ref date:8 Oct 1999 (WBA)
Labour wants to control internet media for political ends
Blair is planning to send some of his top spin doctors to see how the
Americans use the internet to meet political ends.
They censor it and control it!
Heres the reality .......
A BRIEFING ON PUBLIC POLICY ISSUES AFFECTING CIVIL LIBERTIES ONLINE
from THE CENTER FOR DEMOCRACY AND TECHNOLOGY (CDT) OCTOBER 5th 1999
(1) Campaign Finance Rules Threaten Speech on the Internet: CDT Report
(1) CAMPAIGN FINANCE RULES THREATEN SPEECH ON THE INTERNET: CDT REPORT
The rapidly growing use of the Internet by ordinary citizens to express
political opinions and participate in electoral activities - one of the
medium's most promising aspects - is on a collision course with federal
campaign finance law.
The law regulating contributions to federal elections was designed for the
centralized, scarce, expensive and gatekeeper-dominated media of radio,
television and print. In contrast, the Internet is uniquely decentralized,
abundant, inexpensive, interactive and user-controlled. The Internet
supports a diversity and abundance of speech not possible in other media -
much of it spontaneous and independent from campaign committees and the
political parties. Many innovative efforts are underway to revitalize
citizen involvement in the electoral process through the Internet.
The Supreme Court has ruled that the unique qualities of the Internet
entitle it to the highest free speech protection under the Constitution's
First Amendment. However, initial efforts by the Federal Election
Commission (FEC) to apply existing campaign finance law to Internet
communications have yielded troubling results, threatening to burden - even
silence - the voice of average citizens in American political life.
CDT has examined the FEC's actions and recommends a fundamentally less
restrictive approach in its recent report, "Square Pegs and Round Holes:
Applying the Campaign Finance Law to the Internet - Risks to Free
Expression and Democratic Values."