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National Law Journal: Twenty-five years ago this week, a technician walked a floppy disk from one computer to another at the U.S. Supreme Court and, for the first time, transmitted an electronic version of a high court ruling to the outside world.
Intermarkets: Earlier this year, Intermarkets teamed up with the data scientists at SimilarWeb to append the Drudge Report’s referral traffic, and its impact on advertising and other publishers. Conclusion: Drudge is a rare, unique premium publisher driving hundreds of millions of external visits each month.
Reuters: A Michigan-based Islamist preacher whose online sermons have been a leading source of inspiration for foreign fighters in Syria is free to return to social media after restrictions on his Internet use lapsed.
Reuters: A blogger was hacked to death by assailants using machetes in the Bangladesh capital Dhaka on Monday, the second attack in five weeks on a critic of religious extremism in the Muslim-majority nation.
USA Today: Many people in developing countries think the Internet has a positive influence on education and a negative influence on morality, according to a report released Thursday from the Pew Research Center.
The Washington Post: Our culture is risking a new, unrelenting pursuit of justice far more “Puritanical” than the Puritans. The effect of being put in the stocks generally stopped at city limits. Modern public shaming campaigns, however, can take on a global character.
The Legal Intelligencer: The majority of Am Law 200 firms have revamped their websites in the last couple of years, with one consultant putting a price range on those projects of anywhere from $25,000 to $1 million. But regardless of the cost, many of the sites, consultants say, look largely the same.
Yahoo News (AP): Pope Francis is urging families to put aside their iPhones and Twitter feeds and learn to talk to one another again.
Voice of America News: Dozens of governments around the world, most notably in majority-Muslim nations, are turning to anti-blasphemy laws to aggressively punish alleged transgressions, especially against Islam.
The Christian Institute: Most parents are not using internet safety controls to protect their children from being exposed to inappropriate content online, a survey has found.
The Washington Post: As someone who has spent almost the entirety of the last decade writing online, I’ve dedicated vast amounts of time trying to find a way to make the comments section of The Fix the sort of edifying conversation I always imagined it could be. And I am here to report that, at least when it comes to politics, comments section are not now (and likely won’t be any time soon) anywhere close to that ideal. In fact, eliminating comments entirely — a prospect I have always blanched at — may well be the best thing that could happen for the average reader of political news.
The Washington Times: A senior at one Connecticut high school has asked administrators to explain why he can access websites like Islam-guide.com, the State Democrat site and Planned Parenthood on the school’s computers — but not sites for the NRA, the State GOP or Christianity.com.
CNN: Internet use among adults was essentially at zero in 1990; 20 years later, it jumped to 80%, he said. In that same two-decade period, we saw a 25 million-person spike in those who are religiously unaffiliated.
WorldNetDaily: “The Alliance Defending Freedom also blasted the ‘hate-crimes’ bill, calling it ‘another nail in the coffin of the First Amendment.’ ‘All violent crimes are hate crimes, and all crime victims deserve equal justice,’ ADF Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley said in a statement. ‘This law is a grave threat to the First Amendment because it provides special penalties based on what people think, feel or believe.’”
Ars Technica: “Media groups like the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and others told the Ninth US Circuit of Appeals Friday that its February decision ‘arguably expands the concept of copyright ownership in a manner that could allow the subjects of news coverage to exercise veto power over unflattering broadcasts.’”
The Christian Institute: “At least 200,000 under 16-year-olds saw internet porn in a single month last year, the online video watchdog has said. The Authority for Television on Demand (ATVOD), found that one in twenty UK visitors to adult websites during December 2013 was under 18.”
Washington Examiner: “The Southern Poverty Law Center, which has labeled several Washington, D.C.-based family organizations as ‘hate groups’ for favoring traditional marriage, has been dumped as a “resource” on the FBI’s Hate Crime Web page, a significant rejection of the influential legal group.”
