A description of freedom of expression on the internet

Click to print Opens in new window IP-Watch is a non-profit independent news service and depends on subscriptions. To access all of our content, please subscribe here. You may also offer additional support with your subscription, or donate. With tension seeming to brim just beneath the surface, human rights officials from around the world came together today at the United Nations in Geneva to talk about ways to keep the internet open and nationally regulated at the same time.

A description of freedom of expression on the internet

Media freedom in the European Union Central, Northern and Western Europe has a long tradition of freedom of speech, including freedom of the press.

In he called for an open system of news sources and transmission, and minimum of government regulation of the news. His proposals were aired at the Geneva Conference on Freedom of Information inbut were blocked by the Soviets and the French.

To the Government of the Russian Federation

Read about how licensing of the press in Britain was abolished in Remember how the freedoms won here became a model for much of the rest of the world, and be conscious how the world still watches us to see how we protect those freedoms. No publication was allowed without the accompaniment of a government-granted license.

Fifty years earlier, at a time of civil warJohn Milton wrote his pamphlet Areopagitica One form of speech that was widely restricted in England was seditious libeland laws were in place that made criticizing the government a crime. The King was above public criticism and statements critical of the government were forbidden, according to the English Court of the Star Chamber.

Truth was not a defense to seditious libel because the goal was to prevent and punish all condemnation of the government. Locke contributed to the lapse of the Licensing Act inwhereupon the press needed no license. Still, many libels were tried throughout the 18th century, until "the Society of the Bill of Rights" led by John Horne Tooke and John Wilkes organized a campaign to publish Parliamentary Debates.

This culminated in three defeats of the Crown in the cases of Almon, of Miller and of Woodfallwho all had published one of the Letters of Juniusand the unsuccessful arrest of John Wheble in Thereafter the Crown was much more careful in the application of libel ; for example, in the aftermath of the Peterloo MassacreBurdett was convicted, whereas by contrast the Junius affair was over a satire and sarcasm about the non-lethal conduct and policies of government.

In Britain's American colonies, the first editors discovered their readers enjoyed it when they criticized the local governor; the governors discovered they could shut down the newspapers. The most dramatic confrontation came in New York inwhere the governor brought John Peter Zenger to trial for criminal libel after the publication of satirical attacks.

The defense lawyers argued that according to English common law, the truth was a valid defense against libel. The jury acquitted Zenger, who became the iconic American hero for freedom of the press.

A description of freedom of expression on the internet

The result was an emerging tension between the media and the government. By the mids, there were 24 weekly newspapers in the 13 colonies, and the satirical attack on government became common features in American newspapers.

The individual has the right of expressing himself so long as he does not harm other individuals. The good society is one in which the greatest number of persons enjoy the greatest possible amount of happiness.

Applying these general principles of liberty to freedom of expression, Mill states that if we silence an opinion, we may silence the truth. The individual freedom of expression is therefore essential to the well-being of society.

If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and one, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.

This occurred during the regime of Johann Friedrich Struenseewhose second act was to abolish the old censorship laws.

However, due to the great amount of mostly anonymous pamphlets published that was critical and often slanderous towards Struensee's own regime, he reinstated some restrictions regarding the freedom of press a year later, October 7, Censorship in Italy After the Italian unification inthe Albertine Statute of was adopted as the constitution of the Kingdom of Italy.

The Statute granted the freedom of the press with some restrictions in case of abuses and in religious matters, as stated in Article However, Bibles, catechisms, liturgical and prayer books shall not be printed without the prior permission of the Bishop.

After the abolition of the monarchy in and the abrogation of the Statute inthe Constitution of the Republic of Italy guarantees the freedom of the press, as stated in Article 21, Paragraphs 2 and 3: Seizure may be permitted only by judicial order stating the reason and only for offences expressly determined by the law on the press or in case of violation of the obligation to identify the persons responsible for such offences.

The Constitution allows the warrantless confiscation of periodicals in cases of absolute urgency, when the Judiciary cannot timely intervene, on the condition that a judicial validation must be obtained within 24 hours.

Article 21 also gives restrictions against those publications considered offensive by public moralityas stated in Paragraph 6:The workshop is a follow-up of earlier well-attended discussions on privacy protection and freedom of expression in relation to social networks at IGFs conducted by UNESCO since Freedom of Expression It is often said that one of the rights protected by the 1st Amendment is the freedom of expression.

A description of freedom of expression on the internet

This site, in fact, uses that term in its quick description of the amendment: "Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression.". Under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom, everyone has the right to “freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication” (R.

v. Guignard, [] 1 S.C.R. ). Mar 25,  · Quote to the Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations from it is said " freedom of expression is a fundamental human right .". But not every single nation allows free.

Nov 22,  · Digital rights groups had expressed concerns about the dangerous precedent this decision could have set for freedom of expression on the internet. The annulled decision had notably ordered Google, in general, to actively remove anonymous defamatory contents .

Tens of thousands were detained, the internet and social media were periodically blocked, and a state of emergency imposed in October further expanded the government’s already vast powers to crack down on the rights to expression, assembly, and movement.

Freedom of Expression | Freedom House