Bloggers Who Criticize Government May Face Prison

You’d be forgiven for thinking that it was some new restriction on free speech in Communist China. But it isn’t. The U.S. Government wants to force bloggers and online grassroots activists to register and regularly report their activities to Congress in the latest astounding attack on the internet and the First Amendment.

Richard A. Viguerie, Chairman of GrassrootsFreedom.com, a website dedicated to fighting efforts to silence grassroots movements, states:

“Section 220 of S. 1, the lobbying reform bill currently before the Senate, would require grassroots causes, even bloggers, who communicate to 500 or more members of the public on policy matters, to register and report quarterly to Congress the same as the big K Street lobbyists. Section 220 would amend existing lobbying reporting law by creating the most expansive intrusion on First Amendment rights ever. For the first time in history, critics of Congress will need to register and report with Congress itself.”

In other words Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats may redefine the meaning of lobbying in order that political communications to and even between citizens falls under the same legislation.

Under current law any ‘lobbyist” who ‘knowingly and willingly fails to file or report.” quarterly to the government faces criminal charges including a possible jail term of up to one year.

The amendment is currently on hold.

This latest attack on bloggers comes hot on the heels of Republican Senator John McCain’s proposal to introduce legislation that would fine blogs up to $300,000 for offensive statements, photos and videos posted by visitors on comment boards.

McCain’s proposal is presented under the banner of saving children from sexual predators and encourages informants to shop website owners to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, who then pass the information on to the relevant police authorities.

Despite a total lack of any evidence that children are being victimized en mass by bloggers or people who leave comments on blog sites, it seems likely that the proposal will become legislation in some form. It is well known that McCain has a distaste for his blogosphere critics, causing a definite conflict of interest where any proposal to restrict blogs on his part is concerned.


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  1. May 10th, 2012
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