IndyLaw Net is an independent weblog written and managed by students and alumni of the Indiana University School of Law in Indianapolis, serving the IU Law-Indy community.

We welcome and encourage comments... Please check out ILN's commenting policy

Editor-in-chief, webmaster:
Lucas Sayre

Associate editors:
Karl Born

Contributors:
Karl Born
Brian Deiwert
Lucas Sayre
Kelly Scanlan
Nathan Van Sell

Links:

IU-Indy Law
Prof. Jeff Cooper
Daily Contentions
In the Agora
Commentary Track
Justin Gifford
Jelly Beans & Corduroy
Joe Delamater
Just Playin'
Obiter Dictum
Ryan Strup
The Sleepy Sage
Waiting for the Punchline
Myron's Mind
TV Law
Radio-N8

Other Law Students
IrishLaw
The Rattler
Ambivalent Imbroglio
John Branch
Phil Carter
De Novo
Paul Gutman
Kathryn Janeway
Jewish Buddha
The Kitchen Cabinet
Law Dork
letters from babylon
Letters of Marque
Mixtape Marathon
Notes from the Underground
Andrew Raff
Sua Sponte
Three Years of Hell
Unlearned Hand
Waddling Thunder

Legal Academics
Jack Balkin
Jeff Cooper
Rick Hasen
LawMeme
Lawrence Lessig
Eric Muller
Glenn Reynolds
D. Gordon Smith
Lawrence Solum
Peter Tillers
The Volokh Conspiracy
David Wagner
Tung Yin
White Collar Crime prof blog

Other Academic-types
Andrew R. Cline
Crooked Timber
Brad DeLong
Daniel W. Drezner
Joseph Duemer
Amitai Etzioni
Rebecca Goetz
Kieran Healy
Mark A. R. Kleiman
Brett Marston
History News Network
Michael Tinkler

Other Lawblogs
Program for Judicial Awareness
Howard J. Bashman
Stuart Buck
Janell Grenier
Sam Heldman
Tech Law Advisor
Denise Howell
Ken Lammers
Legal Reader
Math Class for Poets
Nathan Newman
Statutory Construction Zone
Indiana Law Blog
Timothy Sandefur
Fritz Schranck
Stop the Bleating
TalkLeft
Pejman Yousefzadeh

Legal News
The Jurist
CNN - Law
FindLaw
Law.com
lexisONE

Sapere aude - dare to be wise
Thursday, March 03, 2005
The Coming Crackdown
Posted 10:54 AM by Joshua Claybourn
When campaign finance reform was passed into law, libertarian-minded folks (and indeed activists of all persuasions) reacted more annoyed than outraged. All of that may soon change as the Federal Election Commission (FEC) starts turning its sights to the Internet, suggesting "the freewheeling days of political blogging and online punditry are over."
In just a few months. . . bloggers and news organizations could risk the wrath of the federal government if they improperly link to a campaign's Web site. Even forwarding a political candidate's press release to a mailing list, depending on the details, could be punished by fines.
That's the lede from CNET after an interview with Bradley Smith, one of the six commissioners at the Federal Election Commission, which is beginning the process of extending campaign finance law to the Internet. Reading Mr. Smith's comments really highlight the absurdity of the laws and how much we've conceded First Amendment rights.

For instance, a blog that praises a politician may be charged a fee based on the percentage of the computer cost and electricity that went to political advocacy. Even a hyperlink can carry enormous implications. If your hyperlink results in $35,000 in contributions, for instance, the FEC would will usually take the view that the blogger contributed $35,000. This sounds extreme, but that's precisely what campaign finance laws are, and it's in line with an advisory opinion in 1998 that concluded that Web sites endorsing or soliciting funds for federal candidates are considered political advertisements and must disclose the full name of the site's creator, state whether the opinions expressed on the site are authorized by the candidate, and report expenditures.

At a minimum, any coordinated activity over the Internet would need to be regulated. A press exemption may help in some respects, but federal law limits the press exemption to a "broadcasting station, newspaper, magazine or other periodical publication." In 2002, the FEC exempted the Internet by a 4-2 vote, but U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly last fall overturned that decision because the "commission's exclusion of Internet communications from the coordinated communications regulation severely undermines" the campaign finance law's purposes. The commission could not even muster enough votes among themselves to appeal the decision.

Unless the three commissioners who are satisfied with the district court ruling have a change of heart and decide to appeal, it will take action from Congress to protect some of our most fundamental rights. Otherwise any individual linking to a political candidate, setting up a blog, or sending out mass e-mails may suffer the wrath of this grossly totalitarian law.

As seen in the
National Jurist
and on
FOXNews

Indianapolis Help Wanted




Archives:
August 2003
September 2003
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
April 2007
May 2007
March 2010






Weblog Commenting by HaloScan.com