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Why it’s time for a British First Amendment to protect free speech

If we want to retain our right to free speech, we should copy the US approach—though it would require a UK constitution

By Hugh Tomlinson   March 2018

Activists march in support of the New York Times. But is the British press also under threat? Photo: PA

Four years ago, under the watchful glare of technicians from GCHQ, Guardian journalists destroyed computers used to store the top-secret documents leaked to them by Edward Snowden. The then-Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger had been required to set his staff to work on the hardware with angle-grinders and drills following government threats of an injunction. He explained his actions by reference to there being no right to free speech in…

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