網路審查與網路言論自由之探討A Review of the Controversy between Supporting Internet Censorship and Advocating Online Freedom of Speech
Keywords：cyber -law, Internet censorship, online freedom of speech,online libel
This paper explores the contradictory interrelationship between cyber-laws and cyber-liberties by focusing on one of the crucial legal issues pertaining to online freedom of speech in Taiwan – the legitimacy and appropriateness of decriminalization of online defamation. Utilizing an online libel lawsuit as an example, the present paper interprets the appropriateness of applying the criminal defamation law to punish unlawful online expression. From the free speech perspective, this paper specifically deals with two centered questions: 1) Should online libel be a cyber-crime? 2) Is it legitimate and/or appropriate to apply the criminal defamation (libel) law to the cyberspace context? This paper claims that it is either unnecessary or inappropriate to treat the online wrongful or unlawful expression as a criminal crime. Despite the fact that the ease of Internet access offers encouragement to those who believe that more voices should be heard in democracy's “marketplace of ideas,” at the same time, individuals have to be responsible for their words in the cyberspace as well as in the real world. Since the conflict between advocacy of online freedom of expression and supporting for Internet censorship has no easy solutions and is likely to continue as technologies, social and political contexts change; rather than strictly censoring online expressions, one of the practicable ways to resolve this challenge is to balance between cyberspace promise of free speech and essential censorship of objectionable contents.