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Freedom of Information

Human Rights

“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 18

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Constitution of the United States of America, Amendment I

 

Individuals have a right to free access to uncensored information, including both data and opinion, and to evaluate the merits of claims for themselves freely and without censorship or restrictive barriers.

Freedom of information comprises more than simply freedom of press. Media outlets across the political spectrum have become increasingly partisanized, employing propaganda techniques to push favored narratives while withholding contrary information and perspectives.  Social media and technology companies have increasingly acted as arbiters of truth and permissible speech as critics have alleged bias.  Conduct of media and tech companies as partisan agents and collusion with political figures contravene journalistic ethics, erode public trust, and violate principles of freedom of information 

Freedom of information facilitates the disclosure and exchange of non-privileged information and non-violent, non-abusive ideas which can rise or fall on the basis of their merits.  Individuals have the right to draw their own conclusions on the basis of available information and to engage in good faith public discourse without harassment or intimidation.