Tag

expression

Free Speech / Social Media

Can the Rockets Rebound? The NBA’s Twitter Problem in China

One tweet from the general manager of an NBA team shows us how a well-intentioned post on social media can have explosive financial and political impact. It also serves as a stark reminder of internet censorship in China. Two weeks ago, the General Manager of an American basketball team found himself in the middle of an international political scandal. Daryl Morey, who has managed the Houston Rockets for over a decade, tweeted a message of support for protestors in Hong Kong. This led to a massive troll mob against Morey, and a major falling out between NBA fans in China,…

Free Speech

Regulating the Raunchy? Free speech and obscenity under Miller v. California

One of the most interesting aspects of being a technology lawyer is that it necessarily requires a strong understanding of Internet regulation and digital rights, including the right to express yourself online.  As such, free speech is one of my favourite areas of legal history and theory.  Coincidentally, two major US Supreme Court cases regarding free speech were decided on this day —  21 June! This post takes a look at one of them: Miller v. California [1973].  In a later post, I’ll explore a second landmark free speech case decided on 21 June: Texas v. Johnson [1989]. The Constitution in Court.   Most…

Privacy Law

Do Neo-Nazis have a right to privacy?

Earlier this month, a leftist art collective in Germany called the Centre for Political Beauty (Zentrum für Politische Schönheit or “ZPS”) launched a website to name and shame neo-Nazis. At soko-chemnitz.de, people were invited to examine photographs taken during this summer’s violent anti-immigration protests in Chemnitz, and in exchange for identifying suspected right-wing demonstrators, would receive a crowd-funded reward of at least €30. The twist? The image recognition database was a honeypot: a sophisticated hoax to induce neo-Nazis into identifying themselves. This recent project gives rise to serious questions regarding the exploitation of personal data for illegitimate or unlawful purposes – even if those…

Uncategorized

Photos of Oxford Student Celebrations Raise Questions About Privacy Rights and Journalism

Dear reader, This post was originally published on 14 October 2018, and subsequently deleted on 24 October 2019, after an interested party contacted me and asked that any reference to them in my blog post be removed. I chose to delete the post in its entirety to avoid any further problems. I stand by what I wrote and shared, including the watermarked images from a stock photo company for illustrative purposes, an image from Flickr, and screen captures of newspaper headlines on a related subject. I also quoted information that the individual had already manifestly made public themselves in statements to…

Uncategorized

Is posting rap lyrics on Instagram a #HateCrime?

A teenager who posted rap lyrics on Instagram has been convicted of “sending a grossly offensive message over a communications network,” which was uplifted to a hate crime. She has received a community order (probation) and must pay costs of £500 ($700 USD) together with a £85 victim surcharge. Chelsea Russell, a 19 year-old woman from Liverpool, England posted the lyrics from American rapper Snap Dogg’s song, “I’m Trippin” (NSFW) onto her Instagram account profile, or “bio.” The lyrics in question were ‘kill a snitch n—-a and rob a rich n—-a.’ Russell claimed she posted the lyrics as a “tribute” following the death…