Freedom of Speech and Privacy

Freedomof Speech and Privacy

Farago,Jason (2 January 2013). Inpraise of Vallaud-Belkacem, or why not to tolerate hate speech onTwitter.TheGuardian(London).Retrieved4January2013.

Everyhuman being has rights that should not be denied. While exercisingones rights, respect and care should be accorded to other people’srights. There is confusion in the prevailing laws and a balancingneed to be achieved. Everyone is entitled to privacy as an individual(Farago, 2013).On the other hand, the law allows people to expresstheir thoughts and make opinions about various topics devoid ofinterference from public authorities. This article is aboutthedilemma caused by these contradicting laws.

Publicfigures have raised complaints with the regulatory bodies regardingintrusion into their privacy. Other people who are not in the publiclimelight have raised theirconcerns about the press intruding intotheir lives especially after a tragedy. The press may publish storiesor images that make their owners uncomfortable (Farago, 2013). Thoseaffected by this intrusion complain that the exposure in the mediamakes them suffer emotionally. The complaints are similar amongcelebrities and the general members of public.

Inview of these developments, it can be justified to say that thereshould be a cap on free speech. Individuals and their families needprotection from intrusive journalists. This creates confusion indefining what privacy is. Traditionally, intrusion into privacy iswhen government authorities meddle into a person’s private life.Today, the definition of privacy takes a different meaning (Farago,2013). It is hard to set limits of privacy and when it is beinginterfered with. The private life of a person can attract huge publicinterest at one time and none at all at another.

Inconclusion, it is tough to guide how people should handle theirliberty of expression (Farago, 2013). The presence of social mediamakes the matter even more complicated. Today, images and stories getinto the public domain without involving the press. The publiccapture images that interest them and share them online.

Raaflaub,K. Ober, J. Wallace, R. (2007).Originsof democracy in ancient Greece.Universityof California Press.p.&nbsp65.ISBN&nbsp0-520-24562-8.

Freedomof expression should be matched with responsibility. The role of themedia is to inform the public on various issues. Out of their work,the media often interfere with privacy of individuals who might takeissue with what has been reported. When preparing a story,journalists have to think of the effects of their work(Raaflaub,Ober,Wallace, 2007). It is the duty of the media to help society see itsface. People in the media are often faced with the question ofpublishing all the details they have or respecting the privacy of thepeople involved.

Thesame concern is being faced by journalists on the internet. Onlinemarketers often target their ads to people depending on how they usethe web. This is one of the new methods used by advertisers to reachtheir target clients more effectively. Do these new inventions amountto invasion into the privacy of other people? The media is allowedspace to determine their levels of responsibility (Raaflaub et al2007). However, if their actions are deemed to be continuouslyirresponsible, then there will be an outcry from the public and theauthorities as well.

Sanders,Karen (2003).Ethics&amp Journalism.Sage.p.&nbsp68.ISBN&nbsp978-0-7619-6967-9.

Thereare varying opinions with regard to freedom of speech. Some supportthe idea of having absolute free speech but others are more cautiousabout (Sanders, 2003). Those who call for absolute freedom ofexpression, believe the public need to know all there is to know. Onthe other hand, those who prefer a bit of privacy feel that absolutefreedom of expression could have some consequences in the largersociety.

Themain reason that makes it necessary to demand for absolute freedom isthe search of truth.However, this is not enough justification forabsolute freedom of expression. Other considerations should also beconsidered when setting boundaries for freedom of expression. Freedomof speech if not handled carefully can lead to conflict among thepeople. This happens when the people are exposed to false beliefswhich they accept as true and act according to them (Sanders, 2003).Freedom of speech can in such a case lead to reduction of the levelsof knowledge among the people. If the public needs to be informed,they should be provided with factual details that do not affectharmony in the society.

Marlin,Randal (2002).Propagandaand the Ethics of Persuasion.Broadview Press. pp.&nbsp226–227. ISBN&nbsp978-1551113760.

