Protect Internet Freedom

    Net neutrality case is about more than FCC rules

    By Anna G. Eshoo – San Francisco Chronicle Even before the Federal Communications Commission adopted its net neutrality rules in February to preserve a free and open Internet, lawyers were drafting legal documents to challenge them in court, and members of Congress were opining on the need for “a clarifying bill” and a “bipartisan solution.” Since then, opponents have worked to delay the new rules by requesting a federal court to stay the implementation. The court denied their petition. Multiple lawsuits await decisions, and in Congress, resolutions and bills have been introduced to undermine the new rules by slashing the commission’s budget.

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    Chicago just added a 9% tax to Netflix subscriptions

    By Patrick Hogan- fusion.net The Windy City needs cash, and its citizens like to watch movies and develop web apps. Time to get on that gravy train. A ruling by Chicago’s Department of Finance allows the city to add an extra nine percent tax onto “electronically delivered amusements” and “nonpossessory computer leases.” In an odd combination, buying a subscription to streaming media, such as Netflix or Spotify, would qualify, as would using a cloud computing platform, such as Amazon Web Services. Each would be subject to 9% tax; Chicago is the first major American city to levy a tax on either streaming services or cloud computing services. This isn’t an actual new tax, rather an expanded definition of the city’s already-existing nine percent amusement tax. The Chicago Sun-Times reports the…

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    US vs. EU: Who’s got stricter net neutrality rules?

    By Roslyn Layton- http://www.techpolicydaily.com/ This week, the European Union came to an agreement on net neutrality. Set to take effect on April 30, 2016, the rules are “the strongest and most comprehensive open Internet rules in the world” noted the European Commission. It may come as a surprise to American net neutrality advocates who consider the FCC to be the Regulator in Chief of net neutrality. So who deserves the “honor” of being tougher on net neutrality?  Both the US and EU rules have provisions in common, including outright bans on blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization; transparency requirements, and limits on traffic management with exceptions for emergencies, security, and court orders. Specialized services, zero rating, and interconnection deals are legal under both sets of rules, subject to scrutiny. How do the EU…

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    Conservatives Worry Congress Will Trade One Internet Tax For Another

    By Peter Fricke- The Daily Caller Although there is little chance of comprehensive tax reform any time soon, some believe Congress could take smaller steps, such as preventing new Internet taxes. “Keeping tax off the Internet is a clear example of a strategy that is open to bipartisan support,” Steve Forbes argues in an op-ed for Fox News. “It is backed by many Republicans, but was originally endorsed by President Clinton during his second term.” There are two major efforts currently underway in Congress related to Internet taxation: one would permanently extend a temporary ban on state and local Internet access taxes known as the Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA), and another enabling states to collect sales taxes on Internet purchases residents make from out-of-state sellers, known as the Marketplace Fairness…

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