Richard Epstein vs. Me on Internet Censorship

Professor Richard Epstein (U. Chicago) and I have been debating Internet censorship, and the exchange is posted at the State Department’s site. This is a rematch of our Legal Affairs debate in 2006. I think the heart of the debate is Epstein’s position that there are universal moral norms that should govern (and, largely, ban) Internet censorship; my take is that some censorship can be legitimate, but that legitimacy depends primarily on the process by which decisions to block content are made. My goal is to try to discomfit both sides of the filtering debate, which has become somewhat polarized into a libertarianism versus relativism divide, by pointing out that censorship is increasingly widespread, but also frequently suspect from a proceduralist perspective. My only regret is that my first choice for a photo was rejected.

One Response to “Richard Epstein vs. Me on Internet Censorship”

  1. Internet censorship should by on a house-by-house basis. For example, a parent can block certain TV channels from their kids…so, why not just block certain websites too?