Themedia in any society plays a very important role in disseminatinginformation to the public. Many people depend on the media forinformation that the authorities may not release to them. Freedom ofexpression has been faced by the need to determine how muchinformation can be provided to the public. The internet has added tothis dilemma (Marlin, 2002). It is totally difficult to control whatis posted to the internet. Various governments are trying newtechnological approaches to control the kind of information that isavailable on the internet. This is going to be a very difficult tasksince it is hard to track down people who usethe web.

Whiledictatorial regimes are seeking ways to control the use of theinternet, people in more democratic countries are seeking morefreedom to use the web. Apart from this freedom, internet users indemocratic administrations are demanding protection from cybercriminals (Marlin, 2002). This causes more confusion as there has tobe a balance between regulation and the amount of protection to beoffered to internet users. Too much protection may interfere with thefreedom that is already available.

Rowland,Diane (2005). InformationTechnology Law.Routledge-Cavendish. p.&nbsp463-465. ISBN&nbsp978-1859417560.

Moderntools of communication have opened new options for people to exchangeinformation. There are countries that have tight control on formalmedia. In such places, the internet provides the information that thepeople cannot get through the formal avenues (Rowland, 2005). The webhas been used to organize people around political causes. This kindof freedom has raised a lot of concerns as it is not easy to controlthe kind of information being shared on various online platforms.

Authoritariangovernments have tried to control the use of the internet in anattempt to monitor what information gets to the people (Rowland,2005). It has proved to be a thorn in the flesh of the authorities asthey have no way of controlling it. It adds to the dilemma of thesegovernments as they still need it for use in other situations thatare vital to their existence. A lot of business is now conducted onthe internet which means it is something that cannot be totallyoutlawed.

Guibault,L. Hugenholtz, B.(2006). Thefuture of the public domain: identifying the commons in informationlaw.Kluwer Law International.p.&nbsp1.ISBN&nbsp9789041124357.

Theinternet has opened an avenue that allows people to express theirfeelings without any inhibitions. Internet service providers offertheir services to the public within the laws of the countries theyare operating in. Many see the internet service providers as a meansof freeing many people who have been unable to express anything thatseems to be contrary to the stand taken by the authoritarian states(Guibault,Hugenholtz, 2006).There are many people who have lived in fear of reprisals from thegovernments for expressing their opinions.

Whilethe internet service providersare hailed for providing people withthe freedom of expression, they are criticized for failing to protectusers. The information that is exchanged on the internet can beaccessed by other people other than the intended recipients. Theseservice providers have a duty to protect freedom of expression. Theyare supposed to do this by observing international standardsregarding legitimacy, transparency, necessity, proportionalitywithout abusing the rights of others (Guibault,Hugenholtz, 2006).These companies have taken measures to provide privacy, but they arenot adequate enough in light of the circumstances.

UnitedNations(2013).&quotTheUniversal Declaration of Human Rights&quot.UN.org(www.un.org).Retrieved25June2013.

Inorder for the principles of accountability and transparency to beupheld, it is necessary for people to have access to information andexpress themselves freely. These principles are also vital for thepromotion and enhancement of human rights (UN, 2013). People livingin autocratic states do not have free access to information. They arealso not allowed to make expressions especially on matters regardingthe state. Autocratic governments use various measures to ensurepeople do not access some information.

Theadvent of the internet has raised a new challenge to thesegovernments. They are not able to control the kind ofinformationbeing shared on the web. On the other hand, thesegovernments require the web to conduct their business with othernations (UN, 2013). While the web has become a crucial tool ofcommunication, internet service providersare often blamed for notproviding enough privacy. This is a serious challenge as cyber crimebecomes more sophisticated by the day.

Klang,M. Murray, A. (2005).HumanRights in the Digital Age.Routledge.p.&nbsp1.ISBN&nbsp978-1-904385-31-8.

Theinternet has revolutionized the way information is sourced and sharedamong the people. It is now very easy for people in differentgeographical locationsto communicate effectively and very quickly(Klangand Murray, 2005).Although the internet is very convenient to its users, it has beenblamed for making it easy for people to exchange materials that arenot suitable for vulnerable people such as the children. Authoritiesall over the world have made attempts to control the use of the webwith varying degrees of success.

