Freedom of speech

free speechfreedom of expressionfree expressionspeechexpressionprotected speechfree-speechfreedom of speech and expressionright to free speechfreedom of opinion
Freedom of speech is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or a community to articulate their opinions and ideas without fear of retaliation, censorship, or legal sanction.wikipedia
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International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

ICCPRInternational Covenant of Civil and Political RightsInternational Convention on Civil and Political Rights
Freedom of expression is recognized as a human right under article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and recognized in international human rights law in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).
The covenant commits its parties to respect the civil and political rights of individuals, including the right to life, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, electoral rights and rights to due process and a fair trial.

Obscenity

obsceneobscenitiesindecent
Freedom of speech and expression, therefore, may not be recognized as being absolute, and common limitations or boundaries to freedom of speech relate to libel, slander, obscenity, pornography, sedition, incitement, fighting words, classified information, copyright violation, trade secrets, food labeling, non-disclosure agreements, the right to privacy, dignity, the right to be forgotten, public security, and perjury.
In the United States of America, issues of obscenity raise issues of limitations on the freedom of speech and of the press, which are otherwise protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

Right to be forgotten

Melvin v. Reidallow users to be forgottendata protection laws of Europe
Freedom of speech and expression, therefore, may not be recognized as being absolute, and common limitations or boundaries to freedom of speech relate to libel, slander, obscenity, pornography, sedition, incitement, fighting words, classified information, copyright violation, trade secrets, food labeling, non-disclosure agreements, the right to privacy, dignity, the right to be forgotten, public security, and perjury.
Furthermore, there are concerns about its impact on the right to freedom of expression, its interaction with the right to privacy, and whether creating a right to be forgotten would decrease the quality of the Internet through censorship and a rewriting of history.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Universal Declaration on Human RightsUnited Nations Universal Declaration of Human RightsThe Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Freedom of expression is recognized as a human right under article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and recognized in international human rights law in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).
During World War II, the Allies adopted the Four Freedoms—freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from fear, and freedom from want—as their basic war aims.

John Milton

MiltonMiltonicMiltonian
Areopagitica, published in 1644, was John Milton's response to the Parliament of England's re-introduction of government licensing of printers, hence publishers.
Writing in English, Latin, Greek, and Italian, he achieved international renown within his lifetime, and his celebrated Areopagitica (1644), written in condemnation of pre-publication censorship, is among history's most influential and impassioned defences of freedom of speech and freedom of the press.

Bill of Rights 1689

Bill of RightsEnglish Bill of Rights1689 Bill of Rights
England's Bill of Rights 1689 legally established the constitutional right of freedom of speech in Parliament which is still in effect.
The Bill of Rights lays down limits on the powers of the monarch and sets out the rights of Parliament, including the requirement for regular parliaments, free elections, and freedom of speech in Parliament.

Freedom

freeabsolute freedomindependence
Freedom of speech is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or a community to articulate their opinions and ideas without fear of retaliation, censorship, or legal sanction.
Frequently discussed kinds of political freedom include freedom of assembly, freedom of association, freedom of choice, and freedom of speech.

Alexander Meiklejohn

One of the most notable proponents of the link between freedom of speech and democracy is Alexander Meiklejohn.
Alexander Meiklejohn (3 February 1872 – 17 December 1964) was a philosopher, university administrator, educational reformer, and free-speech advocate, best known as president of Amherst College.

Freedom of the press

press freedompressfreedom of press
However, freedom of the press does not necessarily enable freedom of speech. "Voice and Accountability" within a country, defined as "the extent to which a country's citizens are able to participate in selecting their government, as well as freedom of expression, freedom of association, and free media" is one of the six dimensions of governance that the Worldwide Governance Indicators measure for more than 200 countries.
The concept of freedom of speech is often covered by the same laws as freedom of the press, thereby giving equal treatment to spoken and published expression.

Fighting words

fighting words doctrinedeadly wordsfighting' words
Freedom of speech and expression, therefore, may not be recognized as being absolute, and common limitations or boundaries to freedom of speech relate to libel, slander, obscenity, pornography, sedition, incitement, fighting words, classified information, copyright violation, trade secrets, food labeling, non-disclosure agreements, the right to privacy, dignity, the right to be forgotten, public security, and perjury.
The fighting words doctrine, in United States constitutional law, is a limitation to freedom of speech as protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Speech code

speech codes
Certain public institutions may also enact policies restricting the freedom of speech, for example speech codes at state schools.
A speech code is any rule or regulation that limits, restricts, or bans speech beyond the strict legal limitations upon freedom of speech or press found in the legal definitions of harassment, slander, libel, and fighting words.

Democracy

democraticdemocraciesdemocratically
One of the most notable proponents of the link between freedom of speech and democracy is Alexander Meiklejohn.
Some cornerstones of these issues are freedom of assembly and speech, inclusiveness and equality, membership, consent, voting, right to life and minority rights.

Right to privacy

invasion of privacyprivacy rightsright of privacy
Freedom of speech and expression, therefore, may not be recognized as being absolute, and common limitations or boundaries to freedom of speech relate to libel, slander, obscenity, pornography, sedition, incitement, fighting words, classified information, copyright violation, trade secrets, food labeling, non-disclosure agreements, the right to privacy, dignity, the right to be forgotten, public security, and perjury.
Under liberal democratic systems, privacy creates a space separate from political life, and allows personal autonomy, while ensuring democratic freedoms of association and expression.

