Congressman Reed to Talk Free Speech at BU – wnbf.com

A Congressman from the Western and Central Southern Tier is making a visit to Broome County to weigh in on the November protests and confrontations that riled Binghamton University and resulted in a couple of arrests.

23rdDistrict Republican Tom Reed is scheduled to meet today with the Binghamton University College Republicans and B.U. President Dr. Harvey Stenger to discuss the restriction of free speech on campus.

The former Mayor of Corning says he recently sent a letter to SUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson and Dr. Stenger requesting more information about the incident that unplugged a speech by conservative economist Art Laffer and resulted in the detention of a couple students.

That confrontation followed a clash between students protesting two tables that had been set up on the campus, one promoting Laffers speech and the other supporting gun rights.

The events also sparked comments from President Donald Trump at a Republican student action rally last month. The President claimed radicals swinging clubs, bats "and everything" and wearing masks and red arm bands mobbed Laffers talk.

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Congressman Reed to Talk Free Speech at BU - wnbf.com

Facebook and Zuckerberg keep getting freedom of expression wrong – The Next Web

Last week, Facebook reaffirmed its hands-off approach to political ads, saying it wont ban them, wont fact-check them, and wont limit how granularly they can be targeted. Under siege, Facebook has continued to defend this stance by trying to position the tech giant is a bastion of free speech.

Whether in his testimony to Congress last October or his 2020 resolutions post last week, Zuckerberg has sought to frame the question of advertising as one of free expression. And in what was positioned as a landmark address at Georgetown, Zuckerberg cloaked himself in the constitution, invoking the First Amendment no fewer than eight times. He even cited the Fifteenth Amendment for good measure.

Curious, though, that Facebook never mentions the Fourth Amendment, which guarantees the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures interpreted by the Supreme Court in Carpenter v. United States to encompass digital privacy.

The inconvenient truth for Facebook is that these rights are inextricably linked. We cannot be truly free to speak our mind when we know that our every word and action is being tracked and logged by corporations and governments. The erosion of privacy threatens our freedom of expression, and it is hypocritical for Facebook to play at free speech champion while also being at the forefront of surveillance capitalism.

According to the new Freedom on the Net 2019 report by Freedom House, free speech and privacy on the internet also declined globally for the ninth consecutive year. And one of the main reasons cited by the reports authors for the decline? Increased surveillance on social media platforms.

Facebook has been central to the rise of a world where it is taken for granted that our personal lives are public by default and our private data is extracted and processed as a commodity, and as such, it is a direct threat to our freedom of speech. This digital panopticon creates a chilling effect, where people are hesitant or afraid about exercising their rights because of the potential negative ramifications that may result from their speech and actions being used against them.

Its not just theoretical: Following the Cambridge Analytica expos, The Atlantic surveyed its readers and found that 41.9 percent of the respondents said they changed their behavior on Facebook as a result of learning about the news, mostly by being more careful about what they posted. Over four in five (82.2 percent) said they self-censor on social media. The chilling effect even extended beyond Facebook to elsewhere on the internet, with 25.6 percent reporting that the Cambridge Analytica incident changed their behavior on other social media.

Theres a clear connection between Facebooks privacy failings and negative ramifications on open expression. So perhaps its time for Zuckerberg to stop being so pious and take user privacy seriously if hes genuine about his commitment to freedom of speech.

If Facebook intends to be a platform for people to express themselves, it needs to give people more visibility into and control over who gets to see what they express. Facebook should follow through on its commitment to full and clear disclosure of the data it collects, the people and organizations that have access to it, and what is done with this data. It has claimed it will do so in the past, but was caught again less than a year ago secretly sharing data in violation of stated privacy protections.

Facebooks control over what almost three billion people in the world can see, share, and express is unparalleled in human history. Without fundamental privacy protections and full transparency on its practices, that kind of power cant be good for freedom of expression.

The chilling effect of surveillance isnt complicated. Sitting before Congress a few months ago, with dozens of cameras pointed at him, Zuckerberg surely acted in a far more constrained manner than he wouldve in the privacy of his own bedroom. How does he expect Facebook to be the champion of free expression when it wont stop pointing evermore figurative cameras at us?

Published January 18, 2020 17:00 UTC

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Facebook and Zuckerberg keep getting freedom of expression wrong - The Next Web

Op-ed: A Navy bribery scandal and the limits of free speech – NavyTimes.com

It seems like everyones talking about bribery these days but I, and anyone else who works for the federal government, have to limit what we can say about what does or does not constitute an ethical or illegal lapse.

I am an ethicist who teaches leadership, ethics and law, and I believe a recent bribery case in the U.S. military offers an interesting and distinctive perspective through which to consider these issues.

Unfortunately, due to current restrictions on what federal employees can and cant say about political matters, I cant discuss all the ways that case might apply to a broader debate.

Nonetheless, there is one thing I can say without caveat or equivocation. Bribery laws for government officials have a powerful ethical principle at their core: If you work for the government, your actions in office are meant to serve the public interest not your own.

Trouble in the 7th Fleet

The so-called Fat Leonard scandal is the largest bribery and corruption case in U.S. Navy history.

The key player is Leonard Glenn Francis, a Malaysian-born businessman based in Singapore who was commonly referred to as Fat Leonard because of his 350-pound weight. He ran a company called Glenn Defense Marine Asia that had U.S. government contracts to provide various services to Navy ships in Asian ports docking, refueling, sewage removal and shore transportation for both cargo and personnel.

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In 2015, Francis pleaded guilty to plying Navy officers with cash and favors in exchange for their efforts to steer the Navys Pacific fleet to ports where his company could provide services. Then, the company would fabricate bids by nonexistent companies to make its own charges look competitive, overbill the Navy for services and even draw up fake invoices to collect money for goods and services it never provided to the ships and crews.

The case is perhaps best known for the fact that one of the most common favors Francis provided were paid sexual partners: He even kept meticulous notes about the peccadilloes of different officers.

More significant for U.S. taxpayers is the fact that the decade-long scam ultimately bilked the Navy out of more than $35 million.

Whistleblowers and corruption

In some ways the Fat Leonard scandal is a textbook bribery scheme, with clandestine meetings, envelopes full of cash, and explicit arrangements to perform clearly illegal acts. In fact, one of the biggest questions raised when Leonard was finally arrested in 2013 was how his company had been able to get away with the scheme for almost a decade.

There were, in fact, several whistleblowers along the way, but as is often the case when corruption is widespread, those in on the scheme were notified of the complaints before word got to those who would hold them responsible.

So rather than being lauded, whistleblowers were instead widely vilified.

Nonetheless, the truth was eventually brought to light. To date, more than 20 people have pleaded guilty to federal crimes, including the first-ever conviction of an admiral for a felony.

Significantly, however, the scope of the scandal is even more far-reaching. Dozens of officers, including several admirals, have been reprimanded and removed from office for more minor related violations, without going to jail.

Reciprocity and bribery

These last cases are particularly interesting, because they help demonstrate not only the high standards of military, but also the ways that bribery schemes often dont conform to common, stereotypical, preconceived notions.

