Today’s Links: January 6, 2012


GREG LUKIANOFF: “Clear Campus Rules Needed on ‘Harassment‘”
“Overly broad harassment codes remain the weapon of choice on campus to punish speech that administrators dislike. In a decade fighting campus censorship, I have seen harassment defined as expressions as mild as ‘inappropriately directed laughter’ and used to police students for references to a student government candidate as a ‘jerk and a fool’ (at the University of Central Florida in 2006) and a factually verifiable if unflattering piece onIslamic extremism in a conservative student magazine (at Tufts University in 2007). Other examples abound. Worryingly, such broad codes and heavy-handed enforcement are teaching a generation of students that it may be safer to keep their mouths shut when important or controversial issues arise.”

GRAEME MCMILLAN: “SOPA: What if Google, Facebook and Twitter Went Offline in Protest?
“The fact that Facebook and Twitter are both said to be considering taking part in the blackout is simultaneously heartening and worrying. The former because, well, they’re standing up for what they collectively believe in — and that’s a good thing. But the latter because the lack of availability for social media on the proposed blackout day feels like it’s giving up the best chance to harness the frustration and energy people will feel about the temporary loss of the Internet as they know it, and a great possibility to focus and direct that energy into productive activism against SOPA. Then again, it may take losing Facebook and Twitter to really drive home how dramatically SOPA could affect the Internet.”

FRED KAPLAN: “The Coming War Over the Pentagon Budget
“It looks like something seriously different is about to happen with the defense budget—and not just the budget, but the way the Pentagon does business and the military fights wars. President Obama sought to dramatize this fact—or at least to deepen its impression—by going to the Pentagon press room himself (something no previous president had ever done) to lay out the main points of the new ‘Defense Strategic Guidance,’ a document that was hammered out in a half-dozen meetings involving the president, the service chiefs, and the national-security bureaucracy. The precise scope and even nature of these changes are not yet clear.”


IMMIGRATION – Colombia to Hand Over American Teen Mistakenly Deported
“A Dallas teen mistakenly deported to Colombia is set to return to the United States Friday, as her family plans to file lawsuits against the agencies involved in her removal from the country, their attorney said. Jakadrien Turner, 15, wound up being deported to Colombia after U.S. authorities mistook the girl, who lacked identification, for a Colombian national.”

TELECOMMUNICATIONS – Italy Shoots Down Samsung’s iPhone 4S Injunction Attempt
“Samsung originally announced its legal effort for an injunction in a blog post, where it unveiled plans to accuse Apple of infringing two of its patents it held related to wireless technology. That included use of the Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) standard for 3G phones.”

CULTURE – China Claims It Has Successfully Curbed “Excessive Entertainment” on TV
“A campaign to curb ‘excessive entertainment’ by cutting the number of racy programmes on Chinese satellite television channels has been successful, state media reported, after President Hu Jintao warned that western culture was out to attack China.”