Another itteration of Quis custodiet ipsos custodes - Who guards the guardians?
The following article continues an exploration of proposed limits to free speech - and my sense that when free speech is limited for some all are at risk; all speech on the internet is at risk if objected to.
Here are excerpts from an article forwarded to me:
""The FEC (Federal Election Commissioon) already regulates paid Internet advertising, but free Internet
posts are exempt from campaign-finance regulations. On Oct. 24 Ms. Ravel (vice-chair of FEC)
stated that in doing so “the Commission turned a blind eye to the
Internet’s growing force in the political arena.” She said that a
“re-examination of the Commission’s approach to the Internet and other
emerging technologies is long overdue,” and vowed to hold hearings next
year on the matter—a clear hint that the goal is to remove the
regulatory exemption for free online political speech...."
Lest we think this is just an inquiry without any history or hidden agenda, we need to remember that "in April 2012, when Ms. Ravel was chairwoman of the California Fair
Political Practices Commission (a state agency comparable to the FEC)
and I (the article author Mr. Rotunda) was a commissioner, she announced that the commission would issue
regulations governing political speech on the Internet. The rules, she
said, would even govern bloggers outside the state. Californians raised a
fuss and her efforts got nowhere"
The articles conclusions are:
"The intellectual godfather of the American Revolution,
published his famous pamphlet, “Common Sense,” anonymously.
Political speech regulation of the kind proposed by Ms. Ravel would have
required Paine to disclose his identity and who helped finance the
publication. The authors of the Federalist Papers also wrote
anonymously. They would be surprised to learn that the government they
helped create would make their efforts on its behalf illegal.
theory behind limiting political campaign contributions is the fear
that a contributor might secure special access to an officeholder or
secure his, or his successor’s, secret promise to vote for or against a
piece of legislation. This fear does not apply when someone is arguing
publicly for or against a law, regardless of who may or may not have
paid him to do so.
The Federal Election Commission exists solely
to protect the public against potential corruption of public officials.
It has no authority to regulate pure political speech, which is what
the Web does: It disseminates pure political speech."
The full article is here: