Another Empire strikes back

The blogging community is abuzz with the latest threat to writing and journalism on the Web. There is a move afoot to extend the controversial 2002 Federal campaign laws to bloggers writing about politics. At this point, I don't know enough about the law itself to do much more than merely mention the controversy as an example of how the Law of Unintended Consequences continues to work in the age of the Internet.

It seems to be caught up in the age old (okay, about ten years old) controversy of linking. Some parties say you are campaigning if you simply put a link on your site to the Web site of a candidate running for office.

From a certain angle, I could agree with that. But I always like to look at the practical side. How do you enforce such a thing? Will the Federal Election Commission create "Web Police" who will roam the Web looking for unauthorized links? Will they set up massive, Google-like back room 'bots that try to crawl every site on the Web for a stray link to Joe Fiddleray, who's running for Dogcatcher in Left Elbon, Montana?

I remember reading once that for a law to be a "good" law, it had to be enforceable. I don't think this one is.

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