End Discriminatory Wireless Taxes!

Taxes on cell phone and wireless services have skyrocketed to fund state budgets and federal subsidy programs. Today, the average consumer pays a whopping 17 percent in taxes on their wireless bill. Write your member of Congress and call for a tax time-out.

Letter: Over 40 Coalition Partners Support Internet Access Tax Ban in Customs

A bipartisan coalition letter signed by more than 40 organizations was sent to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid. The letter was in strong support of the permanent extension of the Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA) in H.R. 644, the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act. The letter described the internet as a necessity of modern life that must remain tax free in order for the economy to flourish.

To show your support for keeping the internet tax free click here.

Americans for Tax Reform is one of the over 40 organizations that signed the letter. In the past ATR President Grover Norquist has shown his support for keeping the internet tax free. Norquist stated in his own letter to the Senate “making the ban on Internet Access Taxes Permanent is a tremendous victory for all taxpayers.  Thank you for including the Internet Tax Freedom Forever Act (ITFFA) in the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015.”

Digital Liberty Executive Director Katie McAuliffe has also previously released statements on the importance of keeping the internet tax free. McAuliffe stated, “legislators have actually held hostage a vote on the Internet Tax Freedom Forever Act.  This legislation would make the current Internet Tax Moratorium permanent, ending any possibility of states taxing Internet access, and ensure that there are no discriminatory taxes on e-commerce.  But the powerful interests have blocked the bill unless and until some kind of online sales tax is attached to it.”

Hopefully the letter sent to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid will show the strong bipartisan support for this issue. To show your support for keeping the internet tax free click here.


Invalid Traffic, Infringed Content, and Malvertising, Oh My!

A new report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and Ernest & Young (EY) suggests that content infringement, false traffic, and malware costs the U.S. media, marketing, and advertising industry upwards of $8.2 billion every year.

The Independent EY study, “What Is an Untrustworthy Supply Chain Costing the Digital Advertising Industry?” was commissioned by IAB this year to carry out a comprehensive report on revenue lost in the U.S. due to this deceitful digital advertising. According to IAB, the research shows that, “more than half the money wasted in the digital advertising ecosystem derives from ‘non-human traffic’ – fake advertising impressions that are neither generated by real advertisers nor received by actual consumers.” 

The Copyright Office and the Digital Age

Established in 1897, the United States Copyright Office was created as part of the Library of Congress in an effort to build upon their collection of published works. But with the sheer magnitude of published and copyright material that exists today, the Copyright office is surely in need of a systematic overhaul.

A Beginner’s Guide to Reducing Your Internet Footprint: Part 2 – Online Communication

Instant Messaging

Popular proprietary programs, such as Skype, often have dangerous back doors that government agencies can access to spy on everything you say. There are several programs that provide an alternative to the mainstream, insecure programs. I recommend using Retroshare, or Tox for encrypted communication between you and anybody you want to IM with or use video/audio chat with due to their relative ease in setting up, and their security in use.

Taxation Without Representation; The Collateral Damage of Crony Capitalism

For several years now, big box retailers have been pushing Congress to implement sales taxes on the interstate transactions that the Supreme Court has ruled off-limits baring legislation..  While these big box stores claim to be after “parity”, the end result would be punitive to small mom-and-pop retailers that are less well equipped to navigate the considerable red tape and audit threats from thousands of taxing jurisdictions around the country.

The irony is that the big box stores have wrapped themselves in the mantle of “main street” and neglect to mention that the real impetus for the federal institution of online sales taxes comes almost exclusively from the biggest retailers in the country.  Ten of the biggest ten retailers in the country are pressing for interstate sales tax legislation, and even eight of the top ten internet retailers are pushing for taxation.

Protecting Email Privacy Rights

In an article from Iowa newspaper, The Gazette, Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist and Involta Founder and CEO Bruce Lehrman discuss email privacy rights, ECPA reform, and its opposition by the SEC and The FTC.

“The SEC and FTC oppose this urgently needed reform, and credit is due Senator Grassley for bringing representatives of both agencies before the committee to explain their position. The witnesses acknowledged their agencies believed they had under ECPA the authority to order warrantless searches. And they insisted that authority was essential to their ability to investigate ‘fraud and other unlawful conduct.’ And yet neither witness could provide an example when their agencies had used that authority to help solve a case. Not a single one. And this in a year the SEC claims has seen a record number of successful investigations.”

New Report Reveals Wireless Tax Increase

A new report published by the Tax Foundation and Scott Mackey reveals the wireless tax has increased another percent in the last year. At 18 percent, the tax has reached an all-time high and is nearly two and a half times greater than the general sales.

“To Promote the Progress of Science and the Useful Arts” on the Internet

“The Constitutional Foundations of Intellectual Property” coauthored by Randolph J. May and Seth Cooper could not have been published at a more critical time. As May and Cooper allude to in their introduction, the coming of the digital age has ushered in the potential for unprecedented disregard for intellectual property. Anti-IP crusaders are fortifying themselves behind their battering ram slogan “information wants to free,” as they seek to shatter one of the most important pillars of US society.