Many of the officers charged didnt accept cash payments, but rather the kind of favors that they couldnt or wouldnt be able to obtain for themselves: travel, champagne, scotch, luxury hotel rooms, ornamental swords, handmade ship models, spa treatments, Cuban cigars, Kobe beef, Spanish suckling pigs, concert tickets and even a culinary internship.

Ultimately, it shouldnt be surprising that bribery often begins with small favors rather than thick envelopes of cash. Human beings are social creatures; favors strengthen peoples social bonds and make them more likely to reciprocate in turn.

Thats why federal ethics rules regarding favors are generally so strict, prohibiting government employees from accepting all but the most minimal gifts (even modest meals) from contractors and foreign agents.

Those prohibitions have obvious exceptions, but the principle behind the general rules is all the more important in their exceptions: Official actions are meant to serve public, rather than private, interests.

In the Fat Leonard cases, the evidence is clear: Even in the cases in which leaders have been merely reprimanded and removed from office, the kinds of favors the officers accepted demonstrate they were acting for their own benefits not those of the nation.

Why I cant say more

There may well be lessons the Fat Leonard saga has for other cases in which the alleged exchange of official acts for something of personal value is a key element of the crime.

Those considerations might seem even more relevant given that in 1998, Mississippi Republican lawmaker Roger Wicker took to the House floor and declared the rule of law means that the commander-in-chief of our armed forces could not be held to a lower standard than are his subordinates.

More than two decades later Wicker, now a senator, has recently reaffirmed that standard.

However, I am a federal employee, and the U.S. Office of Special Counsel has issued unusually broad guidance about the Hatch Acts limits on federal workers partisan political activities.

The law generally bars federal employees from advocating in favor of or against the election of a particular candidate, as well from participating in other partisan political activities in an election. Yet the current guidance which itself has been criticized for taking sides on a political divide has been taken by some to apply to any analysis of any aspects of the presidents impeachment and trial.

Limiting public discourse

This is a free-speech problem, but its more than that. When federal and state governments hire experts and researchers as, in effect, public servants, I believe that expertise should be welcome in the public sphere, helping to inform the people we work for.

I work at a federally run university, which is why I come under these particular government rules. There are relatively few institutions like mine, so it might seem a minor issue.

However, numerous states have laws similar to the Hatch Act, at least some of which apply to employees of those statespublic universities. If the current federal rules stand, public state university employees may well find themselves facing similar, or even more problematic, limits in the future, especially if analysis is taken to be a form of advocacy.

Regardless of those concerns, the Office of Special Counsels current guidance remains, for better or worse, the rule for federal employees.

Given that fact, there very may well be another reason to follow it: Doing so can help further differentiate those who attempt to respect the significant distinction between campaigning and governing from those who seek to minimize, or even eliminate altogether, the difference between the two.

As a result, I leave any lessons of how the Fat Leonard scandal might apply to any other case as an exercise for the reader.

A former major in the U.S. Air Force, Dr. Marcus Hedahl is an associate professor of Philosophy in the Department of Leadership, Ethics and Law at the United States Naval Academy and a faculty affiliate at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Georgetown University. His views, which he cant fully express, dont necessarily reflect those of Navy Times or its staffers.

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All the free speech money can buy – The Week

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January 17, 2020

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This is the editor's letter in the current issue of The Week magazine.

A sack of money, the Supreme Court has decreed, is just another form of speech, which is why Mike Bloomberg will have vastly more to say about the 2020 presidential race than almost every other American. Bloomberg intends to shell out $1 billion for his "free" speech about why President Trump must be defeated (and why Bloomberg is the Democrat best suited to beat him). That's about 10 times what any individual has ever spent to influence a presidential race and Bloomberg promises to keep spending even if another Democrat gets the nomination. The former New York City mayor, 77, is worth about $58 billion, so he can easily afford this indulgence.

With no sane limits on political spending, it was inevitable that attempts to buy the White House and Congress would escalate. In the 1976 Buckley ruling, the Supreme Court struck down Watergate-inspired caps on the amount of money wealthy individuals could spend to influence a race or donate to their own campaigns. The 2010 Citizens United ruling, which removed limits on political spending by "outside" groups, unleashed a tsunami of contributions from the superwealthy, including Charles and David Koch, George Soros, Sheldon Adelson, and Tom Steyer. In 2010, the top individual contribution was $7.5 million; by 2018, it had soared to $122 million (by Adelson, mostly in Trump's behalf). Now Bloomberg is raising the ante into the billions. Money alone, of course, does not win elections. But the blizzard of ads, get-out-the-vote operations, and skilled campaign staff that only money can buy can make a crucial difference. In the majority opinion in Citizens United, Justice Anthony Kennedy insisted that "the appearance of influence or access" that donors get for massive contributions "will not cause the electorate to lose faith in our democracy." Ordinary citizens, after all, still have the same constitutional right to free speech as any billionaire. Just a lot less of it.

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All the free speech money can buy - The Week

Campus Ministry USA preaches in Free Speech Alley this week, sparks arguments – The Reveille, LSU’s student newspaper

Over the past few days, a Christian Ministry group known as Campus Ministry USA has been coming to LSU in Free Speech Alley to preach their religious beliefs to anyone who will listen. This has been drawing a large crowd, sparking interest from students who disagree with the groups confrontational approach.

The group, which has been preaching at college campuses since 1984, uses strong language informing students that they are going to hell for their sins. Some students consider it hate speech.

A heated debate sparked in Free Speech Plaza on Tuesday between students and an evangelizing

They say theyre out here to preach but its justa show," political science senior Jenna Gibbs said. "Its just a stage act to get views on YouTube and get a rise out of people."

Gibbs also said that the group has been visiting the University since her freshman year and has been escorted off campus before.

Psychology senior Sierra Roberson believes their purpose is not to debate, but to disagree with students.

People will come out here and say logical things against them and then itll turn into actual fighting back and forth, Roberson said.

For many passersby, the whole event seemed to be an unintelligible screaming match filled with vulgar terms.

Some fellow Christians also thought this ministry groups message wasnt the proper representation of their religion.

They keep hating on everyone here, and I dont think they came here to spread the word but to tell us how they are more holy than we are, pre-nursing freshman and self-professed Christian Meredith Davis said.

Davis said that her beliefs reflect Gods love and forgiveness rather than judgement.

The group themselves said they want to save those who are continuing to live in sin. Founder and President of Campus USA Jed Smock spoke most of the day at the center of the controversy.

We want to preach the death and resurrection of Christ," Smock said. "Sin is evil and they [students] can be forgiven, but if they dont ask for Gods forgiveness they are going to hell."

Smock said the group would be on campus all week.

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Campus Ministry USA preaches in Free Speech Alley this week, sparks arguments - The Reveille, LSU's student newspaper

Where Does the Federal Reserve’s Money Come From? – Free Speech TV

The Federal Reserve pours money into banks to support the economy, but where does that cash come from? More importantly, is that money ever repaid?

