Freedom to Connect
: At the Freedom to Connect conference about the FCC and telecom legislation and spectrum and free speech organized by David Isenberg, I’m going to have the privilege of interviewing,
Oprah-like Charlie-Rose-like, Bob Corn-Revere, a First Amendment attorney with the most amazing credentials:
Served as counsel in litigation involving the Communications Decency Act, the Child Online Protection Act, Telephone Consumer Protection Act, Internet content filtering in public libraries, public broadcasting regulations and export controls on encryption software
Lead counsel in United States v. Playboy Entertainment Group, Inc., in which the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated Section 505 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 as a violation of the First Amendment
Successfully petitioned Governor George E. Pataki to grant the first posthumous pardon in New York history to the late comedian Lenny Bruce
Lead counsel in Huminski v. Corsones, in which the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit established the First Amendment right of individuals to observe court proceedings….
: There’s only a short time left to get the early-bird pricing to register. If you care about the future of media and telecommunications and free speech, this is going to be a major event.
At long effin’ last
: The LA Times says broadcasters are, at long last, going to challenge the FCC’s indecency cops.
“I think the government is more vulnerable to an indecency challenge than they’ve ever been before,” said Kurt A. Wimmer, a Washington communications lawyer….
Broadcasters haven’t brought a major indecency or obscenity case since 1978, when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the FCC’s authority to issue indecency fines. That case involved a Pacifica radio station’s airing in 1973 of comedian George Carlin’s “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television” routine.
If the broadcasters had fought long ago, we might not be in this unconstitutional mess. CBS, which wimped out with a recent consent decree, is going to fight the Janet Jackson case. And Fox is, as I’ve reported before, fighting the Married by America fine (the one brought about by only three letter writers).
If the broadcasters had had the balls to fight this before, they might have given constitutional cover to Congress not to vote against the First Amendment. But they were wimpy and late.
: Robert Mayer sends news of a new blog that covers elections and movements for democracy in nations that need both. Publius Pundit looks very good.
We get rhythm
: The Wall Street Journal reports on a new procedure for atrial fibrilation, days after Instawife tried two procedures and I mentioned a new drug. This is the same condition Tony Blair had and various commenters here have told their stories.
To the barricades, bloggers
: The Committee to Protect Bloggers is urging support from all bloggers on Feb. 22 — today — to bring international attention to the plight of two bloggers, Arash Sigarchi and Mojtaba Saminejad, jailed in Iran. Here’s a BBC story.
I first discovered the Iranian blog culture when its Johnny Appleseed, Hossein Derakhshan, reported on the arrest of blogger Sina Motallebi. We blogged about that and brought international attention to the story and Sina credits that with helping to get him out of jail and out of the country.
These people are in jail for doing exactly what we have the privilege of doing: Speaking. We must stand with them.
So please link to the Committee to Protect Bloggers and please bring attention to what his happening to our colleagues in Iran.
: UPDATE: Reuters has a story about the conviction and sentencing of an Iranian blogger:
An Iranian journalist was jailed for 14 years on charges ranging from espionage to insulting the country’s leaders in an unusually heavy sentence in Iran, where tens of journalists have been tried in recent years.
Rights activists said on Tuesday that Arash Sigarchi, 28, was convicted by the Revolutionary Court in the Caspian province of Gilan in northern Iran.
Sigarchi, a newspaper editor in Gilan who also wrote an Internet journal or “weblog,” was arrested last month after responding to a summons from the Intelligence Ministry.