Defamation

libelslanderdefamatory
Freedom of speech and expression, therefore, may not be recognized as being absolute, and common limitations or boundaries to freedom of speech relate to libel, slander, obscenity, pornography, sedition, incitement, fighting words, classified information, copyright violation, trade secrets, food labeling, non-disclosure agreements, the right to privacy, dignity, the right to be forgotten, public security, and perjury.
The United Nations, OSCE, Organisation of American States (OAS) and African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights Special Rapporteurs for Freedom of Expression stated in a joint declaration in March 2017 that "general prohibitions on the dissemination of information based on vague and ambiguous ideas, including 'false news' or 'non-objective information', are incompatible with international standards for restrictions on freedom of expression...and should be abolished."

Sedition

seditiousanti-governmentseditious conspiracy
Freedom of speech and expression, therefore, may not be recognized as being absolute, and common limitations or boundaries to freedom of speech relate to libel, slander, obscenity, pornography, sedition, incitement, fighting words, classified information, copyright violation, trade secrets, food labeling, non-disclosure agreements, the right to privacy, dignity, the right to be forgotten, public security, and perjury.
Article 40.6.1° (i) of the 1937 Constitution of Ireland guaranteed the right to freedom of expression, subject to several constraints, among them:

Freedom of association

associationright of associationfree association
"Voice and Accountability" within a country, defined as "the extent to which a country's citizens are able to participate in selecting their government, as well as freedom of expression, freedom of association, and free media" is one of the six dimensions of governance that the Worldwide Governance Indicators measure for more than 200 countries.
Freedom of association is manifested through the right to join a trade union, to engage in free speech or to participate in debating societies, political parties, or any other club or association, including religious denominations and organizations, fraternities, and sport clubs and not to be compelled to belong an association.

IT law

Internet lawcyberlawLegal aspects of computing
In 1997, in the landmark cyberlaw case of Reno v. ACLU, the US Supreme Court partially overturned the law.
It raises specific issues of intellectual property in computing and online, contract law, privacy, freedom of expression, and jurisdiction.

On Liberty

tyranny of the majority
Justifications for such include the harm principle, proposed by John Stuart Mill in On Liberty, which suggests that: "the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others."

Freedom of information

FOIRight to Informationinformation
The concept of freedom of information has emerged in response to state sponsored censorship, monitoring and surveillance of the internet.
Freedom of information is an extension of freedom of speech, a fundamental human right recognized in international law, which is today understood more generally as freedom of expression in any medium, be it orally, in writing, print, through the Internet or through art forms.

Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen

Declaration of the Rights of ManDeclaration of the Rights of Man and CitizenDeclaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen
The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, adopted during the French Revolution in 1789, specifically affirmed freedom of speech as an inalienable right.
Freedom of speech and press were declared, and arbitrary arrests outlawed.

Copyright infringement

piracysoftware piracypirated
Freedom of speech and expression, therefore, may not be recognized as being absolute, and common limitations or boundaries to freedom of speech relate to libel, slander, obscenity, pornography, sedition, incitement, fighting words, classified information, copyright violation, trade secrets, food labeling, non-disclosure agreements, the right to privacy, dignity, the right to be forgotten, public security, and perjury.
In common law systems, these fair practice statutes typically enshrine principles underlying many earlier judicial precedents, and are considered essential to freedom of speech.

R.A.V. v. City of St. Paul

R. A. V. v. City of St. PaulR. A. V. v. St. PaulR.A.V. v. City of St. Paul, Minn.
Hate speech is also protected by the First Amendment in the United States, as decided in R.A.V. v. City of St. Paul, (1992) in which the Supreme Court ruled that hate speech is permissible, except in the case of imminent violence.
R.A.V. v. City of St. Paul, 505 U.S. 377 (1992), is a case of the United States Supreme Court in which the Supreme Court unanimously struck down St. Paul's Bias-Motivated Crime Ordinance and reversed the conviction of a teenager, referred to in court documents only as R.A.V., for burning a cross on the lawn of an African-American family for violating the First Amendment's protections for freedom of speech.

Golden Shield Project

Great Firewall of Chinacensorship by the Chinese governmentChina's Golden Shield Project
With the evolution of the digital age, application of the freedom of speech becomes more controversial as new means of communication and restrictions arise, for example the Golden Shield Project, an initiative by Chinese government's Ministry of Public Security that filters potentially unfavourable data from foreign countries.

African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights

African Charter on Human and Peoples’ RightsAfrican CharterAfrican Charter on Human and People's Rights
The civil and political rights recognized in the Charter include the right to freedom from discrimination (Article 2 and 18(3)), equality (Article 3), life and personal integrity (Article 4), dignity (Article 5), freedom from slavery (Article 5), freedom from cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (Article 5), rights to due process concerning arrest and detention (Article 6), the right to a fair trial (Article 7 and 25), freedom of religion (Article 8), freedom of information and expression (Article 9), freedom of association (Article 10), freedom to assembly (Article 11), freedom of movement (Article 12), freedom to political participation (Article 13), and the right to property (Article 14).

Reporters Without Borders

Reporters sans frontièresReporters Sans FrontieresWorldwide Press Freedom Index
According to the Reporters without Borders (RWB) "internet enemy list" the following states engage in pervasive internet censorship: China, Cuba, Iran, Myanmar/Burma, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.
Reporters Without Borders is a founding member of the International Freedom of Expression Exchange, a virtual network of non-governmental organizations that monitors free expression violations worldwide and defends journalists, writers and others who are persecuted for exercising their right to freedom of expression.