For all of us who thought that talk of e-mail taxation was a hoax, think again.
In a story posted just as we were heading off for the long holiday weekend, CNET News warned:
The era of tax-free e-mail, Internet shopping and broadband connections could end this fall, if recent proposals in the U.S. Congress prove successful. State and local governments this week resumed a push to lobby Congress for far-reaching changes on two different fronts: gaining the ability to impose sales taxes on Net shopping, and being able to levy new monthly taxes on DSL and other Internet-service connections. One senator is even predicting taxes on e-mail.
In addition, the tech watchdog site also noted that a House hearing last week looked into the pros and cons of letting the temporary ban on Internet access taxes lapse when it expires on Nov. 1.
Not very good news for us Netoholics.
If you have an opinion on the topic, you might want to let your your Representative and Senators know exactly what it is. As a former Hill staffer, just let me suggest that reasoned arguments always get more consideration than blatant ranting.
At least one positive tech measure did move on Capitol Hill last week.
Again from CNET reports, the House overwhelmingly approved criminal penalties for anyone implanting certain types of malicious software on computers. The bill, called the Internet Spyware Prevention Act, or I-Spy for short, punishes persons who intentionally causes software "to be copied onto" a computer, and which then damages it or steals personal information, with fines as well as prison time of up to five years.
As someone who lost the use of a laptop because of massive spyware infection, all I've got to say is it's about time!