Full Disclosure
Tuesday, October 6, 2009 at 12:01PM
Arthur P. Johnson

(October 6, 2009) In response to new F.T.C. regulations, I hereby reveal that no one has sent me any free wine to review for years (sigh). For what it's worth, I also believe that these new regs, however well intended, are a violation of First Amendment rights and expect them to be challenged in court by some better-heeled and more cantankerous blogger than yours truly.

For a well-reasoned critique of this very dangerous infringement of free speech on the Internet -- and a spirited string of arguments from readers -- see Jeff Jarvis's rant on Buzz Machine. As Jeff so cogently puts it, "the FTC assumes – as media people do – that the internet is a medium. It’s not. It’s a place where people talk." 

Think about it. When you posted a note on your Facebook wall this morning, were you publishing? Of course not! You're talking. The FTC is asserting the right to regulate all such conversations. Next they'll be listening in on what people say to each other at Starbucks, and levying fines on liars. We fought a revolution to get out from under stuff like this. Let's it gets smacked down soon in court.

Article originally appeared on Arthur P. Johnson's Wine People (http://winepeopleblog.com/).
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