Richard Wolff joins Thom Hartmann to explain it all.

Richard D. Wolff is Professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst where he taught economics from 1973 to 2008. He is currently a Visiting Professor in the Graduate Program in International Affairs of the New School University, New York City.

Earlier he taught economics at Yale University (1967-1969) and at the City College of the City University of New York (1969-1973)

The Thom Hartmann Programcovers diverse topics including immigration reform, government intrusion, privacy, foreign policy, and domestic issues. More people listen to or watch theTH programthan any other progressive talk show in the world! Join them.

The Thom Hartmann Programis onFree Speech TV every weekday from 12-3pm EST.

Missed an episode? Check out TH on FSTV VOD anytime or visit theshow pagefor the latest clips.

#FreeSpeechTVis one of the last standing national, independent news networks committed to advancing progressive social change. As the alternative to television networks owned by billionaires, governments, and corporations, our network amplifies underrepresented voices and those working on the front lines of social, economic and environmental justice.

#FSTV is available onDish,DirectTV, AppleTV,Roku,Slingand online atfreespeech.org.

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Where Does the Federal Reserve's Money Come From? - Free Speech TV

The Impeachment of Trump is Needed to Protect US Democracy – Free Speech TV

The impeachment trial begins its proceedings in the Senate today amid accusations of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell attempting to rush the impeachment process.

Senators will have 16 hours for questions and four hours for debate, after 24 hours for opening arguments on each side.

Democracy Now! speaks with Rick Perlstein, historian and author, and Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

Clarke says that thanks to the rules set by McConnell, Trumps impeachment trial could be over within a week, with much of the debate taking place in the evening. The process is designed to keep the Senate and the public in the dark, she says.

Democracy Now! produces a daily, global, independent news hour hosted by award-winning journalists Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzlez.

Our reporting includes breaking daily news headlines and in-depth interviews with people on the front lines of the worlds most pressing issues.

On DN!, youll hear a diversity of voices speaking for themselves, providing a unique and sometimes provocative perspective on global events.

Missed an episode? Check out DN on FSTV VOD anytime or visit the show page for the latest clips.

#FreeSpeechTV is one of the last standing national, independent news networks committed to advancing progressive social change.

As the alternative to television networks owned by billionaires, governments, and corporations, our network amplifies underrepresented voices and those working on the front lines of social, economic and environmental justice.

#FSTV is available on Dish, DirectTV, AppleTV, Roku, Sling and online at freespeech.org.

Amy Goodman Civil Rights Under Law Democracy Now! Donald Trump Free Speech TV impeachment Impeachment Trial Kristen Clarke Mitch McConnell Rick Perlstein United States

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The Impeachment of Trump is Needed to Protect US Democracy - Free Speech TV

Gilbert HOA threatening to fine residents over critical social media posts – ABC15 Arizona

GILBERT, AZ "If I didn't love this community, I wouldn't be fighting this fight," said Ashley Nardecchia.

Nardecchia lives in the Val Vista Lakes (VVL) community off Greenfield and Baseline Road.

Since 2019, she's been the admin of a private community Facebook page called Residents at VVL.

"It's all about bringing that community together," said Nardecchia.

It's your usual neighborhood page, full of events, lost dogs and safety updates. But when board elections kicked off last year, the debate over who should be seated got heated.

"It was disagreements about how certain members of the board run the board, where they're spending our money, things of that nature," said Nardecchia recalling the posts on the page during that time. Those disagreements played out in the comments on the page.

Following elections, the board proposed a social media policy restricting opinions about the board on Facebook. It was vehemently opposed by the community and quickly tabled.

Then a letter from a law office representing the board showed up at Nardecchia's home.

"They are threatening if I don't remove any content that frames certain members of the board in a negative light," said Nardecchia.

Threatening her with $250 daily fines as well as taking away her access to community amenities.

The letter was sent from a law firm paid for by HOA fee's to at least eleven residents.

"They are asking me to basically censor the speech of the 650 members that belong to that page," said Nardecchia.

"Clearly it's an overreach by the board," said Keith Faber.

Faber, a ten year resident of the community and former board member, received a letter too. He says the board has no right to restrict free speech on a private Facebook page.

"It's improper and they need to address, and maybe there should be some resignations," said Faber.

The letter demands posts that are disparaging, speculative or defaming to board members be removed immediately. It also cites past incidents including posts that said that board members altered or manipulated votes in annual elections and that board members purposefully retaliated against members in the association. Opinions that now come with consequences.

"I really do believe in that freedom of speech. We are a diverse community with diverse opinions and views, and we should be able to share that and have a discussion about that." said Nardecchia.

ABC15 spoke to a board member over the phone who said he would speak with others on the board and get back to us with a statement or comment regarding our story. They never called us back.

At least two attorneys focused on constitutional law, told ABC15 the board is over stepping their authority and may want to take a closer look at the protection found under the first amendment.


Gilbert HOA threatening to fine residents over critical social media posts - ABC15 Arizona

Hearing Wednesday: EFF Urges Court To Rule That Blogger’s Opinion of Open Source Licensing Agreement is Protected by the First Amendment – EFF

San Francisco, CaliforniaOn Wednesday, January 22, at 9 am, EFF Staff Attorney Jamie Williams will tell a federal appeals court that a lower court correctly dismissed a defamation lawsuit against a blogger, finding that his criticisms of a companys business practices were opinions about an unsettled legal issue protected by the First Amendment.

EFF is representing Bruce Perens, founder of the Open Source movement, who criticized restrictions Open Source Security Inc. (OSS) placed on customers of its security patch software for the Linux Operating System. OSS sued Perens in response. The lower court found that OSSs lawsuit not only failed to plausibly state a claim for defamation, but also that it ran afoul of a California statute that protects defendants from SLAPPs, short for Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation. SLAPPs are malicious lawsuits that aim to silence critics by forcing victims to spend time and money to fight the lawsuit itselfdraining their resources and chilling their right to free speech.

At the hearing on Wednesday, Williams will tell a panel of Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals judges that Perenss blog post merely expressed his opinion about an unsettled legal issue of concern to a worldwide Open Source community, and that Perens disclosed the factual basis for that opinion. OSS, which disagrees with Perens, was free to state its disagreement publicly, but it was not free to sue Mr. Perens for exercising his First Amendment right, Williams will tell the court.

Read EFFs filing in the Perens case:https://www.eff.org/document/oss-v-perens-answering-brief

WHO: EFF Staff Attorney Jamie Williams

WHAT:OSS v. Perens

WHERE:Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals-James R. Browning CourthouseCourtroom 1, 3rd Floor, Room 33895 7th Street, San Francisco CA 94103

WHEN:WednesdayJanuary 219 am

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Hearing Wednesday: EFF Urges Court To Rule That Blogger's Opinion of Open Source Licensing Agreement is Protected by the First Amendment - EFF

The Ukraine Scandal and the Donald Trump Impeachment Trial – Free Speech TV

Sonali Kolhatkar speaks with David Marples, a Distinguished University Professor at the University of Alberta in Canada, specializing in Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus.

