Friday, August 27, 2010
An Analysis of the Interaction Between Anonymous Speech Rights Online and the First Amendment on the 'Net
The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits Congress from abridging the freedom of speech, yet the text of the Amendment does not expressly address the issue of anonymous speech rights. Historical records from state ratifying conventions and from the First Congress do not discuss anonymous expression. Still, anonymous speakers and their works played an immensely important role in the founding era and throughout American history. This essay explores the interplay between the right to speak anonymously and the freedom of speech on the Internet. It concludes that the First Amendment also protects the right of individuals to speak anonymously online.