Many bloggers were predictably pleased by the FEC's unanimous ruling to take a a largely hands-off approach toward political speech and advertising online. But others in the blogosphere remain wary, to say the least, about the future.
Some reiterated their concern about the precedent-setting nature of the decision. The best thing that could have happened, they say, would have been no ruling at all: Now that even light regulation has been instituted, this thinking goes, the door is open to further restrictions later on.
A parallel could be drawn between this issue and laws proposed more than a decade ago with the Communications Decency Act, which sought to restrict online material deemed "indecent" but was ultimately rejected by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional. Depending on what the FEC does in years to come, issues related to the political advertising decision might eventually be headed for the high court as well.
Blog community response:
"Don't believe a word of it. They've got their foot in the door. We've embarked upon the slippery slope."
--Shooting the Messenger
"It looks like we're in the clear for now, but let's hope the FEC doesn't have a change of heart down the road."
"The biggest problem with the rules is simply the principle established--the Internet is now to be subject to regulation. The FEC can change the rules--extend them--when it wants."