[IRP] [Expression] good practice to define limits of freedom of expression

Milton L Mueller mueller
Mon Dec 7 19:31:29 EET 2009

I suggest that you have the courage to take responsibility for what you advocate and its implications, and not hide behind considerations of politeness.

Your refusal to discuss an issue with someone who expresses disagreement is far more insulting than anything in my post, which is simply an honest expression of surprise. Substantive issues were raised (what is "good practice," prior restraint, the obvious conflict between advocacy of a centralized censorship authority and the values underlying a Dynamic Coalition devoted to freedom of expression). There were no personal attacks in my post (although there is a hint of them in yours).

How do you propose to create an "intercultural consensus" when you refuse to engage with anyone who disagrees with you?

Milton Mueller
Professor, Syracuse University School of Information Studies
XS4All Professor, Delft University of Technology
Internet Governance Project:

From: Max Senges [mailto:maxsenges at gmail.com]
Sent: Monday, December 07, 2009 12:10 PM
To: Milton L Mueller
Cc: expression; irp
Subject: Re: [Expression] good practice to define limits of freedom of expression

Dear Milton, and all

your position on freedom of expression is well documented and I can tell you believe it is the only correct one.
Hence I am sorry to say that I dont have the time to discuss with you especially when you start the exchange with this agressive (not to say insulting) tone.

My intention is to find intercultural consensus and deliberate about a practical institutional ecology to address FoE issues on the internet. Stating that there should be no limits to FoE is a contribution, but wont help us find a solution besides the radical solution of no mediating bodies.


"The future is here. It's just not widely distributed yet."
-William Gibson


Max Senges


Mobile: 01622122755

On Mon, Dec 7, 2009 at 3:01 PM, Milton L Mueller <mueller at syr.edu<mailto:mueller at syr.edu>> wrote:

From: expression-bounces at ipjustice.org<mailto:expression-bounces at ipjustice.org> [mailto:expression-bounces at ipjustice.org<mailto:expression-bounces at ipjustice.org>] On Behalf Of Max Senges
Do you know about other good practices? Would it make sense to have a body like the BPjM on a global level?

Do you consider censorship to be "good practice?" When you ask whether it would "make sense to have a body like the BPjM on a global basis" are you joking, or have you abandoned your commitment to free expression? I cannot imagine a more repressive, dangerous approach and am frankly shocked to see this advocated here.

The fallacy here is one of prior restraint, which is always inimical to free expression. If organizations or political parties break the law then you punish them after they have done it; you don't (if you support freedom of expression) categorically ban them and muzzle everything they say or do before it can be adjudged legal or illegal.

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