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US House Passes Permanent Ban On Internet Access Taxes 148

Posted by Soulskill
from the potholes-on-the-information-superhighway dept.
jfruh writes: In 1998, the U.S. Congress passed a law that temporarily banned all taxes imposed by federal, state, and local governments on Internet access and Internet-only services, a ban that has been faithfully renewed every year since. Now the U.S. House has passed a passed a permanent version of the ban, which also applies to several states that had passed Internet taxes before 1998 and were grandfathered in under the temporary law. The Senate must pass the bill as well by November 1 or the temporary ban will lapse.
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US House Passes Permanent Ban On Internet Access Taxes

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  • by nimbius (983462) on Wednesday July 16, 2014 @02:01PM (#47469115) Homepage
    in 1998 there was a sizeable movement to declare internet access a 'basic human right' and as such, make it an entitlement. Since republicans and conservatives alike respond to the word Entitlement in much the same way as a microwave responds to a sack of paper clips, its safe to say this legislation was enacted to ensure your internet remains permanently comcastic. so how did this come to pass?
    the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), following a proposal by the government of Tunisia during ITU Plenipotentiary Conference in Minneapolis in 1998, approved Resolution 73 to hold a World Summit on the Information Society and put forward it to the United Nations. It cant be stressed enough that 1998 was clearly a better year for congress as is evidenced by the fact that legislators got wind of the WSIS and its strong position on internet as a basic human right. Much like affirming things like the kyoto protocol and the basic human right to water, the internet was sandbagged in america to ensure it would never amount to something as horrifying as a free service. amending it recently simply extended its reach to local governments. It did now however close a loophole being exploited by local municipalities in which the 'tax' for their paid services like WiMAX and municipal broadband was bundled under things like vehicle registration fees (something used by local governments that need to fund schools but have politicians who promise no new taxes.)

    by shitting on the idea of a tax for internet service, congressional republicans have created a two-tier system in america in much the same way as education and housing exist. underprivileged or poor students and families seeking internet access are now relegated back to the library, and those libraries in turn forced to shovel federal dollars into the gaping maw of AT&T and Verizon for something that, yes, is increasingly more of a basic human right in the 21st century.
  • Re:November? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by squiggleslash (241428) on Wednesday July 16, 2014 @02:10PM (#47469209) Homepage Journal

    No, railroads, phone lines, and electric wires are not (usually) in the US built by the government. Try again.

  • by Sowelu (713889) on Wednesday July 16, 2014 @02:16PM (#47469277)

    In truth, this is also why Social Security has its problems. When it was established, it was "You likely won't live to use it, but if you do, you will be well taken care of". It was insurance against an uncommon and, in a way, kind of negative thing happening to you: Living to an age such that you could no longer support yourself. It was a luxury that not many people had, and it could absolutely be hard on your family. Of course, now almost everyone lives long enough to collect it.

    No, it wasn't meant to be a replacement for savings, and you weren't supposed to get out what you put in. A small portion of the population was supposed to collect it, because most of them didn't live long enough to.

"Never ascribe to malice that which is caused by greed and ignorance." -- Cal Keegan

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