A federal judge in Virginia dismissed one of Rep. Devin Nunes' (R-CA) defamation suits against The Washington Post, the Federal Aviation Agency released long-awaited drone guidelines, a British judge rejected the U.S. government's request to extradite Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, and more.
On December 24, 2020, a federal judge dismissed a $250 million defamation lawsuit against The Washington Post that was filed earlier in the year by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA). The suit, filed on March 3, 2020 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, alleges that Nunes was defamed in a Post article that referred to a conversation Nunes had with President Donald Trump about an intelligence briefing.
Representative Devin Nunes (R-CA) has filed yet another defamation suit against a media company. On November 11th, Nunes filed a libel suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia against The Washington Post and reporter Ellen Nakashima. According to the complaint, The Post published an article that “falsely accused” Nunes of “dishonesty, deception, lying to the American public, spreading disinformation, lack of integrity, and ethical improprieties.”
While leading I & A, Brian Murphy compiled intelligence reports on two journalists–a New York Times reporter and Lawfare’s editor-in-chief– who had published leaked department documents. Murphy also compiled reports analyzing protesters' electronic messages that discussed tactics such as which routes to follow and how to avoid the police.
The Washington Post announced on July 24th that it had reached a settlement with the parents of a Kentucky teenager who sued the newspaper last year over its depiction of an encounter between their son and a Native American activist. A spokesperson for The Post did not disclose the terms of the agreement.
"[T]he Court has significant concerns about forum shopping," U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia Judge Robert E. Paynes wrote. "As the Court has explained to Plaintiff's counsel on numerous occasions, the Court cannot stand as a willing repository for cases which have no real nexus to this district.”
The report cites data collected by Freedom House, which shows that, at a minimum, 26 countries have enacted or introduced laws and government rules restricting online media and journalistic access in the name of controlling “fake news.”
“Despite the justices' unwillingness to bring the modern technologies of video into the courtroom, the COVID-19 pandemic reveals how some communication technologies can change the culture of the proceedings and how the court communicates with the public,” Ron Collins said in response to the court's decision.