Summer 2011 Silha Bulletin

Volume 16, Number 3

Below is the Table of Contents for the Summer 2011 edition of the Silha Bulletin.  Click on the title to read the full article.

Summer 2011, Volume 16, Number 3
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Cover Story: Not Just a 'Rogue Reporter': 'Phone Hacking' Scandal Spreads Far and Wide
A massive ethical and legal scandal enveloped the Rupert Murdoch-owned British tabloid News of the World in the summer of 2011, leading to its sudden closure. 

Director’s Note: Security and Privacy in 'The Year of the Hack'
The year 2011 may be remembered as "the year of the hack." On the heels of WikiLeaks' extensive disclosures of classified government records in 2010, dozens of businesses ranging from Sony to Citigroup to Google reported cyber attacks that compromised their operations as well as sensitive consumer data. 

Government Leaks: Judges Rebuke Government on Leak Prosecutions
In the Obama administration's ongoing efforts to track down and prosecute leakers of classified information, one federal judge quashed a subpoena to a New York Times reporter for his sources while another rebuked the government's prosecution of a former National Security Administration (NSA) official as the case fell apart. 

Silha Center Events: Silha Lecture Features Mark Stephens, International Free Expression Advocate
On Oct. 4, 2011, international media lawyer and free expression advocate Mark Stephens will present the Silha Center's 26th Annual Lecture, "Free Speech and the Digital Challenge Around the Globe: A Conversation With Mark Stephens." 

Supreme Court News: U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Down Ban on Violent Video Game Sales to Minors
On June 27, 2011, the Supreme Court of the United States struck down a California law that prohibited the sale or rental of violent video games to minors, declaring video games to be protected speech under the First Amendment and finding the law itself incapable of satisfying the "strict scrutiny" required to restrict protected speech. 

Supreme Court News: U.S. Supreme Court Invalidates Vermont Prescription Confidentiality Law
On June 23, 2011 the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Vermont law restricting the sale, disclosure, or use of pharmacy records that reveal the prescribing practices of physicians, ruling that it violated the First Amendment by imposing content and speaker-based burdens on protected expression.

Journalist’s Privilege: State Shield Laws: New Jersey Denies Blogger's Claim; Other States Expand and Extend Privilege
In spring 2011, West Virginia passed the 40th shield law in the United States granting reporters a privilege to withhold the identity of confidential sources, Hawaii extended the shield law it passed in 2008, and Arkansas legislators voted to amend its existing law to include television and Internet reporters. 

Access: States Consider Banning Undercover Recording at Agricultural Operations
During their 2011 sessions, state legislatures in Iowa, Minnesota, and Florida considered bills that would criminalize recording undercover videos of agricultural operations, drawing First Amendment concerns from animal rights activist groups and media who argued the bills could outlaw journalistic investigations that expose unsafe and unsanitary farming conditions.

International Press Freedom: Social Media Challenge British Privacy Injunctions
Social media like Twitter are making the enforcement of British privacy injunctions nearly impossible, forcing judges and lawmakers to grapple with how to apply old rules to a new era of media. 

Endangered Journalists: Journalist Murders: Bailey Killers Convicted; More Charges in Politkovskaya Case
The cases of two prominent journalists murdered in 2006 and 2007 continued to move forward in the summer of 2011. 

Freedom of Information: School Privacy Law Changes Could Challenge Media
In April 2011, the United States Department of Education announced proposed revisions to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which governs the confidentiality of students' education records. 

Student Free Speech: Student Speech: Off-Campus, Online, and in Trouble
Among several federal appeals court rulings on student speech in the spring and summer of 2011 were five involving high school students punished for off-campus, online speech. 

Criminal Libel: Update: Colorado Prosecutor Violated Student Editor's Rights with Criminal Libel Search Warrant
A deputy district attorney violated Thomas Mink's Fourth Amendment right to be free of unreasonable search and seizure when she authorized Greeley, Colo. police to search his house and seize his computer pursuant to a criminal libel complaint, according to a federal district court ruling on June 3, 2011. 

Freedom of Speech: Ninth Circuit Overturns Conviction for Threat against Obama
On July 19, 2011, the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals reversed the conviction of a man charged with making online threats against the life of a major presidential candidate, finding that the First Amendment protected his racist, violence tinged rants about then-candidate Barack Obama. 

Freedom of Speech: Legal and Ethical Issues Arise when bin Laden Dies
The death of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden on May 2, 2011 quickly raised issues of access to information and ethics for media organizations seeking to report the story fully and independently.