Bad news first: The Senate passed a comprehensive patent bill, and now the House is checking on it. ACU is coming out strongly against a comprehensive bill, to which I say: Bravo.
Meanwhile, the House passed a good bill to make permanent the Internet access tax ban. However the Senate, even though it’s now Republican controlled, is trying the same stunt the Democrats did last time: trying to tie that bill to the Internet sales tax bill, which is infuriating. Democrats want to raise taxes on the middle class, and on Internet access, which they claim is a right.
The whole sales tax thing isn’t a bad idea, since many of us believe consumption taxes are better than income taxes, which states will have to raise if sales taxes fall. Amazon is collecting taxes in more states, but that’s ultimately limited.
Tor, The Onion Router, is the anonymity network now preferred by bank thieves.
Remember Tim Cook’s rant against customer tracking and the whole data collection networks created by advertising firms like Google and Facebook? Well, it turns out there was a deeper impulse there. By backing encryption and mobile ad blocking, Apple is making a serious privacy play. But will anyone care about privacy?
So as Democrat favorite Google is under attack by Google, gee, Democrats are now coming after Apple. Amazing timing, eh?
One bit of good news is that a pure ‘multistakeholder’ ICANN/Internet governance transition plan is dead under Republicans. They’re having to work on a hybrid approach, one that will work with other countries, but still keep American oversight in play. That’s good news.