January 21, 2011

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Friday, January 21, 2011

Tunisian protests, social media and Al Jazeera; Twitter fights the Justice Department and wins!; NPR's big reporting mistake

Tunisia's Twitter Revolution?

Demonstrators flooded the streets in Tunisia this week calling for an end to corruption and ousting President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. Many have attributed the wave of protests to the rise of the internet and social media in a country notorious for its censorship but Foreign Policy blogger

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Tunisian Blogger Lina Ben Mhenni

Blogging in Tunisia has traditionally been a risky business. Online activists have been subject to harassment, imprisonment and targeted “phishing” attacks by the government in the past. But this week's turmoil has ushered in a period of relative openness. Lina Ben Mhenni runs the blog A Tunisian ...

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Subpoenas and Online Service Providers

There are two kinds of subpoenas that federal law enforcement can serve on internet service providers and online communications companies if they want to spy on a users' email or Twitter account. Both kinds frequently have gag-orders attached - which means, users are none the wiser that their account has ...

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National Security Letters and Gag Orders

The most serious kind of subpoena - called a 'National Security Letter' - used to have a lifetime gag-order automatically attached. That is until Nicholas Merrill appealed his and won the right to talk about it. Despite 50,000 national security letters a year there ...

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Updates

An update about our Blow the Whistle project. Plus, an award honoring the memory and work of OTM friend and contributor, John Solomon.

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Comcast Gets the Okay to Buy NBC

Comcast received some good news this week – federal regulators said the company may buy NBC. Comcast, already the largest cable TV provider and the largest internet service provider in the U.S, will now become the first cable provider to own a major broadcast network. Professor Susan Crawford says the ...

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The Rush to Report

The 24-hour news cycle can lead journalists to sacrifice accuracy for speed. Dick Meyer, executive editor of NPR News, talks about their misreporting of Gabrielle Giffords' death, and says news organizations must prioritize accuracy over scooping their competitors.

For more on how the rush to report can backfire, 

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Bad Sourcing

Brooke takes us on a walk down bad memory lane when it comes to the media and inaccurate sources.

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