Todd Landman explores the contradictions between the American Constitution and the freedoms it seeks to preserve.
Ben Wizner, Edward Snowden’s ACLU lawyer, reflects on the state of and importance of the right to free speech in 2017. He argues we must not overuse the term ‘national security’ or surrender our right to privacy because we have nothing to hide, for we would not deny somebody the right to free speech because they had nothing to say.
Timothy Garton Ash introduces the report of a committee on freedom of expression at the University of Chicago
Max Harris explains how Britain legislated against it and compares this with the position in other common law countries
Katie Engelhart attends the public hearing of Google’s Advisory Council, set up in response to a European Court of Justice judgement.
In the case of McCullen v Coakley, the US Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling about restrictions on speech around abortion clinics. Max Harris explains.
A prank by a 14 year-old Dutch girl on Twitter prompted both her arrest – and broader questions about free speech, as Max Harris discusses.
Anthony Lester and Zoe McCallum discuss the need to balance national security and privacy in the age of internet surveillance.
Former US Diplomat Ann Wright speaks to Kim Wilkinson on the need for whistleblowers and institutions like WikiLeaks, but stresses that in some instances secrecy is necessary, such as in peace-making negotiations.
Thomas Fingar, 2013 winner of the Sam Adams Awards for Integrity in Intelligence, argues that leaking classified information from within the intelligence services is unnecessary and dangerous.
Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington must be the beginning of the discussion of race, not the end. Bassam Gergi discusses why the depoliticisation of race in the US is problematic and only open debate can lead to progress.
Jeff Howard explores the legal basis on which the US is collecting vast amounts of data on foreign and US citizens, despite the Fourth Amendment.
Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern has been an outspoken defender of whistleblowers and alternative media sources.
Edward Snowden was not the first NSA official to sound the alarm. Thomas Drake, winner of the Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence, makes his case to Free Speech Debate.
Legal philosopher Martha Nussbaum gave the 2013 Dahrendorf Lecture, exploring how to live with religious diversity.
Stephen Meili examines the contrasting UK and US treatment of people who refuse to declare a political allegiance.
The Mormons reacted brilliantly to the musical satirising their faith, but something important is lost when we treat religions so differently – writes Katie Engelhart.
In 1969, the U.S. Supreme Court made history by ruling that, to merit conviction, the violence advocated must be intended, likely and imminent. By Jeff Howard.
The question of how best to respond to the unauthorised dissemination of copyright-protected expression over the internet has long troubled copyright owners. But the proposed solution of a Copyright Alert could potentially erode free speech, writes Graham Reynolds.
To honour the memory of Ronald Dworkin, a brilliant philosopher and advocate of free speech, we post his remarkable 2012 Dahrendorf Lecture.
In the landmark case of New York Times v Sullivan, in 1964, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that criticism of public officials must be protected, even if some of the claims were inaccurate. Jeff Howard explains.
Aryeh Neier, human rights lawyer and president emeritus of the Open Society Foundations speaks about the future of free speech.
At the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT), authoritarian governments staked worrying claims. But the US-dominated model of non-governmental internet governance brings its own problems, writes Alison Powell. Beware of the Clinton Paradox.
In 2010 president Barack Obama signed a law banning videos that depict animal cruelty. Judith Bruhn explores whether this is a justified restriction to freedom of expression.
Should Yale University refuse to operate in Singapore where human rights and free expression face significant restrictions? Katie Engelhart weighs the arguments for and against.
A new report shows only 12% of US election coverage on the abortion debate quotes women. Judith Bruhn explores why this under-representation of women’s voices is undermining women’s freedom of speech.
FSD’s Katie Engelhart sat in on this Frontline Club debate to discuss controversy surrounding the YouTube video Innocence of Muslims.
In 2002 Wang Xiaoning was sent to prison for 10 years after Yahoo passed on personal information Chinese authorities used to identify him. Judith Bruhn explores a case of conflicting laws and moral expectations.
Join us to debate the role internet platforms like YouTube should play in setting free speech agendas in your country, your language and across the world. Online editor Brian Pellot kicks off the discussion.
The Swedish Pirate Party’s outspoken MEP explains why the European Parliament overwhelmingly rejected the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement in July and discusses WCIT, the internet’s next four-letter foe.
Dominic Burbidge explores the corrupt links between political elites and mainstream media that suffocate genuine democratic debate in Africa.
In 2011, the US supreme court ruled in favour of the anti-gay church’s right to protest at military funerals, writes Casey Selwyn.
Medical science frequently favours commercial interests over free speech, writes Deborah Cohen of the BMJ.
A new Tennessee law will permit teachers to discuss creationism alongside theories of evolution, writes Casey Selwyn.
How the Obama administration continues use of Bush-era powers to suppress legitimate debate about the needs of US national security. By Jeff Howard.
The director of the Moral Courage Project says so-called ‘respect’ for Muslims is often lined with fear and “low expectations” of those practising the faith.
China’s attempt to both capitalise on and control the internet is “one of the greatest experiments” in the country’s history, says Orville Schell of the Asia Society.
In 2010, Wikileaks released its first tranche of classified US state department cables. If Julian Assange, founder of the whistle-blowing website, qualifies as a journalist then he would be protected under the first amendment, writes Katie Engelhart.
For those of you who missed it first time round, here’s Timothy Garton Ash, director of Free Speech Debate, speaking to the Wikipedia co-founder, a day after the encyclopedia’s English pages were blacked out in protest against two anti-piracy bills in the US. They talk about SOPA and PIPA, the controversial Muhammad cartoons and Wikipedia’s decision to go dark.
The US supreme court’s decision on Citizens United raises a vital issue: should corporations have the same free speech rights as individuals? Brian Pellot discusses the case.
The Stop Online Piracy Act is currently being debated in the US house of representatives. Brian Pellot considers the potential consequences of the bill.
Jeff Howard explains what it means for a state to be a party to the ICCPR and how individuals can issue complaints about violations of free speech to the United Nations Human Rights Committee.
The president of the Open Society Foundations talks about free speech as a universal aspiration, group libel and the Skokie controversy.
The Occupy Wall Street movement adopted “the human microphone” in response to its lack of a permit for the use of amplified sound on public property in New York City. The human microphone embodies the pluralistic nature of the movement itself and serves to enhance its message, writes Casey Selwyn.