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Friday, July 21, 2006

Protect Online Political Speech

Before June 3, 2006!       This effort is vital for all of us who participate in online free speech in the political arena.   Democrat, Republican or Independent, it matters not.   Please take the time to go the site below and read the complete list of principles laid out by the Center For Democracy & Technology.   These principles represent the basis for all our continued freedom on the internet.   - fc
Center For Democracy & TechnologyProtect Online Political Speech

The Federal Elections Commission (the "FEC") is proposing in a "Notice of Proposed Rulemaking" ("NPRM") to extend the regime of federal campaign finance rules to political speech on the Internet. Although the proposed rules are intended to be limited, they will have a significant harmful impact on the independent political speech of ordinary citizens online. The public has an opportunity to comment on the proposed rules before June 3, 2005.

The Center for Democracy & Technology and the Institute for Politics, Democracy and the Internet are collaborating to respond to the NPRM. Working with a broad range of stakeholders and interest groups, we have drafted a set of "principles" that we believe should guide the FEC and Congress in crafting rules that affect on online political speech.
1. The Internet is a unique and powerful First Amendment forum, which supports speech as "broad as human thought." It empowers ordinary people to be speakers and publishers with the ability to reach millions. As such, the Supreme Court has afforded speech on the Internet the highest constitutional protection.

2. Unlike the broadcast media, the Internet is a powerful engine for interactive, diverse, and robust democratic discourse, and it has broadened and increased the public's participation in the political process. The Internet's user-driven control and decentralized architecture support a multiplicity of voices and constrain the ability of any one speaker to monopolize attention or drown out other voices.

3. Robust political activity by ordinary citizens on the Internet, including their monetary contributions, strengthens and supports the central underlying purpose of the campaign finance law: to protect integrity of our system of representative democracy by minimizing the corrupting influence of large contributions on candidates and office holders. Individuals’ online political activity engages larger numbers of citizens in the political and campaign processes and encourages an increase in smaller contributions.

4. The Federal Election Commission should adopt a presumption against the regulation of election-related speech by individuals on the Internet, and should avoid prophylactic rules aimed at hypothetical or potential harms that could arise in the context of Internet political speech of individuals. Instead, the Commission should limit regulation to those activities where there is a record of demonstrable harms.

5. If in the future evidence arises that individuals’ Internet activities are undermining the purpose of the federal campaign finance laws, any resulting regulation should be narrowly tailored and clearly delineated to avoid chilling constitutionally protected speech. The Commission should eschew a legalistic and overly formal approach to the application of campaign finance laws to political speech on the Internet.

Continue Reading The Rest of the Principles ...
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  • The current Congress is a total lame duck. What have they done? Aside from giving themselves pay raises and taking a lot of time off. From the latest statistic 75% of the American people feel the same way. Don't waste your time, unless you have a lot of bribe money to pay them off.

    By Blogger EuroYank, at 7/23/2006 7:37 PM  

  • Cool blog, interesting information... Keep it UP here

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/16/2007 7:59 PM  

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