Quite often when we’re asking these difficult questions we’re asking about questions where we might not even know how to ask where the line is. But in other cases, when researchers work to advance public knowledge, even on uncontroversial topics, we can still find ourselves forbidden from doing the research or disseminating the research.
Once we understand that legal talismans are protective invocations, we have to be critical of them. Even the ones we like. The shorthand is not comprehensible to users. And the shorthand is not comprehensible to people more generally.
What does it mean for human rights protection that we have large corporate interests—the Googles, the Facebooks of our time—that control and govern a large part of the online infrastructure?