Saturday, June 25
There is a reason that our United States Constitution exists. To keep us free and democratic. 75 million Americans used the internet in the last election to find information, discuss, debate, rant, etc. It seems as if our lawmakers our so scared by masses having a means for free speech in the political arena that they are seeking to regulate it.
A federal judge (wonder whose pocket he is in) decided that the internet must fall under BCRA. (Link is to a .pdf file) Prior to this ruling, the FEC held that the internet should be excluded. I wonder if this judge truly thought about his decision before issuing it.
Maybe this judge just wanted political parties to have to count internet advertisements when reporting to the FEC. The implications could be far worse. One large debate is over what to classify bloggers as.
Bloggers generally pay little or none to blog. "Traditional" press/media has overhead-magazines, newspapers, TV stations, etc. The proposed rules would make any blogger that used a computer at work to blog regulated. Also, group blogs seem to fall under the definition of "commitee," making them regulated.
The point is that this could restrict our right to free speech. Our rants, opinions, ideas could be construed as voluteering for a political party. What we pay for our hosting could be considered part of campaign funds. We might not be able to say that Bush, Jr. is an asshole anymore.
Center for Democracy and Technology
House of Representatives
Federal Election Commitee
PEW Internet and American Life Project