Parnas is a Russian born US citizen who was arrested last year along with another colleague Igor Fruman as they attempted to leave the country on one-way tickets.

Parnas says he along with Giuliani carried out much of the sordid plan to pressure Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden in exchange for US military aid.

That plan and the attempt to cover it up is at the heart of the two articles of impeachment against Trump that the House passed.

Meanwhile, in Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelensky, who has yet to complete his first year in office is plagued by more political problems than the Trump scandal.

Ukraines Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk offered to resign on Friday after his private criticism of the president became public. Zelensky has reportedly refused to accept the resignation.

Rising Up with Sonali is a radio and television show that brings progressive news coverage rooted in gender and racial justice to a wide audience.

Rising Up With Sonali was built on the foundation of Sonali Kolhatkar's earlier show, Uprising, which became the longest-running drive-time radio show on KPFK in Los Angeles hosted by a woman. RUS airs on Free Speech TV every weekday.

Missed an episode? Check outRising Upon FSTV VOD anytime or visit the show page for the latest clips.

#FreeSpeechTV is one of the last standing national, independent news networks committed to advancing progressive social change.

As the alternative to television networks owned by billionaires, governments, and corporations, our network amplifies underrepresented voices and those working on the front lines of social, economic and environmental justice.

#FSTV is available on Dish, DirectTV, AppleTV, Roku, Sling and online at freespeech.org

David Marples Donald Trump Free Speech TV impeachment Impeachment Trial Joe Biden Lev Parnas Military Aid Oleksi Honcharuk Rising Up with Sonali Rudy Giuliani Sonali Kolhatkar Ukraine United States University of Alberta Volodymyr Zelensky

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The Ukraine Scandal and the Donald Trump Impeachment Trial - Free Speech TV

Free Speech | NC State University

How does the First Amendment right to free speech apply to speakers who have been invited by student groups to speak on campus?

As a public institution of higher education, NC State is committed to fostering free speech and the open debate of ideas. NC State is prohibited from banning or punishing an invited speaker based on the content or viewpoint of his or her speech. University policy permits student groups to invite speakers to campus, and the university provides access to certain campus venues for that purpose. NC State cannot take away that right or withdraw those resources based on the views of the invited speaker. Only under extraordinary circumstances, as described on this page, can an event featuring an invited speaker be canceled.

Once a student group has invited a speaker to campus, NC State will act reasonably to ensure that the speaker is able to safely and effectively address his or her audience, free from violence or disruption.

Although NC State cannot restrict or cancel the speech based on the content or viewpoint of the speech, the university is allowed to place certain content- and viewpoint-neutral limits on how the speech can take place. These limits can be based on the time, place and manner of the speech.

What are time, place and manner restrictions?

Courts have long recognized that public educational institutions have the right to impose certain restrictions on the use of their campuses for free-speech purposes. Content- and viewpoint-neutral restrictions on the times and modes of communication, often referred to as time-place-manner restrictions, are common features universities implement to ensure that they can continue to fulfill their mission while allowing free expression to occur. Simply put, this means that the when, where and how of free-speech activity may be reasonably regulated if such regulation (1) is scrupulously neutral (in other words, it must apply to all speech, no matter how favored or disfavored) and (2) leaves ample opportunity for speech in alternative areas or forums. The right to speak on campus is not a right to speak at any time, at any place and in any manner that a person wishes. The university can regulate where, when and how speech occurs to ensure the functioning of the campus and to achieve important goals, such as protecting public safety.

Examples of acceptable time-place-manner restrictions include permit requirements for outside speakers, notice periods, sponsorship requirements for outside speakers, limiting the duration and frequency of the speech and restricting speech during final-exam periods.

The need to consider time, place and manner regulations is the reason the university requires students to work with the administration when setting up certain events, as opposed to students scheduling and creating the events on their own without university input.

Can NC State cancel a student-sponsored event if the administration or the campus community disagrees with the speakers views?

No, NC State is prohibited from canceling an event based on the viewpoint of the speaker.

If it is known that an event with a speaker may lead to physical violence, is that legal grounds for the university to cancel the event?

In general, NC State cannot prevent speech on the grounds that it is likely to provoke a hostile response. Stopping speech before it occurs due to the potential reaction to the speech is often referred to by courts as the hecklers veto and is a form of prior restraint. Prior restraints of speech are almost never allowed.

The university is required to do what it can to protect speakers and prevent disruption or violence. Although the university is committed to fulfilling these obligations, if despite all efforts by the university there is a serious threat to public safety and no other alternative, an event can be canceled. NC States primary concern is to protect the safety of its students, faculty and staff. NC States Police Department makes security assessments with input from federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

How does NC State respond to hate speech?

NC State is dedicated to fostering free speech in an environment where members of our community can learn from one another and where all are treated with dignity and respect. The university vigorously opposes and denounces all forms of hateful speech. The university encourages faculty, staff and students to use their free-speech rights, consistent with federal and state laws, to condemn hateful speech and to help create opportunities for the campus community to understand and learn from these actions. Students who encounter hurtful or offensive speech are encouraged to reach out to university administrators, including the Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity (OIED), or to make a report to the universitys Bias Impact Response Team (BIRT). More information about responding to acts of intolerance may be found at the OIED and BIRT websites.

How does NC State ensure the safety of the campus community in light of freedom of speech?

NC State balances its commitment to free speech with a commitment to safety. Individuals who threaten or commit acts of violence or other violations of law may be subject to arrest and prosecution by law enforcement, as well as disciplinary sanctions imposed by the university.

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Free Speech | NC State University

Google pursued profits over free speech in China, former head of international relations says – NBC News

An expert in human rights who spent more than a decade at Google and directed its international diplomacy says the tech giant pushed him out last year because it no longer takes human rights seriously.

Ross LaJeunesse, who is now a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate in his native Maine, said in a blog post Thursday that Google abandoned its former, famous motto Dont be evil as potential business in countries such as China and Saudi Arabia became too enticing.

Just when Google needed to double down on a commitment to human rights, it decided to instead chase bigger profits and an even higher stock price, he said in the post.

Google said in a statement that the company has an unwavering commitment to human rights organizations and efforts.

We wish Ross all the best with his political ambitions, the company said.

The criticism from LaJeunesse adds to a rising backlash against Google and other large tech firms from privacy advocates, regulators and current and former employees and executives.

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Google has been embroiled in turmoil after outside critics and its own employees attacked it for its handling of sexual misconduct cases in which it paid multimillion-dollar exit packages to executives involved, as well as its business plans in China and its contracts with the U.S. military.

LaJeunesse said that, while still at Google, he pushed for the adoption of a company-wide human rights program that would review new products as they were developed and assess the human rights impact of all major product launches and market entries.

But each time I recommended a Human Rights Program, senior executives came up with an excuse to say no, he wrote.

LaJeunesse also talked about his decision to leave Google in a video posted to Twitter.

