No New Regulation for Online Political Speech
The Federal Elections Commission is supposed to stand up for fair and transparent elections, but instead they're considering new regulations that could stifle online speech. Tell the FEC to back off. Online censorship is bad for democracy.
Since 2005, the FEC has explicitly committed to trying to keep its hands off of online speech that is free or low-cost—like YouTube videos that discuss political issues and candidates. But all that could change.
FEC Commissioner Ann Ravel appears to support overhauling the regulations around online speech. This could have a huge impact on free and low-cost online political speech, especially if new regulations place complicated and burdensome record-keeping and disclosure requirements on bloggers, YouTube posters, or other online speakers, including those who post anonymously.
We have a chance to speak out. The Commission is accepting comments on whether or not to develop new Internet rules. Help us stop the FEC from adopting rules that threaten free speech and privacy. Use the text suggested below to submit comments to the Commission today. Comments are due on Thursday, January 15, 2015.
Dear Assistant General Counsel Amy L. Rothstein:
I am writing to express my deep concerns about the FEC increasing regulation of online political speech. Increased regulation of online political speech threatens the rights of millions of Internet users. In particular:
- It will chill online speech of individual speakers and thereby dampen political discourse.
- It will threaten the privacy and anonymity rights of Internet users.
- It will undermine the goals of campaign finance reform.
- And, as a practical matter, it will be unworkable in many online contexts.
The Commission’s current—and narrow—regulatory approach provides the breathing space needed to ensure robust online political debate. The Commission should not modify this approach.
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