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By GENE POLICINSKI
First Amendment Center
Freedom of speech might logically seem to apply the same way whether the speech takes place on the street corner or on the Internet.
But that basic First Amendment premise is as yet unsettled in our new Web world. An intricate set of laws and judicial opinions on free speech and defamation has evolved over several centuries, from a system that existed mainly to protect the elite from criticism to one that enables anyone to seek compensation for what they see as unfair damage to their reputation.
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