Thursday, March 03, 2005

FEC proposes regulations for blogs

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Ed Cone points to this very troubling story in CNET:

Bradley Smith says that the freewheeling days of political blogging and online punditry are over.

In just a few months, he warns, bloggers and news organizations could risk the wrath of the federal government if they improperly link to a campaign's Web site. Even forwarding a political candidate's press release to a mailing list, depending on the details, could be punished by fines.

Smith should know. He's one of the six commissioners at the Federal Election Commission, which is beginning the perilous process of extending a controversial 2002 campaign finance law to the Internet.

Fellow bloggers, I hope you will join me in shooting down this trial balloon before it gets anywhere.

The Iron Mouth adds some perspective.

John Aravosis provides some historical context.

Trudy Schuett says not quite.

Armando monitors developments.

Electrolite provides additional insight.

Mark Schmitt comments.

Additional background from the Iron Mouth.

The Online Coalition


RobW said...

Note that the FEC has not proposed anything but that a single commissioner mouthed off to a reporter. No regulations have been proposed and no rulemaking announced as of yet.

Alice said...

Very true, and you are exactly correct in your blog's assertions that this is an attempt to mobilize blogosphere against McCain Feingold.

However, as John Aravosis points out, Bush has been fishing for a pretext to regulate the Internet for some time. I think we should treat this seriously.