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The FEC's draft rules for internet activism...


The FEC has released draft rules for campaign activity on the internet.  The Democracy Project has a post explaining the rules as they apply to bloggers.  There's still time to comment, and the proposed rules are not ideal. 

UPDATE: Eugene Volokh has also commented on the "personally-owned" problem.  I suspect I am fairly unusual in that this blog is both written and hosted on a computer I personally own.  

UPDATE:
Here's the relevant text of the proposed rule for bloggers:
No expenditure results where an individual, acting independently or as a volunteer, without receiving compensation, performs Internet activities using computer equipment and services that he or she personally owns for the purpose of influencing any Federal election, whether or not the individual?s activities are known to or coordinated with any candidate, authorized committee or party committee.
Another big unanswered question: What about revenue from advertising on the blog?  Is that "compensation"?  If so, would this change fix it?
No expenditure results where an individual, acting independently or as a volunteer, without receiving compensation from a candidate, authorized committee, or party committee, performs Internet activities using computer equipment and services that he or she personally owns for the purpose of influencing any Federal election, whether or not the individual?s activities are known to or coordinated with any candidate, authorized committee or party committee.
Problem: what if the blogger donates a blogad?  What if the  [regulated-entity] buys a blogad AND the blogger writes about the [regulated entity]?  The Exempt Media can do it.  Why can't we? 

This illustrates the problem with regulating free speech.  There are always grey areas with unclear rules and stupid interpertations.  Free speech is free speech, and if you regulate it, it's no longer free even if there are hoops to jump through for private citizens.  Why is this true?  Private citizens can't afford pay lawyers to tell them what the hoops are!

We do not need campaign finance reform.  We need repeal.

UPDATE: Captain's Quarter's makes many of the same points.  He also raises the question of whether a link from a [regulated entity] generates a presumption of coordination.  I linked to the website of a Presidential candidate in the last election.  And I got linked back.  Is this compensation? 

This entry was published Sat Sep 24 10:43:35 CDT 2005 by TriggerFinger and last updated 2005-09-24 10:43:35.0. [Tweet]

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