Blog Archives

Anti-Video Game Propaganda Removed by South Australian Government

January 22, 2014
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Anti-Video Game Propaganda Removed by South Australian Government

The video game industry scored one for free speech recently when it convinced the South Australian government to remove misleading anti-video game billboards. Despite research to the contrary, these billboards attempted to claim that video games are are a gateway to gambling. These billboards contained clever statements such as “GAMBLING starts with GAMES.” While this…

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NY District Court Upholds Government’s Right to Search Laptops at the Border

January 9, 2014
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NY District Court Upholds Government’s Right to Search Laptops at the Border

In 2010, a graduate student named Pascal Abidor was traveling from Canada to New York when he was removed from his train and detained by American border agents. In addition to being handcuffed and questioned, his laptop was also seized. Abidor brought suit on the grounds that the seizure of his laptop was an unreasonable…

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Student Newspaper Apologizes for Allegedly Racist Cartoon

December 19, 2013
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Student Newspaper Apologizes for Allegedly Racist Cartoon

Sports fans all over the country were baffled over Auburn University’s recent defeat of the University of Alabama in the Iron Bowl. As a result, the University of Alabama’s student newspaper, The Crimson White, published a satirical cartoon depicting an Auburn football player trampling past an Alabama football player with the caption “This is What…

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School Threatens Expulsion of 8-Year-Old Arizona Boy Over Drawings

November 7, 2013
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School Threatens Expulsion of 8-Year-Old Arizona Boy Over Drawings

Last week, as many children throughout the country were celebrating Halloween by dressing up in costumes and trick-or-treating for candy, an 8-year old student at Scottsdale County Day School in Arizona was being threatened with expulsion for his drawings of Halloween costumes.  The school deemed the pictures “violent” and “highly disturbing” because the characters drawn…

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Print Shops Refuse to Print Anti-War Comic Book in the UK

October 23, 2013
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Print Shops Refuse to Print Anti-War Comic Book in the UK

Across the Atlantic Ocean in the United Kingdom, Darren Cullen is currently fighting for his freedom of speech while he struggles to get his new comic book, (Don’t) Join the Army to the printers. The comic is a satirical depiction of the British Military in the form of an “anti-recruitment leaflet.” Multiple printers have refused…

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Obscenity Case Files: Jenkins v. Georgia

October 9, 2013
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Obscenity Case Files: Jenkins v. Georgia

In 1972, a movie theater manager in Albany, Georgia, was convicted under a Georgia statute for the crime of distributing obscene material for showing the film Carnal Knowledge. The conviction took place during an odd limbo period between the decisions of Memoirs v. Massachusetts and Miller v. California. In Jenkins v. Georgia, the Supreme Court…

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Laptop Searches at the U.S. Border Continue to Cause Concern

October 2, 2013
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Laptop Searches at the U.S. Border Continue to Cause Concern

Imagine going on a relaxing vacation out of the country with friends or family, but upon your return to the United States, your laptop is taken from you by border security for what seems to be no reason at all. Frighteningly enough, this is a problem that is becoming more frequent. As we have seen…

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Obscenity Case Files: Stanley v. Georgia

September 6, 2013
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Obscenity Case Files: Stanley v. Georgia

In previous editions of Obscenity Case Files we looked at cases involving mailing obscene circulars and stores selling obscene books, but we have yet to explore the private possession of obscene materials in one’s own home. In Stanley v. Georgia (1969), the Supreme Court held that it is unconstitutional to prohibit the mere private possession…

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Violent Content Research Act Raises Free Speech Concerns

August 27, 2013
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Violent Content Research Act Raises Free Speech Concerns

Video games, the latest scapegoat in the war against gun violence, are being faced with yet another attempt to stifle their First Amendment rights. As a result of the Sandy Hook massacre and other recent tragedies, a new act is being proposed to require more study of the alleged link between video games and violence.…

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Obscenity Case Files: Smith v. California

August 22, 2013
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Obscenity Case Files: Smith v. California

It was established in Roth v. United States that the freedom of speech would not extend to materials that were considered obscene. But what happens to a book store that unknowingly carries books that contain obscene material? Is a book store owner responsible for knowing the content in all of the books that he or…

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