Online Freedom of Speech in Question

Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas introduced the Online Freedom of Speech act today — something every blogger should be aware of.

The purpose of the bill (H.R. 1606) is: "To amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to exclude communications over the Internet from the definition of public communication."

As Mike Krempasky of points out, the bill is "a companion piece of legislation to Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid’s bill (S.678) to exclude the Internet from the definition of ‘public communication’ in the Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act of 2002."

Meaning, if passed in a timely manner this legislation would keep the Federal Election Commission from creating its own regulations and stifling free speech on the Internet in the name of "campaign finance reform."

The existing campaign finance law exempts members of the media from having to abide by FEC regulation but the new law would specifically target bloggers, attacking their right to express themselves freely online.

Blogs on both sides of the political aisle are buzzing about this one. Check out the running conversation on the liberal blog between Krempasky and the left-wing of the blogosphere.

The House Administration Committee will be marking up the bill this Thursday. After the bill is marked it can be brought to the House floor for a full vote, which could happen as early as next week, according to reports.

Hat tip: Michael Hampton of Homeland Stupidity.


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