The Christian Institute: “Publishing adult material online which is ‘readily available to children’ could be against the law, the report warned. The Culture, Media and Sport Committee’s report, entitled ‘Online safety,’ said there is ‘scope for greater enforcement in this area.’”
L. Gordon Crovitz at The Wall Street Journal: “According to the administration’s announcement, the Commerce Department will not renew its agreement with Icann, which dates to 1998. This means, effective next year, the U.S. will no longer oversee the “root zone file,” which contains all names and addresses for websites world-wide. If authoritarian regimes in Russia, China and elsewhere get their way, domains could be banned and new ones not approved for meddlesome groups such as Ukrainian-independence organizations or Tibetan human-rights activists.”
Reuters: “Earlier this week, a panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals voted 2-1 to reject Google’s assertion that the removal of the film ‘Innocence of Muslims,’ which sparked protests across the Muslim world, amounted to a prior restraint of speech that violated the U.S. Constitution.” | More at How Appealing.
Associated Press: “The Federal Communications Commission says it won’t appeal a court decision that struck down rules it designed to ensure that the transmission of all Internet content be treated equally. The agency says it will fashion new rules.”
Christian Post: Recently, the Amazon page for Maybe He’s Not Gay: Another View on Homosexuality by Linda Harvey was removed from the commercial website
The Hill: In a memo to Republican lawmakers on Thursday, Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said he would schedule a vote on a proposal to require the government to notify individuals if their personal information has been compromised on HealthCare.gov.
CBS: Hundreds of thousands of people support boycotting A&E following the suspension of “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson. As of Thursday afternoon, over 570,000 thousand people have “liked” the “Boycott A&E Until Phil Robertson Is Put Back On Duck Dynasty” Facebook page.
USCourts.gov: Twenty-five years ago, computers were hurtling America into the Information Age. From 1987 to 1989, the nation’s PC sales tripled, as consumers gained unprecedented power to process words, crunch numbers and print documents at home. The World Wide Web was still being invented, but early adopters were discovering personal email.
LifeNews: The campaign was called the CPC Week of Action, and its goal was to create a stream of negative information about NARAL was so desperate to see CPCs hurt by their campaign that it encouraged supporters to write fake Yelp reviews about the pregnancy centers. This action is illegal in some states.
CNSNews: The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) says listing the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as a resource on its “Hate Crimes” website page and linking to the organization is “not an endorsement” of the group or its research materials on hate crimes.
The Hill: HealthCare.gov should be shut down because it’s still putting consumers’ personal information at risk, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said Thursday.
Public Information Office of the Ninth Circuit: Internet users will soon have a seat in the courtroom when exceptionally important cases are argued before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Adam Liptak at NY Times: Next month, the Supreme Court will consider what the men who took pleasure from viewing Amy’s abuse must pay her.
Megan McArdle at Bloomberg: There are many religious people in America, and if you want to keep stirring up active opposition to the law, one good way is to suggest that this law forces them to pay for something they are convinced is morally wrong. (
Politico: The Obama administration today announced a year-long delay of online enrollment for small businesses looking to purchase health coverage through federal-run exchanges, another setback for HealthCare.gov.
“NSA Reportedly Sought to Discredit ‘Radicals’ By Disclosing Online Sexual Activities, Visits to Porn Sites” | ACLU
ACLU: The targets of the NSA’s plan were all Muslims whom the NSA characterized as “radicals” but who were not believed to be involved in terrorism. The documents say one of the targets was a “U.S. person,” a term describing American citizens and legal permanent residents, but all of the targets were reportedly outside the United States.
BBC: Family-friendly filters to help parents protect their children from seeing pornographic images on the internet have been welcomed by David Cameron.
The Guardian: This week, Eric Schmidt, Google’s executive chairman, was quoted as saying during a speech in Washington: “We can end government censorship in a decade. The solution to government surveillance is to encrypt everything.” Earlier this week, we at greatfire.org successfully unblocked the Reuters Chinese website, which had been blocked on 15 November. We also unblocked the China Digital Times website, which has been blocked in China for years . . .
