Shen Yongping (沈勇平) is a documentary maker living in Beijing best known for making One Hundred Years of Constitutionalism (《百年宪政》) (trailer in Chinese), now available on YouTube. He was detained in April of this year, and charged with illegal business operations. His trial will be held at 9:30 am on November 4th, 2014, in Yuhe Court of Chaoyang District People’s Court (北京市朝阳区人民法院温榆河法庭). [No news that I can see since then – at least not in English]
The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that police officers usually need a warrant before they can search the cellphone of an arrested suspect, a major decision in favor of privacy rights at a time of increasing concern over government encroachment in digital communications. In an opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts, the court said there are some emergency situations in which a warrantless search would be permitted. But the unanimous 9-0 ruling goes against law enforcement agencies including the U.S. Department of Justice, which wanted more latitude to search without having to obtain a warrant.
Fundamentally, the Berkman Center is an incubation space that fosters experimentation in the study of the Internet and the development of tools and services that address the online world’s many challenges. After seven years at the Berkman Center, the DMLP has grown from an experimental project that addressed the legal needs of an emerging class of bloggers and citizen journalists into a service organization that provides structured legal resources for the entire range of independent online journalism. We are extraordinarily proud of the work the DMLP has done, but now that the experimentation phase of the project is over, we have determined that the best path forward is to identify the most useful elements of the DMLP’s operation, and make sure that they have permanent homes. Some of our services – most notably our Legal Guide and Threats Database, along with our collection of research studies – will remain at the Berkman Center, reintegrated into the Cyberlaw Clinic where they will benefit from the support of law students and serve not only as an important resource for the public but as a tool to train young attorneys about legal issues vital to online communication. While our blog will cease publishing new posts, our archive of blog entries will remain available to the public. The Online Media Legal Network will find a new home outside of the Berkman Center with a non-profit organization that shares the DMLP’s commitment to providing legal services to online media (we have a very exciting prospect lined up, but it’s a bit early to report). While different aspects of the DMLP’s work will continue in different places, we expect that the organizations taking on this work will work closely together to provide a coherent set of resources that address the diverse legal needs of online media.
There is still contention over the definition of the word journalist, and concerns that any attempt to enshrine reporters’ privilege could make those that don’t fit precisely even more vulnerable. Republican Sen. John Cornyn and many conservative pundits have opposed the bill on the basis it could disadvantage bloggers and other non-traditional journalists. It also has an exception for situations involving future threats to national security.
The news organizations supporting the bill note that it has a “safety valve” for bloggers and others who might slip through the cracks, because it allows a judge to declare someone a covered journalist. “This bill has judicial oversight, that extra person to say that if it quacks like a duck and walks like a duck, then it’s a duck,” Cuillier said.
The Supreme Court announced plans to wade into the issue of whether you can go to jail for posting violent or threatening messages on social media sites — even when your intent to actually carry out those actions is unclear.