15th August 2018
Freedom of speech is also a freedom to keep quiet
It appears to me that the freedom to speak and freedom to keep quiet are opposite sides of the same coin. Freedom to speak is not compulsion to speak.
This freedom to keep quiet is much broader than the right to silence to prevent self-incrimination. It is at the heart of the meaning of freedom
A government therefore cannot interfere with either of these without extraordinary public interest reasons. A government cannot stop speech even as it cannot force someone to speak. This means that forcing someone to provide information to others is a violation of freedom of speech, and needs to be tightly circumscribed by the public interest.
While that is significant literature on the freedom to speak, there is virtually no literature on the freedom to keep quiet.
This is a placeholder post where I’ll review this issue as time permits.