Mar 16, 2017

'Right to be forgotten' online might come to U.S.

GuillermoJM via Flickr CC

A bill in the New York State Assembly would require search engines and online publishers to remove "'inaccurate', 'irrelevant', 'inadequate', or 'excessive'" content on individuals within 30 days of a removal request.

Recall, Europe's highest court ruled in favor of the "right to be forgotten" in 2014. It aimed to alleviate privacy concerns of an individual whose past financial troubles had been represented poorly online. The court ruled that search engines should place rights to privacy above the right of the public to find information.

Why this matters: The loser in the U.S., according to The Washington Post's Eugene Volokh, is freedom of speech under the First Amendment:

...the deeper problem with the bill is simply that it aims to censor what people say, under a broad, vague test based on what the government thinks the public should or shouldn't be discussing.

To put it in context, Volokh writes, "the bill contains no exception even for material of genuine historical interest; after all, such speech would have to be removed if it was 'no longer material to current public debate.'"

Plus, as Google's CEO Larry Page put it, this forces search engines like Google to arbitrarily decide what counts as private information and what doesn't.

Update: Google declined to comment.

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Trump says he will campaign against Lisa Murkowski after her support for Mattis

Trump with Barr and Meadows outside St. John's Episcopal church in Washington, D.C. on June 1. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Thursday that he would endorse "any candidate" with a pulse who runs against Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

Driving the news: Murkowski said on Thursday that she supported former defense secretary James Mattis' condemnation of Trump over his response to protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing. She described Mattis' statement as "true, honest, necessary and overdue," Politico's Andrew Desiderio reports.

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The president vs. the Pentagon

Trump visits Mattis and the Pentagon in 2018. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty

Over the course of just a few hours, President Trump was rebuffed by the Secretary of Defense over his call for troops in the streets and accused by James Mattis, his former Pentagon chief, of trampling the Constitution for political gain.

Why it matters: Current and former leaders of the U.S. military are drawing a line over Trump's demand for a militarized response to the protests and unrest that have swept the country over the killing of George Floyd by police.

New York Times says Tom Cotton op-ed did not meet standards

Photo: Avalon/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

A New York Times spokesperson said in a statement Thursday that the paper will be changing its editorial board processes after a Wednesday op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), which called for President Trump to "send in the troops" in order to quell violent protests, failed to meet its standards.

Why it matters: The shift comes after Times employees began a coordinated movement on social media on Wednesday and Thursday that argued that publishing the op-ed put black staff in danger. Cotton wrote that Trump should invoke the Insurrection Act in order to deploy the U.S. military against rioters that have overwhelmed police forces in cities across the country.