You've been working for years on the general problem of hate speech. You don't argue often for exceptions to free expression. Why do you make an exception for race hate speech? What about religious hate speech? And what about attacks based on sexual orientation?
In our system, this is much influenced by our legislation and to some extent by case law. And in law as elsewhere in life, context is everything. You can't simply equate race hate speech and religious hate speech. In the case of race hate speech, you're attacking someone not for what he thinks or does but for the fact that the person was born, for the person's common humanity. Religion not associated with race, in contrast, is a belief system. It's easier, then, to accept limits on speech that stirs up hatred against a racial group.
Then we have the problem of homophobic hate speech. Do you classify it more like racial or religious hate speech? Although I have argued it is more like race hate speech, since you are attacking gay people not for what they did or believed but for how they were born, when our legislature took up the issue it decided there must be more latitude to engage in homophobic hate speech. As a result, it's treated more like religious hate speech. The illustration of those kinds of hate speech shows the importance of context.
Right now, in the European Court of Human Rights, there is a great debate going on about whether the Court has gone too far in allowing prohibitions on hate speech. So we're having the same type of debates you would have had in at least two American cases: Skokie, which protected the right of neo-Nazis to assemble in a Jewish community, and Beauharnais, which upheld an Illinois law making it illegal to engage in speech portraying the "depravity, criminality, unchastity, or lack of virtue of a class of citizens of any race, color, creed or religion."
Shifting gears, when an American company, say Google, chooses to do business in China, to what extent does the company bear the responsibility for helping to realize--in China--the American principles of free expression?
If you are going to work in a regime that doesn't respect free speech, and you are meant to be in the business of free speech, then you're in an extremely difficult position. And that type of problem applies not only to the electronic media but also to the print media. To the extent that broadcasters, print outlets or the electronic media agree to censor their own content, it's deeply regrettable. It shouldn't happen. But it's not a problem exclusive to the Internet.
Changes in technology have blurred lines and caused many people to rethink what it means to do journalism. One of the groups at the center of that debate has been WikiLeaks. Do you think WikiLeaks does journalism?
I think WikiLeaks has behaved in a way that's irresponsible. Whether you call it journalism or not, it's not responsible. That raises, of course, a related question: To what extent should there be a defense of responsible publication, in the context of Internet publishing or otherwise? If a publication disclosed the identity of intelligence officers, whose lives might be destroyed or ended as a result of publication, then that is grounds for restraint, even under U.S. doctrines. That's why you have to strike a balance, the very thing Hugo Black most disliked. But you have to strike one, nonetheless, between free speech and national security.