The First Amendment: Freedom of the Press Freedom of the press often presents a conflict of rights. On the one hand is the public's right to know, and on the other is the right of the government to secrecy in certain circumstances, the right of individuals to privacy, and the right of defendants to a fair trial. In addition, an individual may have personal and moral sensibilities that the press should not offend. Laws tackling these polarities fall under the headings of prior restraint and subsequent punishment. Prior restraint Laws that call for prior restraint are basically censorship laws that prevent the publication of information before it is officially released. The most famous case in recent years involved the Pentagon Papers in 1971. Daniel Ellsberg, a Defense Department contractor, leaked the 47-volume report on American policy in Vietnam to
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