Even governments that have typically protected and promoted freedom of expression are taking steps that, while not in the same category of repression, could nonetheless lead to restriction on space for expression and association. For instance, Western European governments concerned about the problems posed by social media are adopting policies that undermine the protections offered to free speech in offline space. Earlier this year, Germany legislated against online "hate speech," encouraging internet platforms to engage in what in essence would come down to online censorship. The United Kingdom's Investigatory Powers Act--dubbed by opponents the "snooper's charter" and adopted in 2016--provides security services and police with the power to hack into computers and phones and collect bulk communications data, severely endangering, among other things, the ability of journalists to protect their sources. Spain's attempt to counter Catalonian separatism this fall has led to significant interferences with the flow of online information.
The two rights groups said that in 2015, Saudi Arabia used its position on the Human Rights Council to obstruct creation of an independent investigation into alleged violations by all sides in the Yemen conflict. The Saudis, with the backing of allies, came up with their own resolution, which has not led to any credible investigation into coalition attacks, the rights groups said.
It's no secret that online titans are jockeying with each other for sports streaming rights. Most of the news has revealed domestic squabbling, like when Amazon wrested the rights to broadcast NFL games from Twitter back in April. But a Manchester United vice chairman said in an earnings call today that Facebook and Amazon might bid on the European broadcasting rights to the English Premier League (EPL). Before you ask, that doesn't include the rights to broadcast in America, which NBC acquired for a reported $1 billion deal back in 2015 to retain until the 2021-22 season. But snatching broadcasting rights for leagues far from home is apparently now in Amazon's purview after it recently outbid Sky and ITV for tennis' ATP World Tour for the next five years.
Amazon's package of games won't necessarily include any of the league's marquee offerings, and it only covers two rounds of play. One is in the middle of the week and one on the Dec. 26 Boxing Day holiday. The Premier League is the only major league in Europe to schedule games that day. That measured approach is consistent with Amazon's previous experiments in broadcasting major sports leagues. That was part of a deal valued at around $50 million, The Wall Street Journal previously reported.