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Social networking websites allow groups to grow from a dozen friends, to a hundred hobbyists, to a huge organization that transcends national borders. Meanwhile, a new generation of citizen journalists have taken to (micro)blogging and video live-streaming to expose the world to stories that would otherwise go unheard. Websites like Wikipedia and the Internet Archive contribute to a new open-source model of sharing and preserving information.

In countless ways the Internet is radically enhancing our access to information and empowering us to share ideas and connect with the entire world. Speech thrives online freed of limitations inherent in traditional print or broadcast media that are created by corporate gatekeepers.

Preserving the Internet’s open architecture is critical to sustaining free speech. But this technological capacity means little without sufficient legal protections. If laws can censor us to limit our access to certain information, or restrict use of communication tools, then the Internet’s incredible potential will go unrealized.

Governmental organizations have time and again tried to do just that. Censorship laws often aim at speech that would also be restricted offline, but they can also erect new barriers to free expression on the Internet in order to privilege established stakeholders. When old laws are not properly adapted to this medium, it’s all too easy for governments and companies to undermine your rights.

EFF defends the Internet as a platform for free speech, and believes that when you go online, your rights should come with you. Learn more below and consider supporting our efforts.

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Free Speech | Electronic Frontier Foundation


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IT security expert explains how to make your cloud-based storage system secure from hackers

Ricky Gervais has defended “free speech” after he was accused of blaming the celebrity victims of a nude photo hackfor the online theft.

“Celebrities, make it harder for people to get nude pics of you from your computer by not putting nude pics of yourself on your computer,” Gervais wrote in a tweet which he then quickly deleted.

Controversial comments: Ricky Gervais. Photo: Getty

Many social media users took the British comic to task for “victim blaming” celebrities such as actor Jennifer Lawrence and model Kate Upton, who were among 100 stars to have photographs stolen and shared on the internet.


A lawyer for Upton has announced she will join Lawrence in taking legal action against those sharing the images, which began circulating on the internet forum 4chan.

“We intend to pursue anyone disseminating or duplicating these illegally obtained images to the fullest extent possible,” lawyer Lawrence Shire said on behalf of Upton.

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Ricky Gervais in hot water over Jennifer Lawrence nude photos joke

Tom Sunic On The Future Of Western Civ Luke Ford interviews author Tom Sunic on the future of the West, Islam, Judaism, Christianity, monotheism, WASPs, free speech, white nationalism.

By: Luke Ford

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Tom Sunic On The Future Of Western Civ – Video

One of China's top universities has urged students and teachers to "fight against" criticism of the ruling Communist Party, an influential party journal said, in the latest curbs on free expression. The move by Peking University, which at one time was a bastion of free speech in China, underscores increasing anxiety of criticism among party leaders and is a sign of Chinese President Xi Jinping's …

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Top Chinese university warns against criticizing Communist Party: journal

Porn veteran Larry Flynt is celebrating the 40th birthday of his X-rated magazine Hustler — and from his gold-plated wheelchair he is as combative as ever in fighting for free speech. Dressed in a beige suit with gold and diamond rings, Flynt surveys photos ranged on his enormous, Napoleon-style desk including his wife and himself with Bill Clinton, as well as caricatures and a collection of …

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Porn king still fighting, on Hustler's 40th birthday

CINCINNATI A federal appeals court has ruled that Michigan police did not violate the rights of a California-based group by ousting them from an Arab festival whenattendees began turning violent in response to their antagonism.

As previously reported, U.S. District Court Judge Patrick Duggan ruled last year that men with an organization identified as Bible Believers crossed the boundaries of free speech into creating safety concerns through their inflammatory speech and actions at the 2012 International Arab Festival in Dearborn.

Your prophet is nothing but an unclean swine, leader Ruben Chavez, who goes by Ruben Israel, is heard proclaiming in video footage of the incident. Your prophet married a 7-year-old girl. Your prophet is a pedophile, and your prophet teaches you not to believe in Jesus as the Christ.

Members alsobrought a pigs head on a stick to the event and were subsequently pelted with bottles, garbage,stones and chunks of concrete. Chavez sustained a cut to his face due to the violence.

I think in reality we should have brought 15 pig headsthat would have maybe soothed them a little bit more from throwing debris at us, he told reporters.

Because of the reaction of the crowd, police soon approached the group and escorted them out of the festival.

You need to leave, one officer states, moments before leading members away from the crowd. If you dont leave, were going to cite you for disorderly. Youre creating a disturbance.

Bible Believerslater sued the Wayne County Sheriffs Office for threatening the group with disorderly conduct charges and for failing to protect them from the angry crowd. It asserted that police unfairly treated Chavezs organization more harshly than the attendees who had reacted violently.

Attorneys for the police disagreed, arguing in court that individuals can be held criminally accountable for conduct which has the tendency to incite riotous behavior or otherwise disturb the peace.

