News and insight related to the First Amendment



Woman’s effort to infiltrate The Washington Post dated back months

The failed effort by conservative activists to plant a false story about Senate candidate Roy Moore in The Washington Post was part of a months-long campaign to infiltrate The Post and other media outlets in Washington and New York, according to interviews, text messages and social media posts that have since been deleted. Read more.


A woman approached The Post with dramatic — and false — tale about Roy Moore.

What will “proof” look like in an era of easily doctored visuals?

If cops can get phone data without a warrant, it could be a nightmare for journalists — and sources

Washington Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan explains why several journalism advocacy groups and news organizations have signed friend-of-the-court briefs in a case argued before the Supreme Court on Wednesday. Read more.

Diocese cries First Amendment foul over rejection of Christmas bus ad

The Metro -- Washington D.C.'s subway / bus system -- has refused to accept an a Christmas ad with a religious theme. Read more.

Are rapper's words a crime or protected by First Amendment?

A Pittsburgh rapper is challenging his conviction over a music video that referenced violence against police officers in Pennsyvania's Supreme Court. Read more from The Inquirer.

Memphis considers sweeping changes to permits for public assembly

A proposed ordinance that would require a permit application far in advance has become a lightening rod as political activists who say it would curtail free speech rights. Read more in the Commerical Appeal.

Manchester pays $275k to settle suit filed by man arrested for recording police officers

Alfredo Valentin had been arrested and charged with criminal wiretapping for videotaping a police raid on his home. A judge eventually dismissed the charge, but Valentin had already lost his job after police announced the arrest. The settlement relies on earlier federal court rulings that the First Amendment allows a citizen to record police doing their job in public places as long as they don't interfere with that work. Read more from the New Hampshire Union-Leader and InDepthNH.

Punishments for shouting down college speakers run the gamut

Inside Higher Ed took a look at how colleges have dealt with students who have disrupted speakers, and found penalites vary drastically, in part because each case is so specific. Read more.

Have cyborgs entered the net neutrality debate?

The Federal Communications Commission, which his required to accept public comment on its proposals, received a record 22 million on its plan to roll back net neutrality regulations. The surprise: At least than 1 million were from bots. From Wired: How bots broke the FCC's public comment system .

And from less bionic human beings ...

Tim Wu: Why the Courts Will Have to Save Net Neutrality

In defense of net neutrality, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai takes a swipe at twitter (mentions Marsha Blackburn ad)

The Repeal Of Net Neutrality Is A Bad Thing (But Not For The Reasons You Think)