The U.S. House of Representatives held hearings Thursday on whether the Federal Election Commission should regulate political blogging.
A proposed change to federal regulations would "exclude communications over the Internet from the definition of public communication," making campaign finance laws applicable to them. The Net had previously been exempted from FEC regulations, but a federal court has ordered the commission to clarify those rules.
Most bloggers were, not surprisingly, opposed to new regulations governing their online speech.
Blog community response:
"While regulation of campaign financing plays an important role in maintaining public confidence in our political system, we believe the significant public policy interests in encouraging the Internet as a forum for free or low-cost speech and open information exchange should stand paramount."
--Weblog for Mark Fletcher
"You'd think the First Amendment would take care of this, but, you know, 'eternal vigilance' and all that. My advice: Tar and feathers futures -- buy!"
"Any regulations which place disclosure requirements onto bloggers which are not required of any other members of the media or which in any way open up bloggers to FEC scrutiny that other media are not subject to and which therefore the possibility of getting dragged into a complaints process would have a major chilling effect."