The Right to Free Speech at Baraboo High

This is the picture that sparked a national uproar when, despite being taken in May, went viral on Twitter earlier this month. The photo shows a large group of mostly white high school students from Baraboo, Wisconsin posing for a prom picture by raising their arms in Nazi salutes. The picture was captioned, “We even... Continue Reading →

Teaching Digital Security

Living in a post-Snowden America is strange. We know about the reality of the surveillance state, we know about the NSA’s ability to track our every move, we even know about the very real possibility of our own names being one of the 1.2 million on the government watch list. We know all of these... Continue Reading →

Looking Beyond the Case at Hand

The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution protects people, specifically their bodies, property, papers, and effects, from unreasonable searches and seizures by the government. It essentially outlines the notion of our right to privacy. The primary concerns of those who wrote and ratified the Amendment revolved around “general warrants,” or warrants that authorize a search or... Continue Reading →

The Balancing Act of Source Confidentiality

The conflict between securing the freedom of Americans to say, write, and publish what they please, and protecting Americans from the abuse of this freedom, defines the struggle of considering First Amendment legal issues. Every First Amendment topic we’ve discussed so far--obscenity, libel, privacy--deals with this tension between freedom and safety. The issue of confidential... Continue Reading →

The Right to Record

What do you get when you mix portable technology that can capture and disseminate high-definition footage with the touch of a button and a growing national concern about police accountability? Anyone who has seen the news coverage of a police brutality case over the last few years knows the answer: bystander cell phone footage of... Continue Reading →

Can the Supreme Court Draw the Line on Obscenity?

The question of drawing the line between protecting American citizens’ rights to free speech as granted to them by the First Amendment, and protecting them from being unwillingly exposed to pornographic or otherwise obscene content, has historically proved difficult for judges and politicians. Chapter 8 of Anthony Lewis’ Freedom for the Thought That We Hate... Continue Reading →

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