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Connor Houston

ATR in conjunction with Digital Liberty Urge House Representitives to Co-Sponsor PITFA

Posted by Connor Houston on Monday, June 16th, 2014, 4:12 PM PERMALINK

Today, Grover Norquist in conjunction with Katie McAuliffe, Executive Director of Digital Liberty, sent out a letter to House Representatives to co-sponsor the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act (PITFA) H.R.3086 in order to protect their constituents from government taxation.

The Internet Tax Freedom Act passed in 1998 restricts the taxation of Internet access by local and federal governments and has three times been reinstated. PITFA takes a step further and makes these restrictions permanent, giving consumers and businesses protection from burdensome government taxation.

You can read the letter: Here

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ATR Sends Letter Urging Support for Email Privacy Act

Posted by Connor Houston on Monday, June 16th, 2014, 3:48 PM PERMALINK

Today, Americans for Tax reform’s Grover Norquist and Digital Liberty’s Katie McAuliffe sent a letter to House members urging them to support the Email Privacy Act (H.R.1852) which would reform the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act to better protect Americans from unwarranted government intrusions into their privacy.

The proposed ECPA reform bill will protect Americans by treating email with the same privacy laws as physical documents such as mail, contents of filing cabinets, and etc. American’s for Tax Reform and Digital Liberty urge representatives to sponsor the Email Privacy Act and help support their constituency’s right to privacy.

You can view the letter: Here

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Keep Government Taxation out of the Internet and Ecommerce

Posted by Connor Houston on Thursday, May 29th, 2014, 11:52 AM PERMALINK

Since 1998, the Internet Tax Freedom Act has protected consumers from incurring costs on Internet access from state government taxation. Americans for Tax urges Congress to continue this policy of protecting Americans from the burden of taxation, by supporting the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act (PITFA).  

PITFA would permanently limit state government ability to tax Americans' access to the Internet, eliminate grandfathered-in states taxes on Internet access, and prevent discriminatory taxation of e-commerce.  This legislation will not only protect the consumer, but also allow Internet service providers to keep costs low and continue to expand ISP services and technology.

Unfortunately, PITFA may run the risk of having detrimental laws attached to it, due to its universal support and immediate nature. Now, with the expiration of Internet access taxes on the horizon, the temptation to attach the vastly disputed Marketplace Fairness Act to PIFTA may be on the mind of some Members. PIFTA would save consumers from taxation, while the MFA would incur out of state Internet sales tax on businesses.  The attachment of MFA to PIFTA would certainly be a killer amendment.  Dialectically opposed, passage of MFA with PIFTA is unacceptable.

Congress needs to immediately pass a PIFTA as a stand alone bill in order to protect the American consumer.

You can read Americans for Tax Reform's letter here.

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The FCC continues attack on the ISP Freemarket

Posted by Connor Houston, Katie McAuliffe on Thursday, May 15th, 2014, 12:59 PM PERMALINK

The increasing desire of the Federal Communications Commission to expand its authority through Net Neutrality rules could have catastrophic consequences for both the growth of American Internet Infrastructure and the average consumer. The FCC is considering enacting Net Neutrality policies that would significantly limit Internet Service Providers, ISPs, from being able to dynamically control allotted bandwidth for high traffic websites such as Netflix and Facebook.

The FCC has been under consistent pressure to regulate broadband internet by activists with outlandish ideas that the same companies that provide internet service are also destroying the industry. While the FCC has historically supported a free-market approach of governance for ISPs, recent changes in policy led to the failed attempt to impose Net Neutrality in 2010 and continued failures thereafter. The most recent attempt by the FCC uses provisions from the 1996 Communications Act to justify Net Neutrality, even though congress never intended the wording in the bill for that purpose.

Worst of all the FCC has been entertaining the, “Nuclear option,” of classifying ISPs as a Title II Utility, treating the Internet as a government-owned utility monopoly. If this policy were to be enacted, Internet development would come to a halt, and the effects on consumer internet services would be disastrous.

With this in mind, “We therefore respectfully call on Congress to assert its authority concerning the FCC’s role, and ask the FCC to await further action from Congress.”

Unfortunately, during the FCC's Thursday May 15th meeting, the decision to move forward with Net Neutrality rules passed along party lines by a 3-2 vote.  This will create unneeded uncertainty in the market, restrict investment and innovation, and ultimately harm consumers.

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