Federal regs II: State Dept’s new regs would transform the Internet beyond recognition

J.E. Dyer
Liberty Unyielding

Rusty Weiss called to our attention this morning an update to “arms trafficking” regulations posted to the Federal Register last week by the State Department.  The National Rifle Association has sounded the alarm, having recognized quickly how these new regs would effectively shut down the exchange of information among gun enthusiasts on the web.

But the chokehold effect would be felt in other quarters as well.  This move by the State Department is an absolutely terrible idea across the board.  Even if it dealt with international trade in pork bellies or chicken parts, rather than arms, it should still be opposed strenuously on principle.

Its effect will be to make a tremendous chunk of what people talk about on the web every day subject to prior restraint, by, of all agencies, the State Department – or, potentially, other federal agencies, depending on topic…

…It’s not just gun forums, although that’s certainly enough to get people galvanized.  The problem is bigger: it’s a whole basic mindset regarding the topics for which the federal government should have prior restrictive powers over us, when we want to discuss them online…



The complete article is at Liberty Unyielding.


Related: NRA: Obama State Dept. seeks to censor online speech related to firearms

…According to the NRA, “online blogs, videos, and web forums devoted to the technical aspects of firearms and ammunition” could “become subject to prior review by State Department bureaucrats before they can be published.” The State Department says it is simply clarifying existing rules regarding international arms trafficking, specifically, the NRA said, rules concerning “technical data” posted online or otherwise “released” into the “public domain.”

“To the contrary, however, the proposal would institute a massive new prior restraint on free speech,” the NRA said…



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