On Wednesday, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnatiissued a divided 2-1 opinion, with the majority finding that the police had not committed any constitutional violation as the choice of words used bythe group, and bringing a pig head to the event, seemed over-the-top.

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Court Rules Police Did Not Violate Groups Rights By Ousting Them From Muslim Festival

Charlie Veitch Free Speech And The BNP
Veitch does not get the idea of free speech at all.

By: Jake McQuillan

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Charlie Veitch Free Speech And The BNP – Video

Ted Cruz Warns That Dems Are Moving To 'Repeal' The First Amendment
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said Thursday that Democrats are making moves to repeal First Amendment rights to free speech and religious liberty. credit…

By: natacha pinto

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Ted Cruz Warns That Dems Are Moving To ‘Repeal’ The First Amendment – Video

hide captionThe Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication wants the Kansas Board of Regents to reverse the social media policy it finalized earlier this month.

The Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication wants the Kansas Board of Regents to reverse the social media policy it finalized earlier this month.

The clash between academic freedom and state oversight in Kansas last week continues, as the state Board of Regents revised its policy on what faculty and staff at the state’s colleges and universities can post on social media.

Following harsh criticism of a policy adopted last year that severely restricted social media postings by faculty, the Board added language that is supportive of free speech and academic freedom. But it still allows administrators to suspend and fire faculty members or staffers for social media posts that are “contrary to the best interests of the employer.”

Critics say the policy remains among the most restrictive in the nation and that despite the changes it is a severe restriction on free speech for educators.

“The exercise of free speech is now potentially a firing offense at colleges and universities in Kansas,” the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication writes in a statement.

The Board of Regents first adopted its social media policy last year, in response to a tweet made by an associate journalism professor at the University of Kansas.

The tweet by David Guth criticized the National Rifle Association in relation to the September 2013 shooting at the Washington Navy Yard. Guth tweeted: “blood is on the hands of the #NRA. Next time, let it be YOUR sons and daughters.”

The policy adopted in December was denounced from many sides, with many critics saying it gave administrators too much latitude to fire or discipline employees for what they said on social media.

Among the groups speaking out was The American Association of University Professors which argued that some portions of the policy could lead to professors being fired simply for disagreeing with university policies or their colleagues online.

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Educators Not Satisfied With Revised Kansas Social Media Policy

Social networking sites may call themselves technology companies, but the reality is their business is information The recent decision by the European Court of Justice, that EU citizens should have a "right to be forgotten" from Google search results, has picked the scab on a much deeper cultural issue; who defines the limits of free speech? American and European approaches to it could not be …

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Info wars: why it's time for Google & Co to come clean

Steel on Steel – May 24, 2014 – Women in the Islamic World
140021 05/24/2014 Women in the Islamic World – John's boralogue explains why free media in a free society are so important and how the war against free speech has been joined in the West….

By: steelonsteelradio

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Steel on Steel – May 24, 2014 – Women in the Islamic World – Video

Wayne Allyn Root–Is Free Speech In America History? 14.May.14
Wayne Allyn Root questions whether there's still free speech left in America…if you're a conservative or Christian? Isn't free speech protected by the U.S. Constitution? Can your views cost…

By: FSN GoldandSilver

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Wayne Allyn Root–Is Free Speech In America History? 14.May.14 – Video

The United States imposed sanctions on an Iranian official on Friday for allegedly putting limits on free speech in Iran, including cutting off mobile phone communications during political demonstrations in 2012. The U.S. Treasury Department, which announced the sanctions, did not link the action to negotiations over Iran's nuclear program. Iran and six world powers, including the United States …

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U.S. sanctions Iranian official for limiting free speech

Michael Fertik discusses E.U. privacy ruling on BBC Radio CEO Michael Fertik explains why he believes the E.U.'s controversial ruling against Google is not a matter of free speech, but rather a step in the right direction in regards…

By: reputationcom

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Michael Fertik discusses E.U. privacy ruling on BBC Radio – Video

May 212014

Sweden goes insane
Leading the suicidal “progressive” war on free speech. Swedish politician fined for hate speech against Islam…

By: Pat Condell

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Sweden goes insane – Video


Free speech on campuses is dead! Didn’t you hear? Leftist fascists are forcing universities to cancel commencement speakers that they find objectionable. Others are getting protested. It’s awful! Where is the freedom? Actually, the freedom is in the protesting.

According to multiple conservative outlets and their liberaltarian friends, this is the month in which academic freedom coughed its final dry death rattle at the hands of the left. The cause of death was the rescinding of invitations to the following commencement speakers:

Oh, the horror! Or, as critics put it, the “bald hypocrisy on free speech and academic freedom,” the “modish commitment to so-called diversity” in which “muggers prevail” and commencement speakers are “excommunicated, ignored, or banished from public life.”

As Daily Beast’s Olivia Nuzzi put it in her trollish complaint about students complaining, “God forbid these delicate students should be exposed to an idea or an organization with which they disagreeat college.” (Pro tip: If you’re positioning yourself as a defender of speech freedoms and the headline of your post tells “Fragile” people to “STFU and Listen,” you’re doing it wrong.)