Google, which stopped cooperating with Chinese censorship demands in 2010 and has since been banned there, was planning a way to reenter the search-engine market under the codename Dragonfly. But it abandoned the project after protests and congressional inquiries.

After the fight over Dragonfly, LaJeunesse said he realized that the company had never intended to incorporate human rights principles into its business and product decisions. The motto Dont be evil had become just another corporate marketing tool, he said.

LaJeunesse said his job was eliminated as part of a reorganization of Googles policy team, and that after he hired a lawyer, Google offered him a small role in exchange for my acquiescence and silence. He said he decided to leave.

Google, in its statement on Thursday, said he was offered a position at the same level and compensation.

Other big American tech companies are also grappling with how to do business internationally in an ethical way. Last year, Facebook ramped up hiring for a new team with the goal of avoiding contributing to genocide, as the company was accused of doing in Myanmar.

LaJeunesse becomes the lastest former Google employee to speak out publicly against the company. Last month, four engineers fired by Google just before Thanksgiving asked for an investigation by the National Labor Relations Board, alleging that the company was unlawfully trying to quash organizing by workers.

David Ingram covers tech for NBC News.

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Google pursued profits over free speech in China, former head of international relations says - NBC News

Climate activism vs. free speech: Amazon warns employees that they could be fired for speaking publicly without approval – GeekWire

Amazon user experience designer Emily Cunningham speaks at a rally outside of the companys shareholders meeting in May 2019. Employees in support of the climate resolution wore white to the event. (Amazon Employees for Climate Justice Photo)

After Amazon employees publicly pressured their employer to take aggressive action on climate change, the company has warned two workers that they could be fired if they continue to violate Amazons external communications policy.

Amazon Employees for Climate Justice, an organization leading worker action on climate change, is pushing back, alleging that the company is trying to silence workers and vowing to continue calling for stronger leadership in reducing climate damage.

Now is a time when we need to have communications policies that let us speak honestly about our companys role in the climate crisis, said Maren Costa, a user experience principal designer at Amazon, and one of those threatened with termination, in a prepared statement.

This is not the time to shoot the messengers, she said. This is not the time to silence those who are speaking out.

In a news release issued today, a half-dozen employees went on record to share their concerns about the rules, and long-time environmental activist Bill McKibben tweeted in response: the world is on fire. Climate leaders dont silence employees who are sounding the alarm. This is sick behavior

Amazon in September updated its communications policy and notified employees in a message that states: As a general rule, external communication by employees about Amazons business, products, services, technology, or customers must be approved in advance by public relations.

The company said this is a standard approach to regulating company-related speech.

Our policy regarding external communications is not new and we believe is similar to other large companies. We recently updated the policy and related approval process to make it easier for employees to participate in external activities such as speeches, media interviews, and use of the companys logo, said Amazon spokesperson Jaci Anderson by email.

Anderson added that the company is working to make it easier for employees and approvers to navigate the pre-approval process, including building an intranet page for approvals to streamline the process and reduce the number and seniority of managers required to green-light communication.

University of Washington political science professor Aseem Prakash was surprised and disappointed by the news. In raising concerns about Amazons efforts to address climate change, workers are not disclosing any confidential information, he said. There is no breach.

Prakash, who is the founding director of the UW Center for Environmental Politics, noted that the employees Amazon wants to recruit and retain are quite concerned about climate change.

Over the course of more than a year, Amazon employees have been taking steps to pressure the cloud computing and retail juggernaut to improve its transparency regarding its climate impacts and to promise to reduce its carbon footprint. Those steps include:

And Amazon, one the the most valuable companies in the world, has in recent months taken steps to respond to what many call a climate crisis.

With great fanfare, Bezos in September one day before the planned walk out announced new climate actions, including the creation of a Climate Pledge that sets ambitious greenhouse gas emission goals for the tech giant and urges other companies to do the same.

Were done being in the middle of the herd on this issue weve decided to use our size and scale to make a difference, said Bezos in a prepared statement shared for the announcement.

The initiative included launching a sustainability website to bring previously lacking transparency to Amazons actions. The company disclosed details of its carbon footprint: 44.4 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent released in 2018. (The U.S. emitted roughly 5,000 million metric tons of CO2e in 2015 while the UK, for example, emitted 389 million metric tons of CO2e.) The company also pledged to reach 80% renewable energy for its global infrastructure within five years, and use entirely renewable power by 2030.

But while Bezos is expressing enthusiasm for these environmental efforts, the squeaky-wheel tactics of employees is clearly still rankling leadership.

The Amazon employee group shared a statement critical of the companys partnership with fossil fuel companies for a Washington Post article published in October. The statement was attributed to Costa and Jamie Kowalski, an Amazon software development engineer (Bezos coincidentally owns the Washington Post).

After Amazon officials investigated the matter, the employees were given an email warning in November sent from a principal of employee relations. Costa was cautioned to abide by company policy requiring that she get pre-approval from the company before speaking out, or face formal corrective action.

Emily Cunningham, a user experience designer for Amazon, has been an active employee leader on climate issues. She noted that the communications policy was updated one day after Amazon Employees for Climate Justice announced that it would participate in the September climate strike. Anderson, the company spokesperson, said the process to update the policy began in the spring.

Its no surprise that Amazon rolled out this change to the communication policy the day after we announced the walkout, Cunningham said today by email. We know that the change in the policy was a result of how successful we have been by publicly speaking out about the climate crisis.

Amazon isnt alone in clamping down on employee speech. Google recently fired workers for alleged violations of its data security policies and code of conduct, though employees claim the real cause was their decision speak out against Google on issues including pay disparity and government contracts with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and others.

Workers have two options if they dont like their employers actions: quit or exercise their voices and fight the system from within, Prakash said.

I hope some senior managers who have more clout will say that this is wrong, Prakash said of the Amazon stance.

Even if they silence the employees, he said. When it comes to climate change, the problem will not go away.

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Climate activism vs. free speech: Amazon warns employees that they could be fired for speaking publicly without approval - GeekWire

Readers Write: In defense of free speech, free press – Opinions – The Island Now

Thank you, Mr. Zeidman, for responding exactly as I expect you would. It is so typical of the liberal to respond to opinion with insult and denigration, neither of which was present in my letter.

Apparently, even this newspaper is not immune to your insults despite the fact that they still print even your letters of condemnation that chastise them for presenting diverse opinions, especially those with which you so vehemently disagree.

Secondly, after the spate of articles and fake news that has been printed in the New York Times, I am distrustful of most anything they see fit to print in the last three years, possibly more. And your references to CAIR and SPLC are far from truthful- CAIR is as close as one can come to being the mouthpiece of the Muslim Brotherhood, and SPLC has gone so far to the left that their opinions are antithetical to the values we used to hold dear in this country.

As for Peter King, I have not always been a fan of his, but he was elected to office by the people and has sought our countrys best interests and national security.

His has not always been an easy job, and I trust that his intentions were to protect us after 9/11, and not all tactics are practical or fair, but sometimes are necessary. My issue is not with his thoughts or feelings, and what he said or did before does not concern me now.

