Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

In addition to the first amendment it is also long past time for the government to live up to its commitment to transparency by enacting changes in the Freedom of Information Act and records retention rules that were in the Freedom of Information Improvement Act of 2014, which nearly passed in the US Congress at the end of last year and were re-introduced this year. It should also amend the Espionage Act and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act to require that the government prove a clear intent to harm the government or anyone else and to make the motive of the accused relevant at trial.

These changes would go far – but certainly not all the way – toward ensuring that future citizens under future administrations can continue to be able to question and criticize their government without fear of being publicly humiliated and prosecuted by their government. It would also set a clear example to the rest of the world that, in a truly modern democratic republic, the suppression of the press and sources by criminal prosecutions cannot be tolerated. Then the US could no longer be used as an excuse by repressive governments around the world to say: “Well, they do it in America, too.”

Finally, censorship on social media is a hot button issue. The law is ripe for reform, and suits are pending in California and adhjucated in Hawaii, which are indicative of precedent setting reform. Americans have the right to criticize their government without fear of reprisal, retaliation or threats, and without the tyranny of censorship.