First of all, it is important to outline the notions of the freedom of speech and free government and its regulation in US. The key point of en freedom of speech notion is a possibility of speaking freely and without the censorship (Smith, 2006).
Free government, in turn may be defined as the republican form of governing, which implies the allocation of power between three branches of power- legislative, executive, and judicial (US legal definitions, 2011).
In US the freedom of speech is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. It regulates such issues as fighting words, obscenity, defamation and incitement to riot. The federal legislation is to protect such issues astrade secrets, copyright, military conduct, place and manner restrictions, communications, patents etc.
Such popular themes for discussion as sexism, racism, and other types of hate speech are almost permitted by the government and advocacy, but still they fall under the mass critique. At the same time, there are several exceptions, which include the Miller test for obscenity, the laws, which regulate the children pornography issues, the speech which is tending incite the lawless actions, and finally the regulation of several types of commercial speech- for example the advertising issues.
While taking in account all the above listed areas, which do not fall under the notion of the free speech, it is important to pay additional attention to the fact that there are several additional areas (within the above listed ones) which cannot be completely free for discussion. They are: the authors’ rights and patents, right for inventions or some other related works and discoveries; there is the legislation, which protects particular persons from the imminent or potential violence and filially the untruths, which harm other people (slander) aren’t acceptable. Also there is a well-defined distinction between the speech and other possible acts which may have some symbolic significance (Bovard, 2004).
It is important to pay additional attention that First Amendment protects the flag desecration, but this protection has got several controversial issues- the Constitutional Amendment has prohibited the flag burning, but at the same time, this law has not been enacted by all the states.
Even while taking in consideration all the above listed exceptions, the legal protections, implied by the First Amendment are considered to be the broadest among other industrialized nations but the First Amendment is still the critical and in some cases controversial part of the American jurisprudence.
There are the following key restraints on speech: time, place and manner restrictions. That is why it is obvious that the key regulations of the freedom of speech in US imply the following requirements: being content neutral and narrowly tailored; the government interest should be served and the open ample and alternative channels for communication should be left.
In the light of the free government that means that people should be accurate while developing their speech in order not to harm other citizens of the country, not to violate the key human freedoms and rights (Godwin, 1998).
To conclude, it is possible to say that in US the freedom of speech protection is a well-developed legislative base which takes in account all the key human needs and values and provides them with the possibility of free expression of their thoughts. At the same time, the specific human rights and freedom- such as copyright, right of being not harmed are protected by the law.