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Bulletin

Bulletin Fall 2017: Volume 23, No. 1

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Federal Search Warrants and Nondisclosure Orders Lead to Legal Action; DOJ Changes Gag Order Practices

In 2017, broad federal search warrants, as well as nondisclosure orders preventing technology and social media companies from informing their customers that their information had been handed over to the government, led to legal action and raised concerns from observers. (Continue reading.)


Federal Judge Blocks Canadian Supreme Court Order Requiring Google to Delist Search Results

On Nov. 2, 2017, Judge Edward J. Davila of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose Division, granted a motion brought by Google asking that the court prevent enforcement of an order by the Supreme Court of Canada requiring the search engine to delist certain search results that allegedly infringed the intellectual property rights of a British Columbia-based technology company. (Continue reading.)


News Organizations and Journalists Face High-Profile Defamation Lawsuits

In the summer and fall of 2017, freelance journalist Yashar Ali, The New York Times, Rolling Stone magazine, and the mayor of Minneapolis each faced notable defamation lawsuits. (Continue reading.)


Attorney Charles Harder Continues Attacks on News Websites by Filing Defamation Suits

In 2017, attorney Charles J. Harder, best known for his victorious lawsuit against media gossip website Gawker on behalf of former-professional wrestler Hulk Hogan, continued his legal attacks on media websites.  (Continue reading.)


EPA Targets Journalist for “Misleading Story”; Ohio Photographer Shot by Police; Charge Dropped Against West Virginia Photographer

In the fall of 2017, several journalists faced professional attacks or physical harm while engaged in reporting.  (Continue reading.)


The United States, the European Union, and the Irish High Court Wrangle Data Privacy Concerns

On Oct. 18, 2017, the European Commission released a report on the annual review of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield, which concluded that the United States had “put in place all the necessary structures and procedures to ensure the correct functioning of the [Shield].”  (Continue reading.)


Utah District Court, Minnesota Court of Appeals Address First Amendment Questions

In the fall of 2017, the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah, Central Division and the Minnesota Court of Appeals considered whether statutes in their respective states were unconstitutionally overbroad and restricted protected speech under the First Amendment. (Continue reading.)


Civil Rights Organizations, Federal Agency, and House of Representatives Raise Different Issues Regarding Searches at U.S. Borders

In the fall of 2017, civil rights organizations raised renewed legal questions regarding the searches and seizures of individuals’ electronic devices at U.S. borders, while a federal agency continued efforts to require immigrants to the United States to turn over social media account information and the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation augmenting surveillance at U.S. borders.  (Continue reading.)


Minnesota Supreme Court Begins Livestreaming Video of Oral Arguments

In an Aug. 23, 2017 news release, the Minnesota Judicial Branch announced that the Minnesota Supreme Court would begin livestreaming video of oral arguments in an effort to increase public access to the work of the state’s highest court. (Continue reading.)


Media Groups Allowed to Join Lawsuit over Access to Documents in Wetterling Investigation; Dispute Expands to over Half the Case File

In the fall of 2017, two hearings were held regarding the possible release of documents related to the Jacob Wetterling investigation, stemming from the notorious 1989 abduction and murder of an 11-year-old boy. (Continue reading.)


Update: University of Minnesota Regents Investigation Fails to Uncover Leaker of Information to KSTP-TV

On Sept. 14, 2017, the University of Minnesota (University) released a statement announcing that an investigation by the University Board of Regents (regents) had failed to uncover who leaked confidential information to KSTP-TV, the ABC affiliate in St. Paul, about Randy Handel, the University associate athletic director of development.  (Continue reading.)


No More Monkey Business: Settlement Ends “Monkey Selfie” Copyright Lawsuit

On Sept. 11, 2017, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) announced on its website that the organization had reached a settlement with photographer David John Slater after a two-year legal dispute over the rights to a selfie taken by a monkey in Indonesia in 2011. (Continue reading.)


32nd Annual Silha Lecture Addresses Freedom of the Press During Trump Presidency

Deputy general counsel of The New York Times David McCraw argued during the 32nd annual Silha Lecture that beyond President Donald Trump’s tweets and disparaging of “fake” and “failing” news outlets, the current media landscape raises questions as to whether legal precedents for First Amendment protections are still viable today.  (Continue reading.)


Helen Silha, Beloved and Constant Supporter of the Silha Center, Passes Away in October 2017

The Silha Center staff mourns the recent passing of donor Helen Silha.  (Continue reading.)