Moran Yemini (Center for Cyber, Law and Policy, University of Haifa) has posted Free Speech for All: A Justice-Infused Theory of Speech for the Digital Ecosystem on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
This doctoral dissertation identifies the incongruence between the theoretical framework offered by traditional liberal political theory and classic free speech theory, on the one hand, and the realities of digital networks comprised of multiple speakers and multiple censors/regulators (with potential overlaps between the two), on the other hand. Particular emphasis is put on the following question: How does technological change mediate our understanding of "freedom" in "freedom of expression?" The research holds that expressive capacity has become a defining element of freedom in the digital ecosystem, invoking an understanding of freedom of expression as a right incorporating both a capacity and a liberty aspect. It then maps the various theoretical, legal and technological mechanisms, through which capacity is amplified, but liberty is weakened in the digital ecosystem, and draws conclusions as to the proper moral matrix of rights and duties applicable to the power-relations between Internet users and online intermediaries. The dissertation then suggests a path for translating these claims from morality into legal and policy principles, by sketching an analytical-constitutional framework for dealing with multi-dimensional speech-related conflicts. The dissertation is aimed to provide conceptual tools for understanding the transformations in the meaning of freedom, the complexities of speech-related conflicts in the digital environment, and the possible ways for dealing with such conflicts. In order to do so, the dissertation integrates insights from the philosophy of technology, liberal political theory, free speech theory and First Amendment jurisprudence, and empirical research conducted in the social sciences, in an interdisciplinary mode of analysis.