NEGATIVE DISADVANTAGE FREE SPEECH 179
LINKS: OTHER LINKS
THE FIRST AMENDMENT COVERS THE INTERNET
Solveig Singleton, director of information studies at the Cato Institute, 1 Dec 1997 "Brave New Partners in Net censorship"http://www.inet-one.com/cypherpunks/dir.97.11.27-97.12.03/msg00218.html// acs-EE2001
A few short months ago, the Supreme Court declared that the First Amendment protects the Internet just as it protects booksellers, newspapers and books when it found the Communications Decency Act (CDA) unconstitutional. That critical ruling signaled censorious governments in countries like Argentina, China, Germany and Zambia that the United States would not provide a precedent for blocking undesirable Internet content.
WE DO NOT OWN INFORMATION ABOUT OURSELVES, AND THUS REGULATING IT VIOLATES FREE SPEECH
Solveig Singleton, director of information studies at the Cato Institute, January 22, 1998 Cato Policy Analysis No. 295 PRIVACY AS CENSORSHIP: A Skeptical View of Proposals to Regulate Privacy in the Private Sectorhttp://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa-295.html // acs-EE2001
One privacy advocate argues that prohibiting trade in mailing lists will not run afoul of the First Amendment because:
The First Amendment does not allow anyone to trade in someone else's property without permission; it does not allow the sale of books without the permission of the author, even one poem in an anthology. Direct marketing companies themselves treat mailing lists as their own property and usually "rent" them for one-time use. If mailing lists cannot be traded without permission when they are the property of the direct marketing companies, they should not be traded without permission when they are someone else's property.(68)
But this argument begs the question of whether we do own information about ourselves. Customarily, we simply do not.
The example of the ownership of books and poems is irrelevant. Books and poems are covered by copyright law, which protects only the author's original expression (her choice of words, phrases, and sentences)--not the facts and ideas that she expresses. One could not copyright the historical facts of the battle at Verdun; likewise, one would not be able to copyright the fact that one bought a lawn mower from Sears.