Friday, March 04, 2005

The Internet is threatened. 

A campaign finance law is to be extended to the internet, and, in the process, political punditry online is threatened. Outrageous.

How can the government place a value on a blog that praises some politician?
How do we measure that? Design fees, that sort of thing? The FEC did an advisory opinion in the late 1990s (in the Leo Smith case) that I don't think we'd hold to today, saying that if you owned a computer, you'd have to calculate what percentage of the computer cost and electricity went to political advocacy.

It seems absurd, but that's what the commission did. And that's the direction Judge Kollar-Kotelly would have us move in. Line drawing is going to be an inherently very difficult task. And then we'll be pushed to go further. Why can this person do it, but not that person?

If the FEC succeeds in silencing the political debate online, fascism will have won. This is outrageously unconstitutional, oppresses freedom of speech, and will be challenged.