Finally, having met Brigitte Gabriel, and having listened to her for several years in the media, I have never heard her say anything that is anti-Muslim, but only comments directed against radical terrorists and those who would destroy our constitutional republic.

I will not be characterized, either, as anti-Muslim, and have several friends and co-workers who are Muslim, and I cherish their friendship.

I recommend that you switch your attention away from Wikipedia and CNN, and get the facts before you descend to the level of insult. I know that you and I will never agree, but I guess thats why we have elections, and letters to the editor.

Thankfully, there are many readers who prefer to see all sides of an issue, and they are willing to avoid blind decisions.

Despite our apparent disagreement, I still wish you a happy and peaceful new year.

Eric Spinner

New Hyde Park

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Readers Write: In defense of free speech, free press - Opinions - The Island Now

A Stunning Vote Reversal in a Controversial First Amendment Case – The Atlantic

Garrett Epps: Dont let the First Amendment forget DeRay Mckesson

This is a theory of liability unknown to the First Amendment. In an important case arising from the civil-rights movement, the Court held in 1982 that protest leaders cant be sued for the violent actions of others unless the plaintiffs can show that the leaders themselves either engaged in violence or incited or directed the violence. Doe alleged incitement, but made no real attempt to show it.

Garrett Epps: Dont let the First Amendment forget DeRay Mckesson

The First Amendment and civil-liberties communities were shocked by the Fifth Circuits original decision, issued in April, which brushed aside the First Amendment with the breezy bromide that the First Amendment does not protect violence. The decision was unanimousWillett was on the panel, but the opinion was written by Judge E. Grady Jolly. (Judge Jennifer Walker Elrod was the third member.) That opinion was a dagger pointed at the heart of the treasured American right to protest against government action. If protest organizers can be sued, and possibly ruined, by lawsuits if anyone at their protest (even, say, an undercover police officer) turns violent, no ordinary citizen would dare organize protests.

Mckessons lawyers asked the Fifth Circuit to rehear the case en banc (as a full court); in response, the same panel withdrew its original opinion and substituted a new one that said, in legal verbiage, We agree with ourselves and by golly, we are right.

The case landed in the Supreme Courts inbox on December 6. Mckessons petition for the Court to hear the case, written by lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union, pointed out that the Fifth Circuit panel decision flatly defied the Courts own precedent in a landmark case called NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware. Advocates of free speech were holding their collective breath waiting to see whether this Court, which preens as a First Amendment champion when the rights of corporations or the rich are at issue, would call out the wayward panel or silently ratify its radical change in the law.

The latter course just got harder. Willett, a Trump appointee and former Texas Supreme Court justice, has now changed his vote and issued a full-throated defense of the idea that free speech covers even unruly protest.

I have had a judicial change of heart, Willett wrote. Admittedly, judges arent naturals at backtracking or about-facing. But I do so forthrightly. Consistency is a cardinal judicial virtue, but not the only virtue. In my judgment, earnest rethinking should underscore, rather than undermine, faith in the judicial process. As Justice Frankfurter elegantly put it 70 years ago, Wisdom too often never comes, and so one ought not to reject it merely because it comes late.

The words are true, and the practice of judicial self-examination is, while not unheard-of, regrettably rare. In this case, reexamination led Willett to see two gaping holes in the majoritys case. First, he pointed out, despite the panels earlier decision, its not clear that even Louisiana tort law would support a lawsuit against Mckesson. To reach that conclusion, the panel had to, in essence, make new Louisiana state law. Every second-year law student knows that is a practice courts of appeals are supposed to avoidespecially when doing so creates a federal constitutional issue.

The rest is here:

A Stunning Vote Reversal in a Controversial First Amendment Case - The Atlantic

Was This the Decade We Hit Peak Free Speech? – Reason

Speech has never been freer than it was in this decade. But only if you take a broad view of what free speech means, and only if you look at the right parts of the decade.

There is an argument that says free speech isn't just a matter of stopping direct government censorship, nor of keeping the state from indirectly chilling what we say. True freedom of expression, the theory goes, requires a broader culture of free speecha society where art, information, and commentary face fewer restraints of all kinds, not just the restraints that have the government's guns behind them.

Now, I'm not crazy about conflating the concept of free speech with those bigger, messier social questions. But they are undeniably linkeda culture hostile to open expression is surely more likely to pass legal limits on speechand those big social questions are worth thinking about in their own right. So let's roll with it. If by "free speech" you mean the capacity and willingness to speak, not just a shield from the institutions that could forcibly stop you from speaking, then the early to mid 2010s arguably saw the freest speech in history.

As the decade dawned, it was cheaper and easier than ever before to create and transmit a text, an image, or an audio or video recording. That transmission, in turn, had a bigger chance of reaching an audience. People didn't waste that opportunity: Both the volume and the variety of widely available speech exploded. Whole new media ecosystems appeared. Budding musicians did an end run around the record labels, sketch comics did an end run around cable TV, and YouTube DIYers did an end run around licensed plumbers and repairmen. In the political world, the Overton window widened and a flood of oddball ideological tribes poured insome of them rather unappealing, but that's how it goes with unfettered expression.

That in turn provoked a backlash, and for the last several years we've seen a series of efforts to clamp down on all that uncontrolled chatter. There have been heightened calls for censorship from the left, right, and center, sometimes directed at new sorts of speech (bots, code for printing weaponry) but usually aimed at targets that feel familiar (sex-work talk, terrorist propaganda, hate speech, marchers wearing masks), sometimes so familiar that they're moldy (pornography, Russian subversion). Beyond that, there was a broader feeling of brittleness around all that unfamiliar or unpleasant expression; even critics who would never call for censorship sometimes went overboard when attributing ill effects to speech they disliked. Meanwhile, the biggest conduit for all those emerging ecosystems of expressionthe internetseemed to be growing not just more censored but more centralized, more surveilled, more controlled. That was true not just in purely online spaces but in the dissident movements that at times use cyberspace to organize and communicate. Around the world, it became clear that it wasn't just protesters who were imitating and adapting each other's tactics; the regimes that they were protesting watched and learned from each other too.

All of that raises the question: Did we just witness Peak Free Speech? Will the first half of this decade be remembered not just as a time when speech was less fettered than ever before but as a time when it was less fettered than it will ever be again?

Freedom vs. Tolerance

I may have rushed too quickly past the question of what a "culture of free speech" is supposed to be. It's not a term that everyone uses the same way. The people who throw around that phrase often claim, or at least assume, that certain sorts of speech are more conducive to open expression than others. Some of them suggest that speech should be more civil; others think it ought to be more oppositional. Most of them want the speech, or at least the speakers, to be tolerant of other points of view.

But freedom and tolerance simply aren't the same thing. Both are valuable, but they're often going to be in tension with each other.

Civil libertarians need to be clear-eyed about that. Speech has always included gossip, shaming, and other tools for enforcing conformity. In the past those sorts of speech may have been confined to a single village or middle school, but now they have a global reach. Some testy "free speech" debates of the last decade have really just been battles between different collections of culture warriors, each circulating misleading screenshots as they try to shout the other side down. That may look like illiberal intolerance, but it also looks like a lot of lively speech. It's not a sort of speech that I like, but some form of it has always been a part of public life and it isn't likely to go away anytime soon.

