The BBC has the latest on the Trump impeachment trial. President Biden has warned that democracy is fragile following the acquittal of the President. 57 to 43 Senators voted to convict Trump, 10 short of the 67 needed. The BBC has considered the implications of the trial. Sky News reports as does the Financial Times and NPR.  

In the early weeks of the Biden presidency ABC News has a piece on how pro-Trump US media organisations may struggle to find the same degree of coverage under President Biden. The BBC has considered how US media outlets reacted in Biden’s first week of Presidency.

President Biden has paused legal action against TikTok and WeChat which could result in the apps being banned in the US. His predecessor Donald Trump sought to ban the apps on national security grounds. The BBC reports.

The President has also fired Michael Pack, the head of the US Agency for Global Media. The move has been citied by Vox as being in responded to Pack attempting to turn international media agency into “a pro-Trump propaganda machine”.

In a move which has stirred freedom of speech debates Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene has been expelled from key committee posts in the House of Representatives following remarks she made following her election in November where she promoted baseless QAnon conspiracy theories and endorsed violence against Democrats. The BBC reports.  The Washington Post considers the pressure placed by advocacy groups on politicians in the recent move. NBC News argues expulsion is more appropriate.

The US Government has appealed a UK judge’s ruling against the extradition of Julian Assange to the United States, the Guardian explores the recent move to extradite the Wikileaks founder [£].

HD Media owners of the Herald-Dispatch in Huntington and the Charleston Gazette-Mail have filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google and Facebook. The Hindustan Times reports.

Critical coverage following the Capitol riots continues. The Financial Review has a piece on how US media policy “paced the road for insurrection” following the riots in the Capitol. 

Rupert Murdoch’s son James Murdoch has criticised US media for “toxic politics” saying proprietors “know the truth but instead choose to propagate lies”. The Financial Times reports [£}.

Donald G. McNiel Jr. a veteran science reporter for the Times was fired after repeating a racial slur- the New York Post published an article on the firing from Bret Stephens’.

Prof. Eric Goldman considers whether the Government has the right to control content moderation decisions in a recent discussion with the Volokh Conspiracy.

In the Courts

In 2016 federal security officers at VA Hospital attacked Jose Olivia, a 70 year old veteran as he was about to go through a metal detector. Previous instance decisions have held that Jose has no remedy against federal officers no matter how badly or maliciously they behave. Jose now seeks to appeal to the Supreme Court to challenge the findings.

Intelligence agencies can refuse to respond to FOIA requests when it would imperil sensitive information to even confirm or deny whether records exist. Can they still do that when the President of the United States has confirmed the records’ existence via tweet? In this D.C. Circuit case it was found that the tweet needed to be more specific than what was tweeted here.

The First Circuit has found that the government can search your cellphone without warrant or probable cause because you are crossing a border due to there being no need for a reason to conduct “basic” searches.

 Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office v Walker– local reporter Carter Walker submitted FOIA requests to try to discover what Lancaster Penn’s District Attorney does with forfeited property and how proceeds were spent. The last of this information has now been made public following litigation in the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court: the names of the bidders of forfeited property in the public auction.

This Round up was complied by Suneet Sharma a junior legal professional with a particular interest and experience in media, information and privacy law.