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Chicago Alderman Munoz calls for social media and cell phone free speech protections during NATO/G8 summits

By staff

Chicago, IL – Alderman Rick Munoz will introduce legislation at the next City Council meeting, Feb. 15, prohibiting the Chicago Police Department from attempting to block access to social networking sites and cell phone networks during the upcoming NATO/G8 summits. The measure will also restrict the police from cooperating with any agency involved in attempts to limit access to social networking sites, such as Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and YouTube. “These summits are a chance for us to show the best of Chicago off to the rest of the world,” Rick Munoz said. “That should include our commitment to civil rights and our democratic right to protest.”

Munoz said the importance of his measure was highlighted by demonstrations last year in the U.S., UK and the Middle East. “Government’s first instinct is often to control or to censure open communication,” said Munoz.

Munoz is leader of the City Council’s Reform Caucus and he predicted broad support for his measure to protect free speech when it is released at the next council meeting. “My bottom line will be a ban on all attempts to shut down, limit or monitor internet speech and cell phone texts. These protections must be broad enough to include all cell phone networks, all social media sites, micro-blogs, the RIM private messaging network and all Virtual Private Networks,” said Munoz.

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