The more important issue, at least as far as the future of free speech is concerned, is whether the institutional environment makes it easier or harder for intolerant people to muffle the speech they don't want to hear. And this is where the most significant change happened. From the '70s through the '00s, America's electronic media grew ever more decentralized and participatory. Not so in the '10s, as the social media services that made publishing so quick and easy also brought more of that publishing under consolidated corporate control. The result was the difference between getting kicked off an email list and getting kicked off a social media network: Both may be cases of a private association exercising its right not to give you a platform, but one has a much bigger impact than the other when it comes to whether your voice is heard.

This didn't mean we reverted to the bad old days of just three big TV networks, or even to the 500-channel universe of the late cable era. It was still ludicrously easy by 1990s standards to get a homemade piece of media in front of a substantial audience. But it was also more likely that your homemade media would suddenly be obscured. That might be because you broke a platform's rules; it might be because an algorithm mistook your photo of a nude sculpture for pornography and improperly assumed that you had broken a rule; it might be because you were mass-reported by the sorts of assholes that the rules were supposed to address. (Time and again, a social media company would create a system that was supposed to keep out the bigots and trolls who harass people, only to learn that the bigots and trolls had found a way to turn the system itself into a tool for harassment.) The result was more Brazil than 1984: a control apparatus full of leaks and loose wiring.

Governments encouraged the process, passing mandates that fostered both the proliferation of rules and a sloppy sort of enforcement. Germany, for example, started implementing a law last year that informed platforms that they had just 24 hours to take down "obviously unlawful" hate speech or face a steep fine. Inevitably, this combination of stiff penalties and narrow time windows prompted companies to suppress first and ask questions later, even if that meant excising speech that didn't actually violate the law. (In one infamous example, the nominally anti-racist statute was used to remove some anti-racist satire.) That's bad enough for the Germans, but in a global internet decisions made by the government of Germanyor any other wired nation, from Britain to Chinacan affect what people around the world can see.

Centralized platforms make the task that much easier. As Declan McCullagh wrote in Reason this year, they offer "a single convenient point of control for governments eager to experiment with censorship and surveillance." A culture of freer speech might require a technology of freer speecha more decentralized internet with fewer chokepoints, one built around protocols rather than platforms.

The Global Spring

All that said, there is one big reason to think the pendulum may already be swinging back in speech's direction. This year saw an astonishing level of public protest around the globe, adding up to a revolutionary moment on par with 1968. Unrest has swelled everywhere from France to Hong Kong, from Chile to Indonesia, from Iran to Ecuador, from Haiti to Spain. Such movements have already brought down governments in Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon, and Sudan. In Bolivia, mass protests preceded the ousting of leftist president Evo Morales and then more mass protests greeted the new right-wing regime of Jeanine ez. Here in the U.S., last year saw the biggest strike wave in more than three decades, and we may be on track to top that in 2019.

These movements have been sparked by a wide variety of grievances. Their supporters come from a wide variety of ideologies. They use a wide variety of tactics, not all of them limited to nonviolent speech and assembly. It would probably be hard to find someone who backs every single one of them. But put together, they represent a surge in people's willingness not just to speak out but to take risks to do so. That too represents a sort of culture of free speech, even though many of these regimes have reacted to the unrest with a repression that does not remotely resemble free speech in the legal sense.

Those movements are learning from each other, too: When one of them figures out a way to evade censorship, surveillance, or police assaults, the others take heed. (We live in an era when Hongkongers can be recorded neutralizing tear gas in the summer, videos of the technique immediately circulate on social media, and by October protesters in Chile are doing the same thing.) After a decade of authoritarian governments adjusting themselves to the ways protesters organize themselves on- and offline, the momentum is with the dissidents again as they find ways to adjust their tactics in return.

A decade that began with the rise and fall of the Arab Spring is concluding with a Global Spring. And while that could conceivably end with the most vicious clampdown of all, it's also the best reason to hope that what looked like Peak Free Speech was really just a temporary speech recession.

See the rest here:

Was This the Decade We Hit Peak Free Speech? - Reason

Tory campus free speech bill would ‘stoke new culture war’ – Times Higher Education (THE)

The new Conservative government should legislate to create a national academic freedom champion, while restrictions on low-quality courses in universities could rebalance funding towards further education in a shift tailored to the Conservatives new electorate, according to a former Tory adviser and senior civil servant.

With the UKs general election having brought to power a Conservative government with a significant Commons majority, sector attention will focus on the partys manifesto commitments, which notably include pledges to strengthen academic freedom and free speech in universities and to tackle the problem oflow-quality courses in England.

A paper published by Policy Exchange,titled The First Hundred Days: how the Government can implement the pledges in its 2019 election manifesto, says that ministers should move quickly to introduce an academic freedom and free speech on campus bill and thus adopt a plan advocated in arecent report on the issue by the thinktank.

Universities are a potential target if the Conservatives seek to bolster their increased support from working-class, largely non-graduate voters in towns across the Midlands and North by waging culture wars against institutions they perceive as hostile to Tory values.

Iain Mansfield, head of education, skills and science at Policy Exchange, formerly special adviser to Jo Johnson in his brief return as universities minister, said key recommendations in the thinktanks free speech report included extending the statutory duty on freedom of speech to include students and student unions as well as HEIs.

The report also recommended that the Office for Students should appoint a national academic freedom champion who would have the power to investigate allegations of academic freedom or free speech violations and then lead on sanctions where appropriate, he said.

Those would be two things which could be done by the new government, he told Times Higher Education.

Mr Mansfield, a former senior civil servant in the Department for Education, said a recent report by the Policy Institute at Kings College London had found that at least a third of Conservative or Leave-supporting students dont feel comfortable sharing their views at university.

ThePolicy Institute research also foundthat only a minority of UK students have heard about incidents where freedom of expression has been restricted in their own university.

Universities are already subject to requirements to protect freedom of expression under existing legislation.

Nick Hillman, director of the Higher Education Policy Institute and a former Tory special adviser, said: Because the Tories did even better in the election than anybody expected, to then use that [campus free speech] as a way of stoking a new culture war, Im not sure who will benefit from that.

Its not clear to me that either the politicians or the universities benefit from pretending theres a bigger free speech problem in our universities than there really is.

And hurried legislation tends to be legislation that doesnt stand the test of time, he warned.

On the manifestos reference to low-quality courses, Mr Mansfield said this should be understood in conjunction with where the Conservatives have won seats.

I think that steers them very much towards a genuine wholesale rebalancing between HE and FE in terms of funding, numbers, esteem and so forth. I think that will have to be part of the solution [in] looking at low-quality courses.

There were a range of mechanisms for establishing which courses arent delivering, such as the teaching excellence framework, dropout rates and data on progression to employment, he said. Mr Mansfield added that he would favour the reintroduction of number caps for at least some institutions or courses.


