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France: Senate Rejects ‘Fake News Ban’ Bills

(Sept. 24, 2018) On July 26, 2018, the French Senate rejected two controversial bills aimed at “fighting fake news.” (Press Release, Sénat [Senate], Lutte contre la manipulation de l’information [Fight Against the Manipulation of Information] (July 26, 2018).) Background First announced by President Emmanuel Macron last January and adopted by the Assemblée Nationale (National Assembly) […]

United Kingdom: Cliff Richard Wins Privacy Case Against BBC and South Yorkshire Police

(Sept. 11, 2018) On July 18, 2018, Sir Cliff Richard OBE was awarded £210,000 (about US$270,360) in general damages after the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) was held liable for infringing his privacy rights over the filming and broadcast of a search of his UK property by South Yorkshire Police (SYP) in relation to allegations of […]

Australia: Bills Containing New Espionage, Foreign Interference Offenses, and Establishing Foreign Agent Registry Enacted

(Aug. 21, 2018) On June 28, 2018, the Australian Parliament passed the National Security Legislation Amendment (Espionage and Foreign Interference) Bill 2018 (Cth) (the Bill). (National Security Legislation Amendment (Espionage and Foreign Interference) Bill 2018, Parliament of Australia website; National Security Legislation Amendment (Espionage and Foreign Interference) Act 2018 (Cth), Federal Register of Legislation website.) The Bill […]

Sweden: Supreme Court Rules Live Broadcast of Rape Is Aggravated Defamation but Not Violation of Duty to Report Ongoing Rape

(Aug. 8, 2018) On July 2, 2018, the Swedish Supreme Court ruled that a man who had filmed an ongoing rape and broadcast it on Facebook Live was guilty of aggravated defamation (grovt förtal) but not of the crime of failure to report a rape. (Högsta domstolen [Swedish Supreme Court], Case No. B 3552-17 (July […]

Brazil: Supreme Court Allows Satire of Political Candidates

(June 26, 2018) On June 21, 2018, the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court (Supremo Tribunal Federal, STF) ruled as unconstitutional provisions of the Elections Law that prevented radio and television broadcasters from running humorous programs ridiculing or lampooning candidates, political parties, and coalitions in the three months prior to an election. (Lei das Eleições, Lei No. […]

Malaysia: Anti-Fake News Act Comes into Force

(Apr. 19, 2018) The Anti-Fake News Act 2018 was published in the Federal Gazette of Malaysia on April 11, 2018, coming into effect that day. (Anti-Fake News Act 2018 (Act 803), Federal Gazette website.) The Act was passed by the Malaysian Parliament on April 4 and received Royal Assent on April 9. The Act defines […]

Singapore: Bans on Two Clerics and Certain Books

(Nov. 9, 2017) It was reported on October 30, 2017, that Singapore has banned two foreign Islamic religious leaders from preaching during cruises and has prohibited the circulation of four foreign books in the country. The Islamic clerics have been denied permission to enter Singapore for the purpose of joining religiously themed sea cruises scheduled […]