Somegovernments are considering the possibility of filtering theinformation shared on the web. This is not going to be easy as it mayinterfere with the rights of people to have free access toinformation (Klangand Murray, 2005).This consideration has led to more dilemmas as any form of controlmight also affect the speed of information exchange on the internetwhich is very important. Internet service provider should be allowedto regulate themselves within certain limits of legislations.

Arthur,W. Diamond Law Library at Columbia Law School (26 March2008).&quotDeclarationof the Rights of Man and of the Citizen&quot.Hrcr.org(www.hrcr.org).Retrieved25June2013.

Dilemmaof Freedom and

Thedevelopments being in information technology has enhanced the waypeople communicate. However, this has led to the challenge ofinterference in individual privacy. Many people across the globe havelost their private data to cyber criminals (Arthur, 2008). Serviceproviders in this sector are trying hard to find ways of securing theprivacy of their users. Public figures are the most vulnerable whenit comes o their private lives. Some public figures have seen theirprivate affairs being shared freely on the web. Even other peoplehave suffered from the hands of the media.

Itis not easy to control what is shared on the web. If this is to bedone by the authorities, they are going to interfere with their ownbusiness (Arthur, 2008). Many government operations are using the webbecause of its convenience and affordability. By exercising morecontrol, the authorities will affect the effectiveness of the web.This creates a dilemma facing the authorities who do not know what todo in this situation.

Freedomof expression and access to information is necessary for humanrights. It is also basic ingredient for building democraticsocieties. There are many ways through which people expressthemselves. Technological advancements have been made all over theworld (Hodder, 2005). This has seen penetration of the internet inevery part of the world. Because of this development, it is now veryeasy for people in various parts of the world to communicate easily.Through the web, people are able to express themselves without anyproblem. Even those in autocratic countries have found a way ofgetting in touch.

Autocraticauthorities have devised various ways of entrenching control ofinternet usage. Some of the methods used include blocking orfiltering the kind of messages being shared online. Hacking intopersonal accountsis another option used by these governments (Hodder,2005). This raises the question of privacy on the web. Internetservice providers are hard pressed to provide protection for theircustomers. While this can be done, it is not easy as cyber criminalsare using sophisticated approaches to achieve their objectives.

References

Farago,Jason (2 January 2013). Inpraise of Vallaud-Belkacem, or why not to tolerate hate speech onTwitter.TheGuardian(London).Retrieved4January2013.

Raaflaub,K. Ober, J. Wallace, R. (2007).Originsof democracy in ancient Greece.Universityof California Press.p.&nbsp65.ISBN&nbsp0-520-24562-8.

Sanders,Karen (2003).Ethics&amp Journalism.Sage.p.&nbsp68.ISBN&nbsp978-0-7619-6967-9.

Marlin,Randal (2002).Propagandaand the Ethics of Persuasion.Broadview Press. pp.&nbsp226–227. ISBN&nbsp978-1551113760.

Rowland,Diane (2005). InformationTechnology Law.Routledge-Cavendish. p.&nbsp463-465. ISBN&nbsp978-1859417560.

Guibault,L. Hugenholtz, B.(2006). Thefuture of the public domain: identifying the commons in informationlaw.Kluwer Law International.p.&nbsp1.ISBN&nbsp9789041124357.

UnitedNations(2013).&quotTheUniversal Declaration of Human Rights&quot.UN.org(www.un.org).Retrieved25June2013.

Klang,M. Murray, A. (2005).HumanRights in the Digital Age.Routledge.p.&nbsp1.ISBN&nbsp978-1-904385-31-8.

Arthur,W. Diamond Law Library at Columbia Law School (26 March2008).&quotDeclarationof the Rights of Man and of the Citizen&quot.Hrcr.org(www.hrcr.org).Retrieved25June2013.

Dilemmaof Freedom and