Here’s the thing: Condoleezza Rice, just to take one example, is not banished from public life. And these “delicate students” have already been exposed to her ideas. We all have. Those ideas sucked. So the upshot is that Condoleezza Rice doesn’t get a paid trip to New Jersey. She still gets to write books and be on Fox News anytime she wants, whenever she can take more time off from her six-figure position as a tenured professor at Stanford.

Whose free speech do these concern-trolling, hand-wringing conservatives purport to be protecting? Soon-to-be job-seeking ex-students with high debt loads, and low marks for political participation, and little to their names but degrees with the names of their parent institutions? Or powerful captains of industry, politics and media who are paid for the chance to add to their home office’s “walls of me” and blow hot platitudes over the mortar boarded heads of their young charges?

And blow they do. Let’s face it, commencement addresses suck, and they suck in direct proportion to the cultural standing of the speaker. The more famous your commencement addressor is, the likelier their address is to be a warmed-over serving of wilted TED Talks punch lines. Tom Friedmanesque yarns. If you’re really lucky, maybe your school will actually get Tom Friedman, instead of a starchy simulacrum of Tom Friedman.

But let’s not even bother with that tack, because being denied a chance to speak at a graduation ceremony is not an infringement on your free speech. Free speech might entail an invitation to speak to a voluntary audience and then have alternative viewpoints offered by other speakers, and then perhaps engage in a dialogue over those ideas. This is not how commencement speeches work. If a commencement address is free speech, then so is a seven-hour harangue by Fidel Castro to Cuban citizens who are too scared to get up and leave the auditorium to pee.

A commencement address is the opposite of free. It is paid speech. Paid speech that, just like the honorary degree that accompanies it, associates the recipient with the granting institution as if by royal decree. It’s entirely legitimate for faculty and students, who are already associated with the institution by their works and their merits, to dispute whether an honoree is also worthy of that association.

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In Defense of Protesting Commencement Speakers

Cowboys move cattle northwest of Calgary, May 28, 2013. Canadian cattle producers were in a U.S. court Monday, arguing for their right to free speech under the First Amendment. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

image credit:

By Alexander Panetta, The Canadian Press

WASHINGTON – Canadian livestock producers were in a U.S. courtroom Monday fighting against labelling requirements blamed for having devastated their exports.

Their case invoked one of America’s most cherished principles: the free-speech guarantee in the First Amendment of the Constitution. The public gallery was filled as close to 200 people came to hear the argument in the U.S. Court of Appeals, the second-highest court in the country.

According to a coalition of industry groups from the three North American countries, foundational speech rights are violated when meat companies are forced to stamp, “Born in Canada,” or “Born in Mexico,” on their packaging.

They say country-of-origin labelling isn’t just costly, from a logistical standpoint. They say it also amounts to the government forcing them to divulge information, against their will and without justification, in breach of the principles espoused by America’s founding fathers.

The multiple parties with standing in the case were represented by a pair of attorneys: a federal lawyer who argued on behalf of the U.S. government, against an opponent who represented meat-industry groups.

The industry attorney argued that the rules are nothing more than protectionism, disguised as an attempt to help consumers learn about the origin of their food. She said the rules did not meet the standard set by past court cases about what corporations need to disclose.

“We’re here representing ranchers who are feeling a colossal impact,” said Catherine Stetson, arguing for the American Meat Institute and its Canadian-Mexican allies.

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Canada-U.S. meat flap takes free-speech twist

Omar Hazek has found himself at the centre of Egypt's battles for free speech – from prison.

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Alexandria novelist's battle for free speech

Bedi: First Amendment no protection from free speech
Bedi: First Amendment no protection from free speech.

By: Kartik SHukla

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Bedi: First Amendment no protection from free speech – Video

Free Speech

[[A person speaking to the reader.]] Person: Public Service Announcehment: The *right to free speech* means the government can’t arrest you for what you say. [[Close-up on person's face.]] Person: It doesn’t mean that anyone else has to listen to your bullshit, – or host you while you share it. [[Back to full figure.]] Person: The 1st Amendment doesn’t shield you from criticism or consequences. [[Close-up.]] Person: If you’re yelled at, boycotted, have your show canceled, or get banned from an internet community, your free speech rights aren’t being violated. [[Person, holding palm upward.]] Person: It’s just that the people listening think you’re an asshole, [[A door that is ajar.]] Person: And they’re showing you the door. {{Title text: I can’t remember where I heard this, but someone once said that defending a position by citing free speech is sort of the ultimate concession; you’re saying that the most compelling thing you can say for your position is that it’s not literally illegal to express.}}

Warning: this comic occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors).

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License.

This means you’re free to copy and share these comics (but not to sell them). More details.

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XKCD 1357 – Free Speech – xkcd: Like I’m Five

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