Thursday, July 8, 2010

Thursdays on the Bench

(Cathy) Hi everyone, here's a question. I was speaking with someone at work and we were discussing social networking and blogging. The question asked concerned our perceived, "freedom of speech". Do we have it? It seems, and I have to do more research, that when we write it down and publish for the public we give up our right to freedom of speech. It seems that people can (and are) being prosecuted over "opinions" written for all to see in places like MSN, Facebook and personal blogs! Again, I need to research more, however, I think at first glance I think it's a correct assumption.
(Sunshine) I don't know much about how that all works but I would hope that if someone is being prosecuted for what they voice on a "private" page it is because what they say may possibly lead to something that they would do that would be in direct harm of others. We have been blogging our opinions for a long time now and who really cares, however, if I decide one day to actually go for a job that would put me in a position to make decisions for others in this country then I would assume that what my opinions are would matter greatly. Sometimes by reading someone's thoughts you can get a clue as to whether or not they are all there or are their thoughts skewed and have they been twisted by some circumstance in their lives that would make them make bad decisions? If we could peek into the minds of criminals for instance would we see something and would we be able to prevent a possible attack? There are stories of elaborate plans being put on the computer of devious acts that were later played out, what if someone was listening, could things have ended differently?
You've got a point there. I do believe that there are agencies that do check for keywords on the Internet and do check out the source. There is just so much out there. I did google free speech on the Internet and I did pull up various cases that were fought out in the court system. There were also a lot of articles from university students regarding free speech on the Internet. I did also read the article on Canada's freedom of speech. There is a lot of lawyer speak, however, I believe that at the base of it we still do have "freedom of expression" both on the Internet and off.

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