The Promise and Peril of Protesting in the Internet Era
Free Speech in the Internet Era, Carolina Academic Press (Forthcoming)
17 Pages Posted: 25 Jul 2012
Date Written: July 25, 2012
This essay briefly examines the impact of Internet technologies on protestors and their First Amendment freedoms. The essay first surveys the existing legal and administrative framework that courts apply to assess the constitutionality of restrictions on protestors, which currently results in significant regulation of their activities. It then examines how Internet technologies allow protestors to maintain their protest activities in the face of repressive police tactics or inhospitable legal rules. Finally, it acknowledges that while Internet technologies can aid protestors’ expressive freedoms, it can also aid in their repression by giving government officials control over access to the Internet or surveillance of protest activities.
Keywords: first amendment, freedom of speech, Internet, protest, Occupy Movement, surveillance
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