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Freedom of expression on the internet: a study of the US Supreme Court precedents

Grant number: 10/17774-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research
Effective date (Start): December 10, 2010
Effective date (End): February 09, 2011
Field of knowledge:Applied Social Sciences - Law - Special Rights
Principal Investigator:Cíntia Rosa Pereira de Lima
Grantee:Cíntia Rosa Pereira de Lima
Host Investigator: Toni M. Fine
Host Institution: Faculdade de Direito de Ribeirão Preto (FDRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil
Research place: Fordham University, United States  


The Universal Declaration of Human Rights enacted on one side the freedom of expression, but on the other side it also enacted strong privacy protection. Similarly, in the Brazilian Federal Constitution, the same rights are stated at article 5, IV, VI, IX (freedom of expression) and X (privacy). The US Constitution also included such rights in its First Amendment. Nevertheless, the balance between the freedom of expression and privacy protection is a major concern within the digital era. Because the internet is a strong mean of mass communication, so it allows users to include data (such as text, photos and videos) without a previous supervision, and it also makes easier the anonymous and the global access to these information, being the site hosted in a different country. Thus, it is crucial to establish criteria to enforce, but with limitations the freedom of expression on the internet, protecting also the right of privacy. So, this work intends to contextualize the freedom of expression on the internet, analyzes some specific North-American statutes that deals with this matter (especially, about spam and spyware) so, at the end, it will establish criteria in order to bring an effective protection to the victims, whose personal information and image was posted in the internet without his or her consent. To sum up, this research project intends to focus on the US Supreme Court´s leading cases so it will bring to the Brazilian judges and courts, as well as to the Brazilian society, some academic and judicial basis to ensure the freedom of expression on one side, and the effective privacy protection in the internet on the other side, especially the internet users and site holsters' liability within the internet. (AU)

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