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Election Commission Takes a Light Touch With Net Regs 102

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the shuffling-paperwork dept.
CNet is reporting that the Federal Election Commission released a 96-page volume of internet regulations last Friday. From the article: "The rules [PDF] say that paid Web advertising, including banner ads and sponsored links on search engines, will be regulated like political advertising in other types of media. They also say bloggers can enjoy the freedoms of traditional news organizations when endorsing a candidate or engaging in political speech.
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Election Commission Takes a Light Touch With Net Regs

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  • by causality (777677) on Saturday March 25, 2006 @11:28AM (#14993573)
    Oh, and they always have a choice. They can restrict our rights as much as they want in law. Then its up to us to take them to court to prove they have overstepped their bounds and have the law tossed. On our dime.


    In the USA at least, the Constitution is the highest law of the land.

    Because of this, I never understood why it is that a politician can pass (or help to pass) an unconstitutional law and it can negatively affect the welfare and livelihood and personal freedoms of many people, and yet when this law is finally overturned by a court and found to be unconstitutional, nothing happens to the politician.

    If an elected official knowingly (and politicians overwhelmingly tend to be lawyers, so I doubt they can claim ignorance) contradicts the highest law of the land, especially for the purpose of political gain, they should simply be charged with treason and tried in a criminal court, and if found guilty by a court of law, they should be executed or receive life in prison. Let this happen once or twice to establish a precedent and most of the problem will be solved. No one forces a person to run for office; they wanted the power over the lives of millions of Americans, so let them also have the responsibility and personal accountability that goes along with it.

    If this became reality, then perhaps if they don't like the Constitution they would go through the process of changing/amending it, rather than simply breaking its laws. You know, like what they tell us to do about laws that we don't like? We must eliminate this idea that government officials are somehow superior to or more soverign than any other citizen - the entire notion of rule of law is threatened by it. They are supposed to be public servants and what's good for the goose truly is good for the gander.
  • by Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) on Saturday March 25, 2006 @12:59PM (#14993904) Homepage Journal
    >The very ANTITHESIS of freedom of speech, as this would doom anonymity.

    An important point.

    If the speech involves spending money and a single "speaker" can affect the outcome of the entire election, don't we need transparency? If government contractor Remora, Inc. pays $100 to each of 100,000 bloggers in the district of Senator Porkbringer who sits on the Appropriations Committee, isn't it best to have that fact on opensecrets.org? So we'll know what's going on when Senator Porkbringer tells us that national security requires giving a no-bid contract to Remora?
  • by masdog (794316) <masdog@@@gmail...com> on Saturday March 25, 2006 @01:08PM (#14993939)
    That is a very important point. We want to know when companies are influencing the election of politicians who are going to give them a sweet deal. Its imperitive to ensure that our nation doesn't turn into a corporate controlled state. Oops. Too late.

    However, if I, as an independent citizen, wish to publish a political blog under the name Publius, I should have that right as well. I shouldn't have to file forms or disclose my funding if I wish to exercise my right to free speech. Nor should the government be able to tell me that I can't talk about the subject of politics simply because it is an election season.
  • Re:Way to go (Score:3, Interesting)

    by robertjw (728654) on Saturday March 25, 2006 @04:31PM (#14994665) Homepage
    We'll be huddling in our homes fearing the new SS here soon.

    Maybe you will. I shoot back.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 25, 2006 @07:07PM (#14995336)
    "This is another piece of right wing bullshit. A lie often repeated, but a lie nonetheless."
    So, peeing on the flag = speech.

    BUT

    Buying poster board, tv spots and taking an ads out in the newspapers = not speech.

    Yeah, I can understand that.... sure....

    Besides, if you read the parent, he's not rightwing or leftwing; he's saying that there is a problem that "right" and "left" are your only choices and that one reason for that is that independant parties with few contributors have these caps.

    "It shows up nearly as often as another lie: 'A corporation's only responsibility is to make money for its shareholders.'"

    A corporation exsits only to make money for it's shareholders; however, I agree that it isn't it's sole responsibility.

    "Despite the propoganda you may have heard, money is not speech"
    See above, and consider:

    Explain how it isn't "saying something" when a company is boycotted.
    Seems it says alot, if the boycott is fruitful.

    Explain how it isn't "saying something" when you give large sums of money to an orginization that carries out terrorism. I read that as meaning, "I agree with the motives and methods of said group." Don't you?

    "and the freedom to do whatever you want with your money is not unrestricted, nor should it be. If you think it is, see what attempting to by crack cocaine from an undercover officer gets you."

    Your example doesn't prove your whole point; unless you want us to take for granted that crack cocaine should be illegal; and, I think there is a strong case it should be legal (dispite the fact that I've never drank, smoked or used any currently illegal drugs).

    However, I agree. There are things that you shouldn't be able to do with your money... Slavory is a good example.

    "It's your right to call up your congressman and ask him to do you a favor. It is not your right to pay him to do you a favor. It is also not your right to pay for his campaign advertising in exchage for a favor."

    Buying favors, and donating money are seperate issues. If I were running, and I got a giant contribution; it would not incline me to vote against what I believe the best for my area is, juect because the giver asked me to.

    "It is your right to say whatever you want."

    Yes. Certian restirctions exsist with good reason, but essentially correct. (libel, slander, "fire" in a theater)

    "It is not necessarily a right to get paid for saying it,"
    Correct.

    "nor is it necessarily a right to have an anonymous party pay for distributions of your message."

    Bull. Anonymous speech is protected. If I paid for and printed a message myself anonymously (and didn't violate the restrictions on speech -- of which campiagn finance should be among them), the law protects me.

    If someone else, agrees with my message, and republishes (and had permission from me (copyright holder of the original work)), and prints it anonymously as well, it is protected by the law. How is this any different if the second person payed me in order to save the settup fees and saving the labor of having to re-run the printing?

Neckties strangle clear thinking. -- Lin Yutang

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