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Nov 16, 2016

Oct 31, 2016

Indonesia, Too, Drops Down the Memory Hole

First Belguim, then Italy, now Indonesia. Another country has warped the "right be be forgotten" -- the misguided notion that embarrassing material can be effectively hidden online by removing links from search results -- to justify Orwellian censorship and rewriting of the past.

Oct 19, 2016

Donald Trump and Libel

This is my first column for the South Carolina Press Association's newsletter:

Whatever you think of Donald Trump, it is clear that he does not have much regard for the media.

Sep 27, 2016

Italy Limits History to Two Years

I recently wrote about the highest court in Belgium holding that the European "right to be forgotten" required a newspaper to remove a 22-year-old article from its archive, down George Orwell's memory hole. Now Italy's highest court has limited the retention time for articles subject to "right to be forgotten" complaints to a scant two years.

Thus the "right to be forgotten" is becoming a way of "forgetting" the past, by forcing the removal of evidence of it.

Sep 6, 2016

Court Finds No Actual Malice in Communist Claim

I've written before how courts in California, Minnesota and Washington have held that calling someone a Communist can be the basis of a valid libel claim when the audience is the Vietnamese-American community. One of these cases ended with a $4.5 million jury verdict, which led to the takeover of the newspaper defendant in that case.

Now a Texas appeals court has affirmed the dismissal of a suit by an Assembly candidate against a the editor of a Vietnamese language magazine for accusing the candidate of sympathizing with the communist regime in Vietnam.

Jul 19, 2016

Belgian Court Turns "Right to Be Forgotten" Into a Black Hole

The highest appellate court in Belgium has held that the European "right to be forgotten" -- which has generally been understood to require the removal of irrelevant and outdated information from search engine results, while keeping the original online material intact -- requires a newspaper to replace the name of a man who asserted rights under the principle with an "X" in an article on his 1994 drunk driving conviction, which was expunged in 2006.

Jul 7, 2016

My Debut in Communication Law and Policy

While I was in Asia, a leading peer-reviewed academic journal in the field of communications law -- Communication Law and Policy -- published my article examining whether academics can assert an "academic privilege" akin to the "reporters privilege" that journalists often assert to avoid revealing information from confidential sources.