Justice Stephen Breyer, No Friend of the First Amendment
If the text is clear, you follow the text. If the text isn’t clear, you have to work out what it means. And that requires context.This is a flawed example of whatever point Justice Breyer is trying to make, since there is nothing unclear about applying the principle of freedom of speech to the Internet. Written articles are speech, whether they are distributed on newsprint or via the Internet. Video and audio recordings are speech, whether they are transmitted over a broadcast network or over the Internet. And Congress is Congress, whether it is trying to regulate a newspaper, a television station, or the Internet. Ergo, Congress should pass no law abridging the freedom of speech on the Internet.
The freedom of speech. Do you know what it means? Basically. But you don’t know its entire content, and it doesn’t tell you itself. Those words, “the freedom of speech,” “Congress shall pass no law abridging the freedom of speech.” Neither they, the founders, nor those words tell you how to apply it to the Internet.
So on what basis does Judge Breyer believe that the rules for the Internet should be different from the rules for any other speech-transmission medium?