For all the rants around this space about filtering, censorship, and attempts to limit free speech, once in while something comes along to remind me of just how good things really are here in the US when it comes to open communications.

A new report by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe describes the attempts by an increasing number of paranoid governments to censor opinion on the web.

“Recent moves against free speech on the Internet in a number of countries have provided a bitter reminder of the ease with which some regimes, democracies and dictatorships alike, seek to suppress speech that they disapprove of, dislike, or simply fear,” the report by the 56-nation OSCE said.

“Speaking out has never been easier than on the Web. Yet at the same time, we are witnessing the spread of Internet censorship,” the 212-page report said.

In that vague space in the back of my warped little mind I remember someone making the statement: “Free speech isn’t a right. It’s every American’s duty.”

Everyone (especially our students) needs to understand that and how to exercise that duty responsibly.

free speech, censorship, constitution