"The time, it is to be hoped, is gone by when any defence would be necessary of the “liberty of the press” as one of the securities against corrupt or tyrannical government." (source: On Liberty By John Stuart Mill)
I have three questions to ask.
(1) For the phrase of the “liberty of the press”, is it related to the subject of the clause any defence as follows? : the defence of the “liberty of the press”
(2) I think "the time is gone by" means it is too late or they missed the opportunity. If so, how should I understand the phrase "it is to be hoped"? Why anyone would want being too late?
(3) What does securities mean here?
Could you help me clarify it? Thank you always.