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Political tags - such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth - are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.

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Thursday, 10 November 2005
Protect Free Speech Online: Stop HR 4194
Just got this update in from The Online Coalition, when you read it, keep in mind the words of Benjamin Franklin, "We must all hang together, or we will most assuredly, hang separately."

But if you are one who thinks standing up for Liberty, and Freedom would "cause trouble"?

I commend to you the words of Samuel Adams'

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude
greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace.
We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand
that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity
forget that ye were our countrymen."

Dear Friends,

You haven't heard from us in a few months - but we've been working hard
to protect your freedom to speak online. And now we need your help.

Right now - there are TWO bills in Congress that will affect bloggers -
one good, one bad. The bill that deserves our support is HR 1606 - The
Online Freedom of Speech Act.

The other bill - HR 4194 - is a substitute offered by those most
interested in regulating the Internet. Its supporters are engaged in an
aggressive campaign to pass this legislation in Congress, in an effort
to muddy the waters and distract Congress from passing real protections
for bloggers. They're so terrified of your freedom to speak your mind
that they've actually compared giving freedom to bloggers to the scandal
involving Scooter Libby in the White House. (No, we're not making that

In order to pass the bill we want - we need - to stop the sham
alternative bill, HR 4194.

Their measure, HR 4194 purports to protect "bloggers" from campaign
finance regulation. But, in fact, it is so riddled with exceptions and
exclusions that it is worse that nothing.

Click here to search for your member of Congress by zip
code. Tell them that the blogosphere is not behind HR 4194.

Problems with 4194:

* It offers no guidance as to the treatment of group political
activity, potentially treating all group websites that discuss federal
candidates as political committees

* It would stifle technological innovation. HR 4914 specifically
mentions "blogging," but ignores such as already-widely used
technologies like podcasting, wikis and peer-to-peer networks, let alone
the technologies of tomorrow.

* Its alleged protection to incorporated bloggers offers no real
protection. In comments filed before the FEC, supporters of HR 4194
have stated explicitly that those websites which endorse, expressly
advocate, and urge readers to donate funds to the election of preferred
candidates do not qualify for protection under the law. This would force
bloggers that speak forcefully about politics to seek legal counsel - a
complete disaster.

This measure is a smokescreen designed to confuse the issue and prevent
better laws from passing. Call your Representatives in Congress and
make sure they understand that HR 4194 is unacceptable.


The Online Coalition

PS - If you're a blogger, make sure your member of Congress knows that
you're telling your readers about HR 4194. And if you post about this issue - please send a trackback to
this post
so we can show Congress what bloggers think about their
watered-down attempts to "protect" free speech online.

Linked Back to Samantha Burns
The Not So Daily, Daily Best Reads


Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 7:02 PM CST
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Updated: Thursday, 10 November 2005 7:52 PM CST

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