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A Faerie's Farthing

Flitting through the internets looking for sparkly bits. All content mine and not to be reproduced without permission.

Location: All Material Copyrighted, United States

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Let the Polar Bears Blog!

Let the Polar Bears Blog!

Oh, if only they could vote...

But they can't, so we need to give Congress what for and make sure they vote against drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge tomorrow. So we need to call today!

The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is under attack and we don’t have a minute to spare. We need your help right now to stop oil drilling in the Arctic Refuge before it's too late.

But time is running out. Please edit our letter below as you see fit, then click on the "Send this Message" button. Remember that if you take just a minute or two to add your own words, you increase the impact of your letter enormously.

And while you've already got your congresscritters' attention, tell them to keep FEC regulations off the internet as well. H.R. 1606, the Online Freedom of Speech Act, is up for a vote tomorrow, Wednesday, November 2. Let's make sure it passes.

Let the Political Bloggers Blog

It would be wonderful if the Federal Election Commission could, as The Post hopes, rewrite its regulations to protect the free-speech rights of bloggers and to subject Internet advertising to the rules that govern other media.

In 2004 a vibrant blogosphere empowered millions of citizens to influence national politics, leveling the effect of wealth on the electoral process. The low costs of entry, ease of use and infinite bandwidth of the Internet stand as a counterweight to political action committees and other entrenched interests. This citizen participation, however, would be chilled by poorly drafted or complex regulations designed to thwart a threat that remains theoretical.

Heaven forbid citizens avail themselves of the information superhighway and mass communication to claim their stake in democracy!

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 reenacts the FEC's original exemption, and is intended to say, "No, Courts, this is really what Congress itself wanted. Don't make the FEC regulate what we don't want them to touch." Its passage would forestall the FEC's current process, while leaving other issues open for future consideration by Congress or the FEC if the need arises.

So, please, let your reps know to vote for the good idea - the online freedom of speech act and to emphatically vote against the very, very bad idea of drilling in the polar bears' backyard. If they could say "nimby," they would.


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