Bloggers who criticize the government may soon face arrest and imprisonment. If I suddenly vanish from this web site, you'll know I'm down catching the rays in Guantanamo.
Look, I think we all know that the government has had wet dreams about shutting down the internet as an effective medium of opposition for some time. They keep probing and probing, floating little trial balloons to see what they can get away with, such things as a postal fee for e-mails and revoking internet service providers' common carrier status.
The latest attempt to silence web sites like Thoughtcrime comes in the guise of a restriction on "lobbying." According to GrassrootsFreedom.com, a website dedicated to fighting efforts to silence grassroots movements: "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."
"Communicates to members of the public on policy matters?" I think that used to be called freedom of speech, but now apparently it's "lobbying," and will be subject to the mountains of red tape which real lobbyists have to go through. (For all the good it does in controlling their corruption, bribery, and other misbehavior.) Any lobbyist who fails to keep his paperwork in order and who "knowingly and willingly fails to file or report" every three months with the Federal government faces prosecution and up to a year in jail, not to mention heavy fines and the seizure of assets (including computers) to pay those fines.
According to the Infowars web site (a site which would probably be shut down very quickly if this law passes) "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."
Another part of the regime's hidden agenda has always been somehow to equate political dissent against diversity, multiculturalism, and government corruption with such things as child pornography and child molestation, including creating a "hate registry" and forcing dissidents to register as "hate offenders."
Infowars goes on" "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. In recent months, a chorus of propaganda intended to demonize the Internet and further lead it down a path of strict control has spewed forth from numerous establishment organs. During an appearance with his wife Barbara on Fox News last November, George Bush senior slammed Internet bloggers for creating an adversarial and ugly climate."
This is another liberal shibboleth, that "creating a hostile climate or environment" in the workplace or elsewhere is somehow a criminal offense.
In a recent speech, Homeland Security director Michael Chertoff identified the web as a 'terror training camp,' through which 'disaffected people living in the United States' [that's us, folks!] are developing 'radical ideologies and potentially violent skills.' Chertoff pledged to dispatch Homeland Security agents to local police departments in order to aid in the apprehension of domestic terrorists who use the Internet as a political tool."
A political tool like Thoughtcrime, for example?