Portal:Freedom of speech

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The Freedom of speech Portal


Freedom of speech is the political right to communicate one's ideas via speech. The term freedom of expression is sometimes used synonymously, but includes any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used. In practice, the right to freedom of speech is not absolute in any country and the right is commonly subject to limitations, as with libel, slander, obscenity and incitement to commit a crime.

The right to freedom of expression is recognized as a human right under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and recognized in international human rights law in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Article 19 of the ICCPR states that "[e]veryone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference" and "everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice". Article 19 goes on to say that the exercise of these rights carries "special duties and responsibilities" and may "therefore be subject to certain restrictions" when necessary "[f]or respect of the rights or reputation of others" or "[f]or the protection of national security or of public order (order public), or of public health or morals".

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Mike Godwin
Cyber Rights: Defending Free speech in the Digital Age is a non-fiction book about cyberlaw, written by free speech lawyer Mike Godwin. It was first published in 1998 by Times Books. It was republished in 2003 as a revised edition by The MIT Press. Godwin graduated from the University of Texas School of Law in 1990 and was the first staff counsel for the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Written with a first-person perspective, Cyber Rights gives the reader a background in legal issues and history pertaining to free speech on the Internet. It documents the author's experiences in defending free speech online, and puts forth the thesis that "the remedy for the abuse of free speech is more speech". Godwin emphasizes that decisions made about the expression of ideas on the Internet have an impact on freedom of speech in other mediums of communication as well, as granted by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. The book was received favorably by Library Journal, where it was "Recommended for anyone concerned about expression on the Internet and democratic society." Booklist recommended Cyber Rights, for both circulating and professional collections", and School Library Journal recommended it for young readers. Law Library Journal recommended Cyber Rights for "large academic law libraries". The Philadelphia Inquirer highlighted Cyber Rights among "1998's Best Reading".

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United States Bill of Rights
Credit: United States Congress

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution addresses key issues related to journalism, including Freedom of speech and Freedom of the press: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

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Louis Brandeis
Louis Dembitz Brandeis (1856 – 1941) was an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States from 1916 to 1939. He was born in Louisville, Kentucky, to Jewish immigrant parents who raised him in a secular mode. He enrolled at Harvard Law School, graduating at the age of twenty with the highest grade average in the college’s history. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson nominated Brandeis to become a member of the U.S. Supreme Court. However, his nomination was bitterly contested, partly because, as Justice William O. Douglas wrote, "Brandeis was a militant crusader for social justice whoever his opponent might be. He was dangerous not only because of his brilliance, his arithmetic, his courage. He was dangerous because he was incorruptible. . . [and] the fears of the Establishment were greater because Brandeis was the first Jew to be named to the Court." He was eventually confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 47 to 22 on June 1, 1916, and became one of the most famous and influential figures ever to serve on the high court. His opinions were, according to legal scholars, some of the “greatest defenses” of freedom of speech and the right to privacy ever written by a member of the high court.

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William Kunstler and Gregory Lee Johnson

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Robert H. Jackson

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Freedom of speech

Awards: AAAS Award for Scientific Freedom and ResponsibilityValeriu Boboc PrizeCPJ International Press Freedom AwardsFour Freedoms AwardGeschwister-Scholl-PreisGwangju Prize for Human RightsHugh M. Hefner First Amendment AwardJames Madison Freedom of Information AwardLeipzig Human Rights AwardMuzzle AwardsNorwegian Academy of Literature and Freedom of ExpressionPEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write AwardPEN/Katherine Anne Porter First Amendment AwardPEN/Newman's Own First Amendment AwardSakharov PrizeUNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom PrizeWilliam J. Brennan AwardWorld Association of Newspapers' Golden Pen of Freedom Award

Books: Beyond the First AmendmentCyber RightsFree Speech, "The People's Darling Privilege"Freedom of ExpressionNet.wars

Freedom of speech

Free speech activists: Floyd AbramsGuy AldredMichael Gottlieb BircknerSusan BlockBrenda BrathwaiteRoy W. BrownLenny BruceGeorge CarlinHenry CarlisleZechariah ChafeeThe ConfessionalsIda CraddockHossein DerakhshanDavid EsratiJohn Henry FaulkElizabeth Gurley FlynnLarry FlyntHeather FordPim FortuynFree Speech LeagueMike GodwinTheo van Gogh (film director)Emma GoldmanBennett HaseltonHugh HefnerMarjorie HeinsBill HicksAyaan Hirsi AliAbbie HoffmanWilliam HoneZoia HornSaad Eddin IbrahimJoesoef IsakJiang LijunPeter JungerChris KemplingRonald KiddKitty MarionHowie KleinJudith KrugLi Zhi (dissident)Elijah Parish LovejoyDeclan McCullaghJohn McGovern (politician)Aaron McGruderKembrew McLeodIrshad ManjiGeorge W. MavetyAlexander MeiklejohnNicholas MerrillGregorius NekschotPhilip NjaruRashid NugmanovUrsula OwenPu ZhiqiangMarc RandazzaBarney RossetHasan SaltıkMargaret SangerMario SavioTheodore SchroederFariborz ShamshiriShi TaoHoward SternNadine StrossenDavid S. TouretzkyWang XiaoningGrady WardGeert WildersRose WitcopFrank ZappaZhou Shuguang

General: Abusive language (law)Article 14 of the Constitution of SingaporeBirth control movement in the United StatesCartoonists Rights Network, InternationalCensorship by countryFalse statements of factFree speech fightsFree Speech LeagueFree Speech MovementFree Speech Radio NewsFree Speech TVFree speech zoneFreedom of informationFreedom of Speech (painting)Freedom of speech by countryFreedom of speech in the United StatesFreedom of the press in the United StatesInternational Freedom of Expression ExchangeFree speech in the media during the Libyan civil warMarket for loyalties theoryOccupy OaklandSPEECH ActThe Tully Center for Free SpeechWhistleblower

Organizations: Action for Children's TelevisionAmerican Society of Magazine EditorsARTICLE 19Canadian Journalists for Free ExpressionCenter for Media Freedom and ResponsibilityCentral Committee for Ex-MuslimsCentral Council of Ex-MuslimsChilling EffectsComic Book Legal Defense FundComic Legends Legal Defense FundCommittee to Protect JournalistsCroatian Journalists' AssociationCryptoRights Foundationdigitalcourage (formerly FoeBuD) • Doha Centre for Media FreedomElectronic Frontier FoundationElectronic Frontiers GeorgiaFeminists Against CensorshipFirst Amendment CenterFirst Amendment CoalitionFoundation for Press FreedomFree Speech CoalitionFree Speech LeagueFreedom HouseFreedom of the Press (report)Index on CensorshipInter American Press AssociationInternational Center for Law and Religion StudiesInternational Free Press SocietyInternational Freedom of Expression ExchangeInternational Media SupportInternational PENInternational Press InstituteMedia Legal Defence InitiativeNational Coalition Against CensorshipPacifica ForumPress Freedom IndexReporters Without BordersSave the InternetSomali Exiled Journalists Association (SEJA)South East Europe Media OrganisationSoutheast Asian Press AllianceStudent Press Law CenterSwedish Publicists' AssociationTelevision WatchTunisia Monitoring GroupWorld Press Freedom Committee

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