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Florida bill would require bloggers to register with the state to write about elected officials

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Florida’s Republican state Sen. Jason Brodeur has introduced a bill that would require bloggers who write about elected officials to register with the state.

The “Information Dissemination” bill would also require bloggers to disclose their source of funding and how much they are receiving to write about an election official.

We obtained a copy of the bill for you here.

“Paid bloggers are lobbyists who write instead of talk,” Brodeur said in a statement to Florida Politics. “They both are professional electioneers. If lobbyists have to register and report, why shouldn’t paid bloggers?”

“If a blogger posts to a blog about an elected state officer and receives, or will receive, compensation for that post, the blogger must register” the legislation states. Bloggers would be required to register with the appropriate office within five days.

The bill defines an “elected state officer” as “the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, a Cabinet officer, or any member of the Legislature.”

It defines a blog as “a website or webpage that hosts any blogger and is frequently updated with opinion, commentary, or business content.”

However, the “term does not include the website of a newspaper or other similar publication.”

Violation of the law would result in a daily fine of $25 capped at $2,500.

Reclaim The Net estimated the bill is unlikely to survive a court challenge if passed.

If you’re tired of censorship and surveillance, join Reclaim The Net.

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