On November 23rd 1644, 369 years ago, John Milton published his Areopagitica, a speech to the English Parliament calling for unlicensed printing and freedom of expression. Reading it now, in the light of the unfolding Snowden revelations, it is all the more poignant in the face of massive state surveillance of private communications. How far will this act to drive freedom of expression underground? How much will people begin to constrain their thoughts and feelings against an unknowable and invisible censor? Re-reading the Areopagitica now is a reminder that freedom is not a given, but something that each generation must continue to strive for.
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