Freedom Of Free Speech

1355 Words 6 Pages
Does national security override free speech? In the case of Snowden, Manning and Assange, they each leaked classified documents to the public under the name of free speech. Is this actually classified as free speech? According to J.S Mills, if it doesn’t cause physical harm to a populace, then it is classified as ‘free speech’ and so the leakage of government documents is allowed in accordance to Mills’ theory on free speech. Mills does not include psychological harm to anyone in his definition of free speech which also brings forth flaws in his definition of free speech. National security is defined as a defence and protection of a country from foreign countries. A government is obliged to protect the population of their country. Free speech …show more content…
It is protected by the first amendment to the constitution. With secrets kept from the public, it is possible to keep the citizens unaware of troubling matters that may otherwise harm their daily lives with the knowledge of it. Abraham Lincoln expressed his views as “Let the people be aware of the facts, and the country will be calm”, but, by knowing all the facts, is it possible that the populace would have been better off not knowing some aspects of truth? When threats to national security and the lives of many humans appear, the public is notified almost instantly within the timeframe of the announcement where as when the U.S. government is spying on its citizens, although illegal, they refuse to disclose the information and it may not be because it needs to be classified, but because it could be embarrassing if it was released from the government. Mills argued in On Liberty “...there ought to exist the fullest liberty of professing and discussing, as a matter of ethical conviction, any doctrine, however immoral it may be considered.” In a democratic society, freedom of speech plays an important role. Freedom of speech guarantees the citizens to participate in the democracy, and a democratic society isn’t stable if there is no free speech in the administration sector. Restrictions on free speech may cause harm to democratic life, and also contradicts the principles that founded democracy, that the government shouldn’t impose any more than necessary restrictions on individual rights. In Australia, the constitution does not explicitly protect freedom of speech, however, there is meant to be an implied freedom of speech in the constitution. Freedom of speech is thought to be essential in a democratic society. The right to freedom of speech does not extend to free speech when political issues are not

Related Documents