Virtual big brother: The E-Gestapo is coming

Published 15 years ago -  - 15y ago 37

If “www-dot-anybody” can hold elected officials accountable, it has to be unsettling for the elite. But there’s no worry for craven power-grubbing leaches in DC, since Internet taxation will be their new e-Gestapo in the information age. As the permanent moratorium on Internet tax runs into trouble on Capitol Hill, a closer look at the history of taxes and the information superhighway is in order.

If it had not been for the Drudge Report, Bill Clinton would never have been impeached. One man and a web site broke the story about Monica Lewinsky and her taped conversations with Linda Tripp, in which Lewinsky revealed that Bill Clinton might have lied in Paula Jones’ lawsuit against him. Bypassing controlled liberal media, information made available to the public on the Internet ultimately impeached a sitting President. Ouch, that had to hurt licentious corruption and dictatorial oppression in the halls of power.

So politicians have been scheming ever since to find protection from people finding out what they are doing via the Internet. Alas, they have found hope in changing or eliminating the long-standing Internet Tax moratorium.

Since the explosion of income tax after World War I, the government became unabashed in using their tax code to manipulate those they govern. Over the last nine decades, control freaks in Washington managed to stick their nose in all enterprises engaged by citizens to sustain their lives. Average Americans spend nearly the first six months of each year as a slave, during which every dime that is earned gets confiscated by the government. The oppressive Internal Revenue Service has been malevolent in exerting its “authority”, raiding every American’s financial life.

Now a deceptive cabal in the United States Senate seems intent on doing the same to content on the Internet. Successfully distracted, the most sensitive opponents of information oppression (who were appalled by the media manipulation used to elect and sustain an Arkansas pervert at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave for eight years) are not paying attention.

Meanwhile, the Internet Tax moratorium is dying on the hill. Our last line of defense against authoritarian repeal of free speech may either fade into oblivion or it could morph to an ineffective zombie, which won’t restrict government oppression on the net. Yet another “compromise” appears to be emerging in the Senate, clouded by arguments over access methods. As usual, a proposed third way for legislation only reinforces centralization of power to a few accountable to none.

Telephone companies, who remain among the largest Internet service providers, have a vested interest in maintaining tax protection for DSL and dial-up Internet access even though you are already taxed on voice service per the 1934 Telecommunications Act. They were happy with the old Federal moratorium that meant states and counties could not tax data transmitted between your computer and an out-of-state web host even if the local equipment was already taxed. For cable companies, the previous tax moratorium also protected data that was transmitted across state lines and around the world.

Now, debate on a revised permanent Internet tax bill surrounds negotiation for compromise on phone and wireless access. Herein is a proposed tax on only the data and not the signal. This would protect telephone companies, since only the transactions will be taxed and not the equipment that transmits them. Hence, the powerful telephone lobby is placated. With that, the “other side” on dialectic tyranny represented by the National Governor’s Association can hope to be empowered to launch sales taxes on Internet purchases.

But what of us who depend on this poor-man’s media to keep an eye on their government? The temporary Internet tax moratorium that expired on October 31, 2003 prevented states and the federal government from executing their plan for multi-thousand page tax codes (similar to those that infect our financial lives) from creeping on to the world wide web. Boasting of their compromise, the Senate may well announce the end of freedom on the net.

For starters, sales tax by state governments will have to be collected, and that means government will begin monitoring your Internet activity (initially to verify what you purchase online). Yes, we can almost be sure the government already watches us online. But they cannot admit it or openly use the information they gather to steal our rights and wealth without due process. Since a new Internet sales tax is just the beginning of government regulation on the net, soon we’ll have a more “open and public” big brother on the web.

In accordance with the history of taxes in the United States, what seems to be innocuous is sugarcoated by promises of more money for schools, roads, etc. (just like those lottery and toll road dollars that somehow found their way into the pockets of your friendly state governor’s buddies). Eventually, Americans should rest assured that everything posted on this Internet will require several accompanying government forms similar to the 1040s, 10XXs, 10YYs, 10ZZs etc. used by the omnipresent government regime in Washington to control your financial life today.

Clintons of the future won’t worry about Drudge Reports. Once again, they’ll get away with whatever they will. That is, if we let the Senate get away with laying the foundation for information oppression with a new Capitol Hill Internet heist.

Published originally at : republication allowed with this notice and hyperlink intact.”

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