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Free Speech Limitations on Whonix Website and Whonix Chat

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Free speech is under attack!

Info This wiki entry has been authored by Patrick Schleizer, Whonix ™ founder and lead developer.

Free Speech Limitations[edit]

In the modern climate, anti-free speech laws are effectively in place. For this reason it is infeasible for the Whonix ™ project to run a website, forum or chat platform which permits an unlimited number of participants to publish any opinion. Unfortunately, operating any kind of free speech communication platform is simply too large in scope because it requires a dedicated effort and cannot be done as a side project.

Due to the high volume of posts on controversial or sensitive topics in the past, it was too time consuming to follow them all and to decide which posts were crossing the line in terms of legally permitted opinions. Whether or not it is possible to simply allow the free flow of debate unmonitored is a difficult legal question. Even if it was possible, at the very least reports need to be reviewed -- this costs a lot of time and requires risky decisions. Therefore, the unfortunate decision was made to conserve developer time and restrict free speech in Whonix ™ forums, chat, wiki and comments sections to avoid unforeseen legal ramifications in the future. Material or opinion that might fall afoul of the law is generally removed.

What issues are discussed and for how long is left to the sole discretion of the Whonix ™ moderation team. The Whonix ™ Policy of Whonix Website and Whonix Chat clearly outlines forum goals, rules and objectionable use of the infrastructure.

Personal Liability[edit]

The reader might have noticed the word 'I' is used throughout this entry. This is because as the Whonix ™ founder and trademark owner I must consider a number of personal and legal responsibilities with regards to published content. It is simply impossible for one person to achieve all of the following:

  1. Maintain Whonix ™; and
  2. Simultaneously provide a free speech platform, which necessitates:
  • Staying up-to-date on developments in inter-jurisdictional legislation.
  • Following nearly all posts. [1]
  • Being ready to defend any opinion that I do not personally hold in legal proceedings.
  • Having financial resources to defend against legal actions.
  • Contemplating personal liability costs if legal proceedings are lost.

So far, despite an open offer, no other person or entity has approached me and been willing to take on the personal liability risk. Unless this situation changes, no user of Whonix ™ infrastructure should complain about limitations on free speech. It is easy for anyone to demand an 'everything goes' policy, but this ignores risks like regulatory changes, legal challenges, and stiff penalties leveled against individuals or corporations in recent history.

If any person or organization is ready to be both identifiable and sign a binding contract to take responsibility for any user-posted opinions on the Whonix ™ website, then I am willing to facilitate this arrangement. This is an unlikely outcome, since even those requesting free speech would probably decline the offer once the legal ramifications were better understood. [2]

Banned Subjects[edit]

The following subjects are currently banned: [3]

Further Reading[edit]

For more information on free speech limitations on the Whonix ™ website, refer to these related forum discussions:

Related[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. I may not even be obliged to do so, depending on the jurisdiction in question.
  2. Following detailed legal research on the matter.
  3. More subjects are likely to be listed in the future.


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