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Podcast Episode - Right to Repair Catches the Car

The online world offers the promise of speech with minimal barriers and without borders. New technologies and widespread internet access have radically enhanced our ability to express ourselves; criticize those in power; gather and report the news; and make, adapt, and share creative works. Vulnerable communities have also found space to safely meet,  grow, and make themselves heard without being drowned out by the powerful. The ability to freely exchange ideas also benefits innovators, who can use all of their capabilities to build even better tools for their communities and the world.

In the U.S., the First Amendment grants individuals the right to speak without government interference. And globally, Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) protects the right to speak both online and offline. Everyone should be able to take advantage of this promise. And no government should have the power to decide who gets to speak and who doesn’t.

Government threats to online speakers are significant. Laws and policies have enabled censorship regimes, controlled access to information, increased government surveillance, and minimized user security and safety.

At the same time, online speakers’ reliance on private companies that facilitate their speech has grown considerably. Online services’ content moderation decisions have far-reaching impacts on speakers around the world. This includes social media platforms and online sites selectively enforcing their Terms of Service, Community Guidelines, and similar rules to censor dissenting voices and contentious ideas. That’s why these services must ground their moderation decisions in human rights and due process principles.

As the law and technology develops alongside our ever-evolving world, it’s important that these neither create nor reinforce obstacles to people’s ability to speak, organize, and advocate for change. Both the law and technology must enhance people’s ability to speak. That’s why EFF fights to protect free speech - because everyone has the right to share ideas and experiences safely, especially when we disagree.

Free Speech Highlights

Free Speech is Only as Strong as the Weakest Link

From Mubarak knocking a country offline by pressuring local ISPs to PayPal caving to political pressure to cut off funding to WikiLeaks, this year has brought us sobering examples of how online speech can be endangered. And it’s not only political speech that is threatened – in the United...

A person holding a megaphone that another person speaks through

Section 230

47 U.S.C. § 230The Internet allows people everywhere to connect, share ideas, and advocate for change without needing immense resources or technical expertise. Our unprecedented ability to communicate online—on blogs, social media platforms, and educational and cultural platforms like Wikipedia and the Internet Archive—is not an accident. Congress recognized that...

Free Speech Updates

EFF to California Appellate Court: Reject Trial Judge’s Ruling That Would Penalize Beneficial Features and Tools on Social Media

EFF legal intern Jack Beck contributed to this post.A California trial court recently departed from wide-ranging precedent and held that Snap, Inc., the maker of Snapchat, the popular social media app, had created a “defective” product by including features like disappearing messages, the ability to connect with people through mutual...

Lawmakers: Ban TikTok to Stop Election Misinformation! Same Lawmakers: Restrict How Government Addresses Election Misinformation!

In a case being heard Monday at the Supreme Court, 45 Washington lawmakers have argued that government communications with social media sites about possible election interference misinformation are illegal.Agencies can't even pass on information about websites state election officials have identified as disinformation, even if they don't request that any...

young EFF'ers show phones with security icons

Des milliers de jeunes nous ont expliqué pourquoi la loi sur la sécurité des enfants en ligne (KOSA) sera préjudiciable aux mineurs

Avec l'adoption du KOSA, les informations auxquelles je pourrai accéder en tant que mineur seront limitées et censurées, sous prétexte de « me protéger », ce qui relève de la responsabilité de mes parents, PAS du gouvernement. J'ai tellement appris sur le monde et sur moi-même grâce aux médias sociaux,...

تحليل عميق للمشاكل الدستورية لقانون سلامة الأطفال على الإنترنت KOSA

لماذا لا تعتقد مؤسسة الجبهة الإلكترونية أن التغييرات الأخيرة تعمل على تحسين الرقابة التي يفرضها KOSA؟لم تغير النسخة الأخيرة من قانون سلامة الأطفال على الإنترنت (KOSA) وجهة نظرنا النقدية تجاه التشريع. وقد أدت هذه التغييرات إلى قيام بعض المنظمات بإسقاط معارضتها لمشروع القانون، لكننا ما زلنا نعتقد أنه مشروع...

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