Internet Speech Threatened by FEC: Comments Now Closed to Public

With the Federal Communication’s Commission close to their decision on Net Neutrality, the public comment period has now closed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) on a proposed rule that would limit online speech.

The proposed rules would categorize the work of bloggers, YouTubers and basically anyone with an online voice as a political contribution.

How the FEC plans to collect that data and determine a hard value is unclear.

The free-market organization, Our Generation, submitted public comments by the January 15th deadline opposing rules that ultimately apply more regulation to the Internet.

The organization stated in its comments:

“Our Generation asserts that the Internet should continue to remain a robust and vibrant space for political discussion and in its comments urged the Commission to continue to take a ‘hands off approach.’ Any rules the Commission promulgates must respect the First Amendment and not infringe upon the rights of citizens to engage in constitutionally protected speech.”

In the wake of the Citizens United and McCutcheon Supreme Court rulings, democrats have expressed outrage of their inability to stop the “tsunami of ‘dark money’” flowing into politics.

In October of 2014, Jon Bonifaz, the president of a left-leaning advocacy group expressed his frustration:

“Now, this decision by the majority of the commission only exacerbates the threat posed by the Citizens United ruling. It does nothing to address the real need for disclosure of this dark money that is now coming into our elections in the hundreds of millions of dollars.”