As with radio, TV and newspapers, freedom of expression can be pro¬tected when publishing on the internet. Websites, online radio, online TV and e-mail newsletters can be covered by the protection afforded in the Fundamental Law.
What is constitutional protection?
Constitutional protection means among other things that:
• special rules of liability applies to freedom of speech violations
• only the editor is liable for the published material
• informers have the right to remain anonymous – authorities may not research their names, and those working with the publication are not allowed to reveal their identities.
• no authority may preview material or hinder publication (prohibition of censorship)
• the Swedish Personal Data Act (1998:204) shall not apply if its enforcement is in breach of the Swedish Fundamental Law on Freedom of Expression.
Who can obtain constitutional protection?
Automatic constitutional protection
- Under certain circumstances, mass media companies may have automatic constitutional protection for their databases or websites.
- Mass distribution of e-mails, for example newsletters, may have automatic constitutional protection.
Companies, organisations and private individuals, whose websites or databases are not covered by an automatic constitutional protection, may apply for a certificate of no legal impediment to publication (publishing certificate), which entails the equivalent level of protection. However, to apply for a publishing certificate is voluntary.