Free speech is a fundamental prerequisite for freedom. It is so fundamental that it should be preserved even where it is purportedly directly linked to harmful acts. It is the acts that are harmful and that may justifiably be punished. The words are an extension of thoughts and can only be harmful where the recipient (the actor) carries out the acts suggested by the words without question. The responsibility rests on each actor to use his own conscience and reasoning before acting on the words of others.
The Internet is a powerful tool. It is a technology and therefore cannot, itself, be either ‘good’ or ‘evil’. For the reasons stated above freedom haters will want to restrict its use, freedom lovers will resist every attempt to do so.
The freedom haters don’t want to arouse suspicion. So they will do what they have always done. Slowly close the net around the unsuspecting.
Here are some references to that process in action:
The TPP trade agreement uses commercial issues like copyright and Intellectual Property as an excuse to attack free speech online.