NEWS: ACLU Testifies On Preserving Free Speech And Privacy Rights Online
If we trade our civil liberties for the promise of security, we’ll end up with neither. Not only does it fly in the face of American values to allow censorship in any form, it also is counterproductive to preventing the extremist violence. Congress must be aware of its constitutional limits when it comes to fighting the so-called ‘war on terror’ online. Only with a clear commitment to our values and rule of law can we have a sensible approach to counterterrorism…
Fear cannot and should not drive our government policies. The Internet is the most open marketplace of ideas in the history of the world and it must remain so. Any suggestion to limit this marketplace would not only be a direct and immediate harm to the speech and privacy rights of law-abiding Americans, it would also erode the very principles that make our country the beacon of freedom to people around the globe.
Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director, ACLU
Romero was testifying before the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Intelligence, Information Sharing and Terrorism Risk Assessment. But his words should be heard by governments around the world. Pressure from the entertainment industry and moral rectitude groups is giving governments a pretext for introducing laws that, oh, just by the way, also give those governments the ability to censor the internet. That is happening in the UK with the Digital Economy Act. France has its HADOPI law. Australia has new censorship laws. Pakistan is blocking Facebook, Twitter and Wikipedia.
These are not good things.