The vague terms used to suppress speech. Recommendations unveiled by the UK’s Law Commission are seeking to establish a new offense by criminalizing communications that could cause “likely psychological harms.” Another offense that is recommended in the document concerns “knowingly false communications.” This is a serious threat to freedom of expression, and a chance for the authorities to get the last word on what is perceived as true and false. The recommendation defines “harm” as something that causes “serious distress,” while “psychological harm” is also being mentioned. As for defining “serious distress” – the Commission refers to the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.
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