June 3, 2013 at 10:47 pm #178930
David B. Grinberg
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this, Henry. My take:
- Online speech via social media should enjoy the same First Amendment free speech protections as any other form of communication. If there's a conflict of interest or legal dispute b/w gov and other parties, then the courts need to clarify the law's application and constitutional protections -- up to, and including, the Supreme Court, which has historically interpreted free speech broadly, regardless of changing technology.
- I'm not overly concerned about the U.S. Gov cracking down on free speech via social media. I think it's a much bigger issue and concern for the private sector, where employees have been fired or suffered other adverse employment actions for their personal postings, even off-the-clock. American employers need to help set a positive example rather than being part of the problem.
- There may indeed be national security justifications to regulate social media communications, especially if it involves saving lives of U.S. citizens. However, that's a tricky subject.
- The U.S. can and should do everything possible to promote world-wide free speech online and offline, including via social media. I agree that fostering transparency here at home is critically important for the U.S. to be a global role model.
- Lastly, I think Great Britain should be very deliberate in assessing the costs and benefits of social media crackdowns because it's a slippery slope. Knee-jerk reactions are not wise IMO.