Internet Free Speech

Internet Free Speech

The ACLU's vision of an uncensored Internet was clearly shared by the U.S. Supreme Court when it declared, in Reno v. ACLU, the Internet to be a free speech zone, deserving at least as much First Amendment protection as that afforded to books, newspapers and magazines. The government, the court said, can no more restrict a person's access to words or images on the Internet than it could be allowed to snatch a book out of a reader's hands in the library, or cover over a statue of a nude in a museum.

Resources

What Is Net Neutrality? The Internet has become so much a part of the lives of most Americans that it is easy to imagine that it will always remain the free and open medium it is now. We'd like to believe it will remain a place where you can always access any lawful content you want, and where the folks delivering that content can't play favorites because they disagree with the message being delivered or want to charge more money for faster delivery. But if the government doesn't act soon, this open internet — and the "network neutrality" principles that sustain it — could be a thing of the past.

Antigone Books v. Horne: An Arizona law passed during the state's 2014 legislative session criminalizes the display, publication, and sale of images fully protected by the First Amendment. We filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the law on behalf of booksellers, book and newspaper publishers, librarians, photographers, content providers, and associations representing them.

Nothing to See Here! Censoring 'The Innocence of Muslims' (2014 blog): Whatever your own thoughts on the film, it's undeniable that "The Innocence of Muslims" has given rise to passionate and divergent opinions on censorship, religion, and politics. It's been downloaded and viewed countless times. To censor this film now would be as tough and meaningless as getting a feral cat back into a bag. But that's precisely where the Ninth Circuit federal appeals court tried to stuff it.

The $338,000 Internet Comment (2013 blog): When Congress enacted Section 230, it wisely recognized that holding every website legally responsible for user-generated content would cripple the rapidly developing online world.

Private Companies Shape What You Say and Read Online (2011 blog)

We Must Combat Child Pornography Without Abandoning Online Privacy (2011 blog)

ACLU Appeals Decision Allowing Government to Keep Court Processes Secret (2011 blog)

DHS Tries to Subtract Mozilla Add-On (2011 blog)

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