Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Free Speech

BEIJING (Reuters) - "China is being forced on the defensive over its media censorship policies, fending off attacks from United States and even, unexpectedly, its own aging Communist Party officials.

This week, Beijing has had to defend its controls over the Internet, just days after U.S. Web giants faced bipartisan criticism in Congress for bowing to Chinese government demands to block sites and help track down critics who communicate online.

At the same time, a former secretary to Chairman Mao Zedong and a dozen other senior Chinese scholars and ex-officials denounced the shutting down of an investigative weekly as a "historic incident."

And the U.S. State Department has set up a task force to help American technology companies protect freedom of expression in countries like China that censor online content.

Meanwhile, a quick trip around the internet shows Americans setting up their own task forces to protect their freedom of speech right here at home.

Free the Internet

"Certain political activities involving the Internet (blogs, websites, email) are about to be regulated by the Federal Election Commission. But the mainstream media is exempted from these regulations. They will apply to you, but not to Identical bills have now been introduced in the House and Senate to exempt the Internet from these regulations. The full text of these bills is as follows:

Paragraph (22) of section 301 of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (2 U.S.C. 431(22)) is amended by adding at the end of the following new sentence: "Such term shall not include communications over the Internet."
This simple legislation will restore your personal "freedom of the press" on the Internet, and place your Internet communications on the same legal ground as the major media. If we can pass this law in the next month-or-so Internet regulations currently being drafted will be made null-and-void.

Please use the form below to ask your representatives in the House and Senate to pass this law."


First Amendment Restoration Act

Congress has made it illegal for citizens to broadcast ads criticizing their elected representatives within 60-days of an election. This is un-American and must be reversed. Fortunately, Representative Roscoe Bartlett (R.-MD) has re-introduced his “First Amendment Restoration Act” to repeal these restrictions on free speech and political dissent. HR 689 would repeal this restriction of free speech and political dissent.

Please use the simple system below to send your elected representatives the following message.

While I don't agree with and sign every petition makes available, these two are well worth a read.

No comments: