MONTPELIER-“ The First Amendment is being asked to do more as technology transforms the way thoughts and beliefs are expressed, and free speech lines are questioned.
“Thought and Expression in a Changing World” is the topic of a day-long conference Monday, June 29 in South Burlington sponsored by the American Civil Liberties Union of Vermont.
Speakers will include Catherine Crump, an attorney with the National ACLU’s First Amendment Working Group, and Dan Barrett, staff attorney at the ACLU-VT. Other Vermont attorneys will participate on panels discussing specific cases and incidents, including recent controversies involving broadcast of the Al Jazeera-English channel on a local cable TV system and images placed on locally manufactured snowboards.
The morning session will begin with an overview of First Amendment rights, and how courts have ruled in recent free speech cases. The afternoon session will focus on freedom in cyberspace and challenges posed by digital technologies. A new state law on Coesexting will be examined, details of a U.S. District Court case involving laptop searches at the border with Canada will be discussed, and the issue of cyber-bullying and whether schools can discipline students for out-of-school conduct will be reviewed.
The conference is designed for citizens, policy-makers, attorneys, educators, and others who want to explore free speech rights in the digital age. Attorneys may earn four hours of Continuing Legal Education credits by attending.
The conference takes place at the Windjammer Conference Center at the Best Western Hotel on Williston Road in South Burlington and runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
More information, including registration details, is available at www.acluvt.org or by calling the ACLU at 223-6304, x114. The registration deadline is June 23.