Ukraine Approves Law Criminalizing Dissent, Punishes Pro-Russia Sentiment with Up to 15 Years in Prison

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has passed a law punishing pro-Russian dissent with up to 15 years in prison.

Zelensky signed a decree claiming that “cooperation with the aggressor state,” which includes pro-Russian statements, could result in up to 15 years in prison.

First Deputy Parliament Speaker Oleksandr Kornienko even wants over 20 “unpatriotic” members of Parliament who have been forced to flee the country jailed for having pro-Russian views.

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Saint Louis University Threatens to Expel Student for Posting Flyers Promoting Conservative Speaker’s Event

Saint Louis University is threatening to expel or suspend a student for posting flyers advertising the Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh’s off-campus speaking event, according to the Young America’s Foundation.

The student, James Dowling, was told in a Dec. 9 videoconference with school administrators that he could face expulsion for his “inappropriate conduct” and “failure to comply,” according to YAF.

Dowling, a member of the Saint Louis University College Republicans group, was putting up flyers advertising Walsh’s off-campus event on Dec. 1 when nearby SLU administrators, uncomfortable with the presence of SLU’s name on the same flyer as the SLU College Republicans, told him to take them all down, according to YAF.

Dowling reportedly offered to cross out the names on the flyers with a marker, but the administrators wouldn’t accept the compromise.

In a letter dated Dec. 9, the SLU Office of Student Responsibility and Community Standards sent Dowling a letter detailing his alleged breaches of SLU’s “Community Standards.” The letter also noted that Dowling would be required to attend a hearing for his “Suspendable Violations.”

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These Countries Have an INTERNET KILL SWITCH (and They Admit It)

What do you suppose would happen if the President of the United States deemed it necessary, for “national security,” to flip the Internet Kill Switch? In these digital times, there should be great concern over something like this. However, normalcy bias seems to have a firm hold on a majority of the citizens of the US, and many are clinging to the “it can’t happen here” theory.  

The United States has yet to employ this particular tool. However, according to data gathered to examine the financial impact of internet shutdowns, since 2019, there have been 237 major internet shutdowns in 45 countries. 

What is an internet kill switch?

An internet kill switch is a device/software/configuration that allows one to shut down all internet access within a region or country indefinitely. If activated, the kill switch would prevent everyone from checking social media, shopping online, using online messenger services, sending emails, or anything else involving an internet connection.

In many cases, this may also include any form of phone contact (it varies). 

Which countries have already used the internet kill switch?

Hackers have the ability to down the entire internet system, as we have seen with op article and op article. However, governments around the globe have also resorted to shutdowns, claiming it to be necessary for public safety. For example, India (a democratic nation) was the global leader in shutdowns in 2019, with over 150 in 3 years. 

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Internet ‘freedom’ at its lowest in 11 years: study

The internet is an increasingly unwelcome place for many. A new study suggests that online “freedom” is in decline — for two very different reasons, depending on who you ask.

The annual report by Freedom House, a Washington, D.C.-based research and advocacy group, said this year is the 11th consecutive to see a global internet freedom decline.

The “Freedom on the Net” report rates countries on a 100-point scale, with the bottom considered least free. This year, scores internationally range from as low as 10 points in China to 96 points in Iceland. Scores 71 and above are designated “free,” while scores below 40 are “not free”; everything in the middle is considered “partly free.”

Considerations made in scoring include the extent to which free speech is legally protected, the proliferation of misinformation and hate speech and whether government authorities were known to target individual users, such as in India or Hungary where journalists and activists have been hit with state-supported spyware.

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Why A Free People Cannot Exist Without Free Speech

Free speech is perhaps the most important liberty Americans enjoy. People exercise it every day without even thinking about it, and for good reason it is mentioned in the very first amendment to the U.S. Constitution. But free speech is more than just the words in the Bill of Rights. Before there was a law, there was the idea of free speech. The law limits the government to protect the right, but does not define the right.

More than simply a legal issue, free speech is a part of American culture—an important distinction. If free speech meant only the words in the Constitution, if all it guaranteed were that the government could not jail us for our words, it would be a dead letter. Governments across the world guarantee rights in their laws yet violate them daily.

Indeed, free speech was not invented in 1791. The law only codifies what the Founders and their contemporaries already believed: that a free people must be allowed to openly express themselves, and that the cure for bad ideas is good ideas, not censorship.

The First Amendment is essential, but the American people believe in the principle of free speech. That includes more than just being free of government punishment. It includes the idea that no power — be it government, corporation, or mob — should be able to suppress the free exchange of ideas.

We often speak of the “marketplace of ideas,” and just as with markets for goods, the concept came first, and laws to protect it followed. Now, the concept is under threat. Should it fail, and should deplatforming, monopoly pressures, and “heckler’s vetoes” become accepted practices, then no matter what the law says, free speech as a concept will die.

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The Forgotten Legacy of Free Speech on the ‘Left’

Aside from Bill Maher’s audience – who, as the late Christopher Hitchens once noted before giving them the finger, will “clap at apparently anything” – the “liberals” (heavy on the quotes) in Huffington Post’s social media comments sections represent the single dumbest group of people ever assembled.

In a giant corporate circle jerk, The Huffington Post (HuffPo), previously owned by multinational corporation Verizon Media, is now owned by a combination of Verizon Media and “news” conglomerate Buzzfeed which shamelessly markets itself as “independent media.” The HuffPo/Verizon/Buzzfeed Empire donates heavily to DC Swamp politicians on both sides of the aisle.

It is, in short, Ivy League incest — a very Brooklyn, very upper-middle-class-cosmopolitan white, very woke affair. None of these people’s parents farm corn in Nebraska.

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