See original here:

Tory campus free speech bill would 'stoke new culture war' - Times Higher Education (THE)

Opinion: Are we about to have another ‘free speech’ debate in Denmark? If so, Ill pass – The Local Denmark

On Wednesday, sections of the country and its social media were up in arms after Pernille Vermund, leader of the stridently anti-immigration, right-wing Nye Borgerlige party, used the word perker the Danish languages quintessential ethnic slur in a television documentary.

READ ALSO: Danish party leader uses ethnic slur in TV documentary

Vermund subsequently doubled down on the remark, saying I don't regret it. Let's call things what they are. If you're a negro, you're a negro; if you're aperker, you're aperker, if you're an immigrant, you're an immigrant.

Understandably, that got a reaction.

Natasha al-Hariri, director of the youth organization of the Danish Refugee Council, has called for a broad rejection of Vermunds sentiments.

Should we not show the 400,000 people in Denmark who could be considered perkere that we dont accept this type of derisory, racist remark? It would actually be nice if someone bothered, al-Hariri tweeted.

She is of course completely correct, and as a target of such abuse has a lot more authority to speak on it than I do.

Politicians including Sikandar Siddique, immigration spokesperson with the environmentalist Alternative party, and Social Liberal deputy leader Sofie Carsten Nielsen have in fact spoken out against Vermund and to support al-Hariris view.

Weve been here before though, and the next steps are clear.

Vermund or a like-minded high-profile person will say she can say use the word or any other word she wishes to because in Denmark there is free speech, and that will never be curbed by any kind of censorship.

The 2005 Mohammed cartoons, still a high water mark for Danish cultural tunnel vision, and multiple defences of the use of other words with overtones of racial prejudice neger is the primary example provide the precedents for where were headed here.


Its fine, goes the logic, to be politically incorrect and say or do something which has an othering effect on a large segment of your own society, because free speech.

Even if it makes your advanced, stable, pragmatic democracy seem like a tribute act to 19th century parochialism, thats okay. Because free speech.

I get it. Denmark has free speech. Nothing is sacred. You can make distasteful jokes and laugh at inappropriate things. Im all for that, its part of the honest, straightforward mentality that makes Denmark unique.

Its not an excuse to piss people off for the sake of it. That is what Vermund is doing here and what Rasmus Paludan, the leader of a far-right group which, unlike Vermund's, was rejected by the electorate, was prepared to go to far more extreme lengths to achieve.

After making an unprovoked verbal attack on your chosen target community, you can then invoke free speech, make yourself a victim of political correctness and censorship, and use that to try and drive a wedge down the middle of the population.

Weve seen the long term outcome of that kind of thing in other Western democracies which I wont mention here (okay, maybe I will).

Last week did indeed see unpleasant opposing demonstrations in Copenhagen between an Islamophobic organization and counter protestors. But Denmark is too pragmatic overall and its political system too sensible and consensus-driven for it to go down the route of the US or UK.

Furthermore, the country is stable and, while of course far from perfect, doesnt have societal ills of a requisite magnitude that they can convincingly be blamed on any particular segment, either fairly or unfairly.

So retrograde, racially divisive language must instead by justified by the Denmark has free speech argument.

MPs and anyone else using this kind of language in the public debate should realize that what theyre doing is not plain talking. Its plain embarrassing, for them and for Denmark.

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Opinion: Are we about to have another 'free speech' debate in Denmark? If so, Ill pass - The Local Denmark

Bioneers: Seeding the Field Erosion With Terry Tempest Williams Erosion With Terry Tempest Williams – Free Speech TV

Wind, water, and time are agents of erosion, evident from the Great Smokies to the Grand Canyon. But Terry Tempest Williams also sees another kind of erosion in America: erosion of democracy; erosion of science, and erosion of trust.

For over 30 years, #Bioneers has acted as a seed head for the game-changing social and scientific vision, knowledge and practices advancing the great transformation to a restored world. We do so through our annual national conference, award-winning media, local Bioneers conferences and initiatives, dynamic programs, and special projects.

#FreeSpeechTV is proud to partner with this outstanding organization and we are pleased to bring the wisdom of the world's brightest leaders to our viewers. For more Bioneer content subscribe to Free Speech TV Youtube channel or visit freespeech.org/shows/bioneers.

#FreeSpeechTV is one of the last standing national, independent news networks committed to advancing progressive social change. As the alternative to television networks owned by billionaires, governments, and corporations, our network amplifies underrepresented voices and those working on the front lines of social, economic and environmental justice.

#FSTV is available on Dish, DirectTV, AppleTV, Roku, Sling, and online at freespeech.org

Bioneers 2019 Bioneers Seeding The Field Erosion FSTV@Bioneers2019 Nina Simons Terry Tempest Williams

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Bioneers: Seeding the Field Erosion With Terry Tempest Williams Erosion With Terry Tempest Williams - Free Speech TV

There’s a new free speech crisis gripping the worldand governments aren’t helping – Prospect

A new study shows that artists across the world are facing greater threats to their free speechand safety. Photo: PA Images

Scottish playwright Jo Clifford is no stranger to controversy. Her play,The Gospel According to Jesus, Queen of Heaven, casts Jesus as a trans woman, andfirst aired at Glasgows Tron in 2009 to a reception of applauseand protest.But there is controversy, and then there is outright danger. The same play was on tour in Brazil until recently, when asmoke bombwas thrown into the performance space and armed police invaded the theatre. Brazil hasbecome a country where it is dangerous to perform, especially if your show does not tick the boxes set out by the new right-wing president Jair Bolsonaro, who haspushedfor local art to focus on Brazilian heroes.

The incident warns of a new threat sweeping the world right now: the censorship of the arts. Aspecial reportin the latestIndex on Censorshipmagazine published this week shows a rising hostile climate towards the arts, even in robust democracies. Artists from around the world, including Germany, Poland, Brazil, and the UK spoke of the increasing threats to their artistic freedom as a result of an emboldened right. Perhaps most startling was the frequencyof attacks in the field.Indexwent out expecting to find just a few examples. Instead, the list was endless.

A threat from the right

While the spotlightin recent years has been on censorship from the student left, with concerns about the rise of safe spaces, trigger warnings and no-platforming, real and increasing threats are coming from the right. They are taking away our libertiesand liberal arts.

We are on the front line of a culture war that will only deepen and strengthen as the ecological and financial crisis worsens and the right feel more fearfully they are losing their grip on power, saidThe Gospel According to Jesus playwright Clifford.She added that even in Scotland, her play can ruffle feathers.Last Christmas there was a run at Edinburghs Traverse Theatre. An online petition demanding the play be banned, she tells me, attracted a whopping 24,674 signatures.

Germany is particularly feeling the heat.The far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party has gone from newcomer on the political scene in 2013 to being the largest opposition party in the Bundestag today. They are eyeing up seats in parliamentand in the theatre. Marc Jongen, commonly regarded tobe


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There's a new free speech crisis gripping the worldand governments aren't helping - Prospect