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The Lame Duck Is No Time to Cripple Internet Commerce

Online and catalog retailers around the country have made it clear to Congress that a radical remote sales tax mandate would cause severe hardships for their businesses and consumers across the United States.

As we enter the “lame duck,” the post-election session of this Congress, we are likely to see an effort to pass the Marketplace Fairness Act, even though this bill has not been on the floor of the House or Senate and has never even had a committee hearing. Our leaders in Congress should resist any effort to move MFA in the lame duck or attach it to must-pass legislation.

READ MORE at Morning Consult

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On Surveillance, DOJ Needs to Know When to Fold ‘Em

Our Department of Justice needs to heed Kenny Rogers’ advice in “The Gambler,” and “know when to fold ‘em.” In their pursuit of data on Microsoft’s servers in Ireland, the DOJ is again betting on a bad hand, and they’re not going to bluff their way to a win when the stakes are so high for companies and consumers around the world.

Last week, the DOJ went all-in by petitioning the Second Circuit court for rehearing after losing this summer in court.

READ MORE at Morning Consult

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Why is San Francisco trying to strangle its golden goose?

Detroit doesn’t place burdensome regulations on automobile manufacturers; Idaho doesn’t put undue restrictions and hurdles in front of potato farmers; and California takes steps to protect its farmers — because these industries are part of the lifeblood and identity of their respective states.

These industries do more than just create jobs, tax revenue and prestige — they became a symbol of who they are, part of the fabric of the community and the economy.

READ MORE at TechCrunch

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Testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights and Federal Courts

Protecting Internet Freedom: Implications of Ending U.S. Oversight of the Internet

Watch the Hearing Here

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Retailers unite! Counter divide-and-conquer tactics on online sales tax

If other states copy a South Dakota law, businesses would face sales tax audits from across the country and costly software changes.

Divide-and-conquer is a tried-and-true strategy to defeat a superior enemy. It works in war and in business, but perhaps nowhere more so than in politics.  When it comes to online sales tax, state tax administrators and legislators managed to divide the retail business community in their drive to gain new tax powers at the expense of consumer choice and small business growth.

READ MORE at Internet Retailer

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Let New Yorkers advertise extra space

Home-sharing and short-term rentals have been a boon to New Yorkers and other citizens across the country, enabling homeowners to better afford skyrocketing rents and home prices in the nation’s hottest real estate markets. In addition, it has provided tourists and business travelers with additional lodging options and kept neighborhood restaurants and businesses bustling.

READ MORE at Times Union

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IANA Transition and ICANN Accountability proposals: thumbs-up from US Commerce Department

Today, NTIA announced its report on the community proposal for IANA transition and ICANN Accountability.  NTIA concluded that the proposal meet the conditions for transition, and would effectively protect ICANN from capture by governments. Read more

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Rethink class action lawsuits in the digital age

It’s been said that making a mistake requires a person – making a big mistake requires a computer. And we’ve all experienced this. Accidentally hitting “reply all” or sending out a Tweet instead of a direct message.

While we all figured this out pretty quickly, greedy attorneys figured this out too. They realized they can mutate decades-old consumer protection rules into giant pay-days by combining harmless computer errors with class action lawsuits and statutory damages.

READ MORE at The Hill

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Steve DelBianco Testifies at US Senate Commerce Committee Hearing on IANA

NetChoice Executive Director Steve DelBianco testified at the US Senate Commerce Committee Hearing – Examining the Multistakeholder Plan for Transitioning the Internet Assigned Number Authority where he discussed the importance of avoiding unreasonable delays on the transaition.

Watch the Hearing

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Carl Szabo speaks About Home Sharing on Tech Policy Podcast

More at TechFreedom