Politicians Who Don't Get Web 2.0...

by M. David Peterson

... don't get (re)elected.

The Liberty Papers�Blog Archive � John McCain Wants To Regulate Blogs

What would happen if this law is passed and upheld in Court, of course, is easy to predict. Unfettered public discussion forums would, largely, become a thing of the past as most web site operators will not want to invest either the time or the resources into policing every conversation that takes place. Debate and discussion will be limited. All of which argues quite strongly that these regulations would violate the First Amendment.

Dear Current and/or Future Politicians,

Want to get (re)elected?

Don't Fight The Internet!


2006-12-18 15:52:13
politicians don't care because they know noone knows what they do. this is the first i've heard of this, and i follow politics more closely than anyone who would be foolish enough to vote for mclame to begin with
M. David Peterson
2006-12-19 11:47:37

You most certainly are correct -- The current set of politicians simply do not care, because in the political world they "grew up" in, blogging didn't exist, and therefore the voice of the people didn't get broadcast much past "That evil bastard!" echoing across your living room, or the water cooler (and surrounding area) at work.

Of course, situations like that of Tom Delay, etc... have proven one very important thing -- In the blogosphere, Freedom of Speech is alive and well, which means one of two things,

- Embrace it
- Attempt to kill it

But how do you kill freedom of speech, without actually looking like that is what you are trying to do? You hide it behind socially appalling things such as "we're going after the pedophiles", which in and of itself is a good thing.

But as the same post linked to above states,

All of this is being done, of course, to "protect the children." The problem is there's no evidence I'm aware of that children are being victimized by people who post comments on blogs.

NOTE: For those unaware with what's going on, what is being proposed is that a federal registry of email addresses and other known handles of convicted sex offenders be created, and that anyone who blogs and provides an area for commenting, must immediately delete any comments from those people who use the email or other handle when making a comment.

The problem: Well, since a post from joe@sexoffender.org doesn't prove that "Joe Sex Offender" was the one who actually left the post, or, as the above comment makes note, that any children are being victimized if Joe Sex Offender actually did leave a comment on a blog, we are each then placed in a situation where,

- Anyone could use an email address from the know sex offender list, and if the person who owned the blog didn't delete it, would be faced with the potential of a $300,000 fine and 10 years in prison. How long do you think it would take for just such a loophole to be abused once just such a law was put into place?
- Anyone who is a sex offender could simply use a brand new, unregistered email address and leave as many comments as they want, so even if someone is being victimized by the comments left by a sex offender, routing around just such a system would be how hard?

Yeah, not hard at all.

So then who is being protected?

Yep -- The politicians who don't like the fact that The People actually have a Voice, and are using this voice to speak out against them for one reason or another.