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Blogs: To regulate or not?

The Washington Post reports: A raft of lawmakers, campaign finance watchdog groups, election lawyers and bloggers urged the Federal Election Commission on Friday to exempt the vast majority of -- if not all -- individual political activists on the Internet from new regulations.

The comments, submitted hours before an agency deadline, came as the FEC considers whether and how to regulate online political activities, including blogging, advertising and e-mail. The commission had proposed shielding virtually all online political activities from government restrictions. But two sponsors of the campaign finance reform legislation approved in 2002 successfully sued to overturn that and some other policies. The court's decision left it to the FEC to decide which activities to regulate.

That has worried bloggers, in particular, who fear they will have to consult lawyers to ensure they do not run afoul of any new rules. The FEC, which is scheduled to decide the issue later this year, released a draft of its proposed regulations this spring that indicated it intended to take a relatively light hand. The agency also invited public comment on its proposal.

The authors of the campaign finance reform law, Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Russell Feingold (D-Wis.) and Reps. Christopher Shays (R-Conn.) and Martin T. Meehan (D-Mass.), filed a joint statement urging the agency to ignore individuals' politicking on the Internet and focus instead on tightening rules governing online activities of unions, corporations and state political parties. -- Groups Weigh In on Web Politicking


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» FEC gets comments on regulating blogging from Politics and Technology
The FEC has received comments from bloggers, activists, and lawmakers on their proposed rulemaking related to political activity on the net. From the Washington Post: The authors of the campaign finance reform law, Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Russe... [Read More]