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Court Case Takes On Privacy and Hate Speech

PRIVACY LAW—FRANCE & U.S.

June 18, 2013

A recent court case in France has brought out the difficult issue of balancing online privacy with the prevention of hate speech. “While online services can—and sometimes should—require posters to use their real names to discourage hate speech,” write Hogan Lovells’ Christopher Wolf and Winston Maxwell, “the U.S. government cannot require the use of real names to fight legally allowed—even if repugnant—hate speech online because of First Amendment protections for ugly free expression that anonymity promotes.” In this Privacy Perspectives post, Wolf and Maxwell analyze this dilemma through the lens of an ongoing French court case requiring Twitter to reveal users who allegedly posted anti-Semitic tweets.
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