law was passed in June and gave platforms until the end of the year to prepare for the regulation. A satirical magazine called Titanic published a piece with insults and was banned from Twitter, and even the minister of justice — who helped author the NetzDG — had his tweets censored.

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In early March , officials considered revising the law following criticism that too much content was being blocked. Among those revisions includes allowing users to get incorrectly deleted content restored, as well as pushing social media companies to set up independent bodies to review questionable posts.

Action: Database , proposed state law , proposed law amendment and internet shutdowns. A state government in India is considering creating legislation aimed at punishing purveyors of online misinformation — specifically doctored photographs. The Economic Times reported in mid-June that West Bengal officials want to clarify how the state could additionally prosecute the publication of misinformation. Currently, citizens can be jailed in the state for posting misinformation if it causes fear or alarm in the public.

In addition to bolstering existing law, West Bengal has been preparing a database of fake news stories distributed on social media over the past few years.

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It has also kept records of past offenders, The Times reported. The efforts come amid rising tensions related to misinformation in India. Rumors on messaging platforms like WhatsApp have allegedly incited violence across the country and the national government itself has tried to issue anti-fake news guidelines in the past.

In October, Wired reported that the Indian government had turned off the internet more than times over the past year to quell the spread of rumors on WhatsApp. The shutdowns have cost the country billions of dollars and are more frequent than in any other country, according to Freedom House. Some research also suggests that these are ineffective, and that misinformation, political turbulence and rioting still occur during shutdowns.

In December, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology released draft changes to the IT Act that would require social media platforms to start tracing the originators of messages when compelled by the government. The effort is aimed at curbing the spread of unlawful content and misinformation on platforms like WhatsApp.

Action: Government task forces , arrests and site tracking. In January , President Joko Widodo appointed a head of the newly formed National Cyber and Encryption Agency to help intelligence agencies and law enforcement efforts combat online misinformation and hoaxes before nationwide regional polls that summer.

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The government has also been blocking websites that publish content deemed to be harmful for society. The Jakarta Post reported that social media companies are also working with the government to block and remove fake content, as well as illegal media such as pornography. In late January, the government also deployed a tool that allegedly automatically tracks and reports sites publishing fake news stories.

In October, Bloomberg reported that the Indonesian government has a team of 70 engineers monitoring social media traffic 24 hours a day in an effort to detect online misinformation. The government has taken other substantial actions against misinformation. In September, the communications ministry announced that it would hold weekly briefings to debunk misinformation.

And in April, officials threatened to shut down Facebook if it failed to crack down on misinformation ahead of the election. The minimum sentence under the law is four years. In May of , the Indonesian government blocked access to certain social media features for almost a week following violent riots that broke out following the election of President Joko Widodo. The measure was taken in an effort to curb the spread of hoaxes and calls for violence that had spiked on social media networks. It prevented users on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp from being able to upload photos or videos to the platforms.

In June , a member of the Muslim Cyber Army was arrested in Java and charged with spreading fake news and hate speech.

Free Speech: Colleges in the Crossfire - Moving Upstream

Lawmakers introduced a bill in early December that would make using a bot to create multiple fake accounts posing as different people spreading political messages a criminal offense. The legislation also takes a page from the Honest Ads bill proposed in the U.