WorldNetDaily: The conservative news aggregator RedFlagNews.com, which bills itself as “a wise choice for those looking to expand their news experience outside the liberal mainstream media,” is beta testing a new cooperative venture called Social PostUp, which is designed to give conservatives their voice back on Facebook.
PC World: Google will display warnings above the search results for 13,000 terms it believes are associated with more explicit child sexual abuse terms, it announced Monday. Microsoft said it will take similar action on its Bing search engine, and on Yahoo searches powered by Bing.
AP: Google and Microsoft have introduced software that makes it harder for users to search for child abuse material online, the companies said in a joint announcement Monday.
AP: A sweeping child pornography investigation has led to the rescue of 386 children around the world and the arrest of 348 people, Canadian police said Thursday.
Christian Post: Evangelist Ray Comfort has had his official Twitter account taken over by an unknown atheist who has given Comfort an ultimatum: stop “denigrating” nonbelievers or you won’t get your Twitter account back.
Daily Mail: More than 3.5 million Americans have lost their individual health insurance plans as the Obamacare system nears full implementation, and an irreverent website and Twitter account is showing off their cancellation letters. But the project, mycancellation.com, has had a rocky start, with Twitter freezing its account at least three times since it launched last week.
AP: A Dutch children’s rights organization warned Monday of an epidemic of minors being paid to perform sexual acts via webcams and urged police around the world to crack down on the practice.
WorldNetDaily: Department of Homeland Security adviser Mohamed Elibiary has penned yet another controversial tweet, this time likening the Muslim Brotherhood to evangelical Christians and comparing the Brotherhood’s indoctrination to Bible study groups.
Eugene Volokh at Volokh Conspiracy: The case is today’s Ex parte Lo (Tex. Ct. Crim. App. Oct. 30, 2013) — from Texas’ highest criminal court — and the provisions truck down is Tex. Penal Code § 33.021(b) . . .
Charisma News: “In America, the government is supposed to protect freedom, not use intolerance for certain viewpoints to intimidate citizens into acting contrary to their faith,” says senior legal counsel Dale Schowengerdt. “The attorney general has acted inappropriately by trying to intimidate Barronelle through his lawsuit rather than leaving the process where the law says such matters need to take place,” Schowengerdt says. “Plenty of other florists are willing to provide flowers for same-sex ceremonies, yet both lawsuits against Barronelle insist on going after not only her business, but going after her personally as well. That’s extraordinary, and we’re asking the court to put a stop to it.”
ABA Journal: At issue in Hunter v. Virginia State Bar (PDF) was a blog maintained by Horace F. Hunter, one of the two attorneys at Hunter & Lipton in Richmond. The noninteractive blog, This Week in Richmond Criminal Defense, which is accessible through the firm’s website, discussed a variety of legal issues and cases. But most of the posts described cases in which Hunter obtained favorable results for clients.
Catholic Culture: A pastoral letter by a Chinese bishop who is under house arrest has been blocked from internet circulation by Chinese officials, the AsiaNews service reports.
The Hill: Administration officials are vowing to have ObamaCare’s enrollment site fully repaired by Nov. 30, which would be two months after the site’s disastrous debut.
World Net Daily: The countersuit was filed by Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys on behalf of Stutzman, whom they already were defending from the attorney general’s complaint. Ferguson alleges that the state can force the florist to violate her Christian beliefs and provide her artistic talents for the benefit of a same-sex “wedding.”
Baptist Press: By 2017, access to pornography on smartphones and tablets will be available to 250 million people worldwide, according to a new study from Juniper Research, a London-area analyst of the wireless sector.
Washington Times: The House’s top investigators want to know if the Obama administration made a political decision to get rid of an online tool that would have allowed uninsured Americans to comparison-shop among private health plans on the federal Obamacare website before registering for an account.
