A recent Pew poll found that although 45% of Americans believe Snowden's leak helped the public, 56% wanted criminal charges brought against him. Did he act to protect the rights of Americans, or dismantle what he considers a surveillance state? Does it matter why he acted? Brooke talks to New Republic contributing editor Sean Wilentz about his cover story that asks that very question.
Last week, ESPN’s Grantland ran a remarkable story titled “Dr. V’s Magical Putter,” a journalistic odyssey that began with curiosity about a supposedly revolutionary golf club, and ended by focusing on the chaotic life of its inventor, a woman named Essay Anne Vanderbilt. The reporter, Caleb Hannan, discovered that Vanderbilt was transgender, and he revealed his knowledge of this fact to Vanderbilt. Shortly after, Vanderbilt committed suicide. Bob speaks with ESPN.com writer and transgender activist, Christina Kahrl, to understand the errors in “Dr. V’s Magical Putter.”
The Israeli Knesset has given preliminary approval to a bill that would criminalize use of the word Nazi, and Nazi symbols, except in certain educational or artistic contexts. Violators could face fines as high as twenty-nine thousand dollars, and up to six months in jail. Backers of the bill seek to prevent disrespect of the Holocaust that results when Nazis are invoked casually, whether in political invective or adolescent insults. Brooke talks with linguistic anthropologist Paja Faudree about this legislative attempt to control the use of language.
The Supreme Court is weighing how much defendants convicted of possessing images of child pornography should have to pay in restitution to the victims depicted in those images. The case involves a woman known as “Amy,” whose uncle raped her when she was a young girl and circulated photographs of the abuse online. He eventually went to jail, but those photos became among the most widely viewed child porn in the world. Karen Duffin reports on Amy’s quest for restitution.
A federal court ruled last week that a blogger who had lost a defamation suit in 2011 should have the same free speech protections as a traditional journalist, and as everyone else who publishes online. The blogger is Crystal Cox, who is notorious for creating domain names and blog posts tarring the online reputations of her targets and then offering to fix the problem for a price. Bob speaks to Ellyn Angelotti of the Poynter Institute about what the decision from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals means for First Amendment protections online, and whether it matters that Cox is the defendant.
The blogger Crystal Cox has also targeted First Amendment lawyer Marc Randazza, his wife, and their toddler. Bob spoke to Randazza in the Spring of 2012 about how Cox's actions were testing his free speech values. Since then, Randazza decided to take her to court and won. (He told us this week that his legal strategy had nothing to do with the content of Cox's speech and were instead based on domain law. His court arguments are available upon request, for free, if you ever find yourself in Cox's cross hairs). Randazza also blogs at The Legal Satyricon.