Should National Security Override Free Speech? Essay

1424 Words Apr 11th, 2016 6 Pages
“Should national security override free speech?”

Freedom of speech was first established in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution in 1791, and almost two centuries later, in the International Declaration of Human Rights, the UN recognised freedom of speech as a human right (reference).
The question of whether or not national security should override the freedom of speech has been, and continues to be a controversial subject, particularly among governments and law-abiding citizens.
Government secrecy plays a role in the controversy between national security and freedom of speech, and many government officials argue that secrets are kept so for a reason. But if these secrets were as heavily protected as the government claims them to be, why all the worry over breaching national security laws with the freedom of speech and expression? If the freedom of speech is a right, as the First Amendment makes it so, how can anyone justify violating that right in the name of national security? It is no secret that governments have done this in the past, and as a result many a miscarriage of justice has been carried out. So why would anyone still consider that it is right to censor people based purely on fear?
This essay will explore these questions and several case studies relating to the topic, and argue that national security should not override free speech.

Imagine for a moment if Julian Assange or any other cypherpunk got their hands on the information the…

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