Religion Clause Blog: In Blackburn v. Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs, (UKFTT, Oct. 2, 2013), Britain’s first Tier Tribunal ruled that British tax authorities should have granted an exemption from the requirement to make VAT filings online to a Seventh Day Adventist Couple who operated a beekeeping business.
Barna Research: Twitter, Facebook, eBooks, news feeds, mobile apps are all information sources that didn’t exist just a few years ago, and they are changing the way the modern consumer processes information. These digital mediums have introduced to reading and to information a whole new level of scrolling, skimming and synopsizing. All of this has vast implications for the future of content and communication, including the future of books. Barna Group’s new study uncovers three of the trends that are redefining the information age.
The Hill: Officials from the Health and Human Services Department have “rebuffed” requests to testify before Congress about ObamaCare’s troubled rollout, a House committee said Thursday.
Daniel Henninger at Wall Street Journal: The Obama Twitter account lists 38,258,000 followers. Unless some of these are fake, that’s nearly 30% of the total popular vote in 2012. All through the week, this number rose as the site poured forth boiling oil. Virtually every Obama tweet demonizes the tea party. Last week, within minutes of the collapse of the Obama-Boehner talks, the tweeting robot called “Barack Obama” had hung the collapse on the “tea party.”
CNN: The youngest Supreme Court Justice and former Dean of Harvard Law School talks about creating great culture and communicating without email.
Obama ‘Crashing Health-care Site On Purpose’: Fear that public would be terrified if people knew true cost
WorldNetDaily: Obamacare officials were so worried about the reaction should Americans actually see what their health coverage will cost under the president’s signature law that they chose to set up a system that clogs up and crashes while an applicant’s eligibility for a subsidy is evaluated.
Wall Street Journal Law Blog: Q: So you’re reading blog posts after cert grants? A: I have my clerks do it, especially with the ones when we’ve granted cert, to see how they think about what the issues are.
National Review: “If they weren’t fully ready, they should accept the advice that a lot of Republicans are giving them — delay it another year, get it ready, and make sure it works,” Blitzer said Wednesday.
Wired.com: The Supreme Court declined Monday to weigh into the legal thicket of when an online threat becomes worthy of prosecution, a decision leaving conflicting federal appellate court views on the topic.
“Some Businesses Balk at Gay Weddings: Photographers, Bakers Face Legal Challenges After Rejecting Jobs on Religious Grounds” | WSJ
Nathan Koppel And Ashby Jones at Wall Street Journal: The couple declined to discuss the case. Jordan Lorence, their lawyer, said he would appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. “Americans are now on notice that the price of doing business is their freedom,” he said . . . “There are plenty of florists who could provide arrangements for same-sex weddings,” said her lawyer, Dale Schowengerdt. “The state has no good reason to cause my client to violate her own conscience.”
Debra Cassens Weiss at ABA Journal: A bill awaiting California Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature takes aim at “revenge porn”—in which scorned ex-lovers post nude online photos of the person who dumped them.
AP: A diocese in the southern city of Graz says it has been found guilty of contravening Austria’s telecommunications law by sending mass texts to the cellphones of followers asking them to pay overdue membership fees.
Religion Clause Blog: Google announced yesterday that it has launched Constitute, a new website, created by theComparative Constitutions Project that digitizes and makes searchable the world’s 160 national constitutions.
The Blaze: A new Rasmussen survey shows more than 40 percent of Americans view social media like Facebook and Twitter as having a generally positive effect when it comes to keeping people informed on current events. From the survey . . .
Eric J. Sinrod at DuaneMorris: Gone are the days of non-electronic, hard-copy communications, right? Not so fast! According to The Associated Press, the Justices of the United States Supreme Court are still very low-tech — almost to the point of being no-tech.
AP: Clicking “Like” on Facebook is constitutionally protected free speech and can be considered the 21st century-equivalent of a campaign yard sign, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday. | Bland v. Roberts