Tuesday, November 01, 2005

ACTION ALERT: Save Online Freedom of Speech TODAY

Over at Daily Kos, Adam B reminds us to call and email our congresspeople and the House Democratic leaders TODAY to let them know we value the freedom of our online political speech.

On Wednesday, November 2, H.R. 1606, the Online Freedom of Speech Act goes before the House for a vote. This is a truly bipartisan bill which seeks to keep the FEC from deploying ham-fisted regulations upon online political speech in the guise of complying with the intent of McCain-Feingold, which was passed in 2002 and specifically did not mention online speech. The effect of such regulations, as pointed out by Adam B:
They've taken a narrow mandate to correct the anti-coordination gap as an excuse to propose all sorts of new restrictions on your internet activity, ranging from making group weblogs into regulated "political committees", to potentially imposing a "blogger code of ethics" with disclosure and disclaimer requirements enforceable by law (requirements otherwise unheard of for any other independent actor who deals with political campaigns), to intruding into the workplace to tell readers how much time they can spend participating in online political discussion groups. Plus which, they have no idea how to deal with podcasting, p2p networks or any of the emerging technologies for discussion.
This bill merely says, "Let's stick to the letter of McCain-Feingold, which could have mentioned political internet activity and did not. Let's not penalize those who participate in online political communities - most of which is done free of charge - for exercising their freedom of speech."

It's November 1st - please contact your representative and/or the House Democratic leaders TODAY:

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi - (202) 225-4965 or email
Minority Whip Steny Hoyer - (202) 225-4131 or email from constituents

Let them know we want to continue to have our constitutionally granted freedom of speech to extend to the internet.

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