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FEC weighing regulation of Internet political activity

[JURIST] The Federal Election Commission [agency website] took tentative first steps in regulating Internet political activity Thursday by calling for public input on limited campaign guidelines for the medium. While commissioners expressed a reluctance to regulate online speech in any way, draft guidelines [PDF] issued by the commission suggest making campaign finance rules and other regulations found in other media applicable to certain Internet-based political advertising and e-mails, focusing on paid advertising and spam e-mail. Despite the restrained nature of the proposed regulations, many groups have spoken out against any regulation of the Internet, citing its capacity to present an unlimited viewpoints and to act as a resource for people seeking out certain kinds of content. AP has more. See statement [PDF] by Commissioner Ellen Weintraub, one of the leading forces behind the draft guidelines.

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