#AceNewsServices – WASHINGTON – Nov.30 – The Supreme Court is preparing to weigh in on a landmark free speech case that raises crucial questions about the First Amendment in the age of the Internet The Hill reported.
The high court next week will sit down to decide whether or not police need to prove that people posting threats online actually intend to carry them out.
Free speech groups warned ahead of Monday morning’s arguments that a ruling in favour of the government “runs the risk of punishing protected First Amendment expression simply because it is crudely or zealously expressed.”“
As more and more speech moves onto the Internet, the constitutional protections afforded to on-line speech will increasingly determine the actual scope of First Amendment freedoms enjoyed by our society,” the American Civil Liberties Union, the Centre for Democracy and Technology and other organizations warned in a friend-of-the-court brief.
The court needs to determine that intention matters, they added, “to ensure that protected online speech is neither punished nor chilled.”
The case centres on Anthony Elonis, who posted a number of violent, expletive-laden Facebook messages after he and his wife, Tara, separated.