The phrase ' freedom of expression' is a very wide concept which means a person can freely express his views through speaking , writing or any implied form before the whole world. Moreover, as countries move towards the digital world there is a need for the internet also growing gradually, therefore freedom of speech and expression also comes in the internet and social media.
Salient feature of Universal Declaration Of Human Rights states about freedom of speech and expression under Article 19 as ‘Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers’. It means that freedom of expression is the human right where he can freely express its opinion or others opinion by the use of any media ( internet, press or any such media).from here we get to know that freedom of expression on the internet is also one of human right. But the right to freedom of expression is a complex right as this right is not an absolute one which means it has some restrictions also.
When we look into the Constitution of India under Article 19 (a) it states about freedom of speech and expression (FOSE) where every citizen of India has a fundamental right to express his opinions towards the government or an individual . Provided under Article 19 (2) about its restrictions also and they are :-
· Sovereignty and integrity of India.:-i.e. no statement should be given by any citizen which disrespect the sovereignty and integrity of the country.
· Security of state :-. It means if security of state is in danger FOSE can be curtailed by state to maintain peace within the state.
· Friendly relations with foreign States. :-To maintain friendly relations with foreign countries .
· Public order :- state can impose restriction of freedom of expression and speech for the interest of Public order.
· Decency and morality
· Contempt of court. If an opinion of an individual is to disrespect any legal authorities this right curtails.
· Defamation :-.if an statement was untrue and to defame any person he cannot take defence of this right.
· Incitement of offence:- .if one provokes the unlawful act by his opinion he can be sued.
On the internet and social media platforms people are free to share information as well as they get reviews too from the people all over the world .Yet, these platforms can also cause a lot of disturbance in the country due to which the government has to shutdown these facilities for months. As we saw at the time of revocation of the Article 370 of our Constitution where all the internet facilities were curtailed in the then state of Jammu and Kashmir as there was a fear of sedition through online platform could take place. In the case of Anuradha Bhasin vs Union of India the SC states ,where petitioner questions the internet shutdown in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir from continuous 5 months on the basis of maintaining public order alleged by J&K government imposed Section 144 of CrPC and the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 promulgated the Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency o r Public Safety) Rules, 2017  in the any part of country . The SC held that 'no power of Section 144 of CrPC can be used to suppress the expression of views unless there was an actual or reasonable fear of public safety and violence further on the suspension over internet service can be imposed for temporary period only not for indefinite time limit.’
Recently, Kerala High court gave judgement on the freedom of expression on the internet which emphasizes the scope of freedom of speech & expression on the internet. In the case of Faheema Shirin RK Vs state of Kerala & ors., the court declared the right to Internet access as a fundamental right forming a part of the right to privacy and the right to education under Article 21 of the Constitution.  Where unequal access to the internet affects the livelihood of people.
Provisions:- As such no specified provisions are given to define freedom on access to the internet but in Section 66A of IT Act 2000 recently came in news as this sec provides punishment for transmission of any false or illegal information which knowingly shared by a person to disturb peace and harmony of the country.
Pros and cons on freedom of expression on the internet:-
· Easier and faster means of communication of opinions:- As the internet is accessible by each and everyone easily, one can communicate it’s opinion on any of the social media platforms or anywhere just by staying in comfort of his home.
· Critical thinking:- By reading or watching everyone's opinion on certain issues one is able to make a difference between wrong and right, can also formulate an opinion of his own.
· Provides suggestions:- One can help the State in making better plans to bring out effective measures for the society.
· Shows disagreement:- If one is not comfortable with any decisions made by the Legislature he can show his disagreement to the public at large.
· Transmission of fake and illegal information:- As the internet is available to everyone easily one can provide fake or compromised information which can be shared by people at large.
· Abetment of Sedition:- By providing fake information which intends in provoking the public against the government.
· Mental harassment:- Recently we are seeing people use freedom of expression by trolling someone on the internet, which can cause mental instability and .hatred in society.
Conclusion:-With the changing world the need of the internet and freedom of expression must go hand in hand but it should not affect the freedom of expression of another person one should have to cross check the information which he is getting to distance himself
from getting indulge in any fake information . Similarly , there is a need for strict provisions for human rights to secure individual interest .