In the United States, freedom of speech is secured by the First Amendment, which declares that Congress ”shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” The language of the First Amendment does not distinguish one medium of speech from another. Electronic free speech should be no less protected than speech on paper.

More on Free Speech and Technology


Even Sex Offenders Have First Amendment Rights

By Ilya Shapiro. Washington Examiner. June 19, 2017.

Why NPR and PBS Should Stop Taking Government Money

By Trevor Burrus. The Daily Beast. April 2, 2017.

Shutting down Fake News Could Move Us Closer to a Modern-Day ‘1984’

By Flemming Rose and Jacob Mchangama. Washington Post. February 10, 2017.

Cato Studies

Grading the Government’s Data Publication Practices

By Jim Harper. Policy Analysis No. 711. November 5, 2012.

If You Love Something, Set It Free: A Case for Defunding Public Broadcasting

By Trevor Burrus. Policy Analysis No. 697. May 21, 2012.

Publication Practices for Transparent Government

By Jim Harper. Briefing Paper No. 121. September 23, 2011.


Federal Spending Transparency: Unlocking the Power of Abstraction

Jim Harper. OMBWatch. May 20, 2010.

Freedom and Its Digital Discontents: A Comment

Thomas A. Firey. Economist (Online). March 29, 2008.

Public Filings

Keefe v. Adams

By Eugene Volokh and Ilya Shapiro. Legal Briefs. March 27, 2017.

Illinois v. Relerford

By Steven W. Becker, Eugene Volokh, and Ilya Shapiro. Legal Briefs. March 18, 2017.

Packingham v. North Carolina

By Mark C. Fleming, Jason D. Hirsch, Esha Bandhari, Ilya Shapiro, & Devin Watkins. Legal Briefs. December 22, 2016.

Cato Reviews & Journals

Technology Freedom

Cato Handbook for Policymakers. Cato Handbook for Policymakers, 8th Edition (2017).

Government Transparency

Cato Handbook for Policymakers. Cato Handbook for Policymakers, 8th Edition (2017).

The Inaugural Joseph K. McLaughlin Lecture

Policy Report. January/February 2017.


The 2016 Cato Surveillance Conference

Featuring Julian Sanchez and Patrick G. Eddington. December 14, 2016. Conference.

The Age of Em: Work, Love, and Life when Robots Rule the Earth

Featuring Jason Kuznicki. June 7, 2016. Book Forum.

High Tech: How the Burgeoning Legal Cannabis Industry Is Harnessing Technology

Featuring Kat Murti. April 27, 2015. Cato Digital.