Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Freedom to Blog Under Attack

Blogging, in fact--the entire internet, is an amazing expression of ingenuity, creativity and individualism. I am constantly amazed at the variety of human beings and the capacity for self-expression, invention and entrepreneurship which is manifested through this medium. What a wonderful, uninhibited exchange of information and ideas!! Blogging is grass-roots, good-old-fashioned independence at its best.

And it is currently under atttack by the government which should be most diligent in protecting it: the federal government of the United States of America.

One attack on the internet itself, and at the most fundamental level, on the 1st Amendment rights of free speech and free press, is the attempt to impose "net neutrality" and government oversight by declaring the internet "public property." Whatever is "public property" can not be private property, and ownership and control are transferred from individuals to government. To better understand the implications of this move, please read Raymond Niles' article, "Net Neutrality:Toward a Stupid Internet." (Although, it wouldn't just be a stupid internet, it would be one which has lost essential liberty.)

A second serious attack on internet (and thus individual) freedom is the growing intrusion of FCC oversight into blogging. In the post "Oh Say Can You Say, " Don Watkins explains the unpredictable liability and arbitrary rule which new regulations impose on bloggers---and which will go into effect on December first. Bloggers beware!

These are NOT harmless precedents which are being set here. We Americans will not lose our freedoms by a frontal attack, but we are very vulnerable to the steady incremental erosion of our liberties.

Please pay attention and speak up when you see things go awry.

To remain silent is to give your consent.

(10/14/09 Update: Also check out You Can't Say That.)


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