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February 17, 2005

Legislating cyberspace

From CNET:

The Federal Election Commission plans to begin reviewing next month whether the Internet should continue to enjoy its privileged status as exempt from some of the stricter dictates of a 2002 campaign finance law.

For the last three years, the FEC has been fighting to protect the rough-and-tumble world of Net advertising from being shackled by the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, better known as the McCain-Feingold law. In the 2004 election, advocacy groups or rich individuals were able to coordinate online advertising with a political campaign without having it count as a contribution--something that's flatly not permitted for traditional media such as newspapers and television.

But now the FEC is reluctantly revisiting its earlier decision, thanks to a federal judge's ruling in September. "The commission's exclusion of Internet communications from the coordinated communications regulation severely undermines" the law's purposes, wrote U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly.

It's not all that clear what impact this will make on the various “entities” on the internet, specifically bloggers. But then the McCain-Feingold Law has never been that clear to anyone about anything.

Posted by Jack Lewis at February 17, 2005 10:20 AM

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