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Rwanda: Amnesty International Calls for Review of Genocide Ideology Law, Media Law

(June 9, 2011) On June 3, 2011, Amnesty International (AI) issued a report titled Unsafe to Speak Out: Restrictions on Freedom of Expression in Rwanda, in which it criticizes the use of that country's 2008 genocide ideology law and 2009 media law to stifle legitimate criticism and calls upon the Rwandan government to fast track […]

South Korea: Act of Spreading False Information via Internet Not Punishable

(Jan. 10, 2011) The Constitutional Court decided on December 28, 2010, that Korea's law that punishes the act of spreading false information via the Internet for the purpose of harming the public good is unconstitutional. In the case reviewed by the Court, the defendant, who posted economic predictions using his Internet username and who had […]

Germany: Genetic Modification and Freedom of Speech

(Oct. 18, 2010) On September 8, 2010, the German Federal Constitutional Court (FCC) issued a decision that balanced freedom of speech against commercial interests. The case involved a multinational dairy-producing company that used, in some of its products, milk from cows that had been fed genetically modified corn. (Bundesverfassungsgericht, Sept. 28, 2010, Docket number 1 […]

South Korea: Government May Not Have Standing to Bring a Defamation Action

(Sept. 17, 2010) On September 15, 2010, the Central District Court of Seoul (a trial court) released a decision holding that in principle the government may not have standing to bring an action for defamation. This is the first case in South Korea on the issue of whether or not the government may be a […]

Malaysia: Taskforce to Examine Potentially Divisive Internet Postings

(Sept. 9, 2010) On September 3, 2010, it was reported that the Malaysian government had established a taskforce to examine Internet postings that may be harmful to national unity. (Ng Cheng Yee, Task Force to Look Out for Sensitive Matter on Internet, THE STAR ONLINE (Sept. 3, 2010), The police, Internet regulators, the Information […]

Rwanda: Genocide Ideology Law Being Reviewed

(Aug. 20, 2010) Rwanda's government has invited the non-governmental organizations Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch to comment on the three-year-old genocide ideology law that is at present under review. The two human rights groups have been critical of Rwanda, complaining that the government is attempting to silence opposition voices through the use of punishment […]

Venezuela: Twitter Users Arrested on Charges of Spreading Rumors

(July 14, 2010) Two individuals charged with “the dissemination over the social network Twitter of false rumors for the purpose of destabilizing the national banking system…and causing runs on banks,” were arrested on July 8, 2010, in Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela, by officers of the Scientific, Penal, and Criminalistics Investigations Corps (CICPC). (Venezuela: Two Detained for […]

Pakistan: YouTube Banned, Other Sites Restricted

(June 29, 2010) On June 23, 2010, after being presented at a hearing with evidence of the reappearance of website content on the Prophet Muhammad and the Koran, a Pakistani court re-imposed a ban on the video-sharing network YouTube and also restricted access to Yahoo, MSN, Hotmail, Google, Islam Exposed, In the Name of Allah, […]

United States: Washington State Supreme Court Upholds Library’s Internet Filtering Policy

(June 15, 2010) The Supreme Court of Washington, in a ruling issued on May 6, 2010, has held that a library district does not violate the state's constitutional right of free speech by filtering Internet content on its public access computers and declining to disable the filter upon request to allow adult patrons to access […]

United States: Federal Appeals Court Panels Address Whether Students’ Punishment for Myspace Pages Violates First Amendment Free Speech Protections

(Mar. 30, 2010) Two panels of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued rulings on the same day, reaching different results on whether the United States Constitution permits a student to be punished by school officials for statements published on a Myspace page created outside of school. Both Layshock v. Hermitage School […]