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Privacy and Free Speech Online

Not Offered this year 2015-2016
Last offered in 2010-2011

Privacy and free speech values frequently conflict. Protecting one individual's privacy often requires preventing another's speech. The Internet has created significant opportunity for users to express themselves in chatrooms, on the web, and through new social network applications. With this increased expression has come increased disclosures of personal information that may be saved, searched, and republished. Courts are currently grappling with the privacy- speech tension in cases where individuals as opposed to media institutions are the publishers of personal information about themselves and others and where people are publishing information on public networks but intended for limited groups of readers. This seminar explores the tension between protecting privacy and free speech online, with specific emphasis on the legal rules and social norms around user initiated communications and social networking and other web 2.0 applications.