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The Verge Republicans dig into Facebook and Twitter over concerns of ‘conservative bias’

The Verge Republicans dig into Facebook and Twitter over concerns of ‘conservative bias’

“If we prevent online platforms from removing objectionable content, we risk turning online platforms into 8-Chan,” said Carl Szabo, general counsel for NetChoice. “Section 230 was specifically created to enable private platforms to remove offensive content.”

NetChoice Raises Concerns About Attacks on Platforms’ Ability to Remove Content

Today, NetChoice raised concerns about suggestions made by members of the US Senate Judiciary Subcommittee that government should prevent online platforms from removing content they find objectionable ahead of today’s hearing, “Stifling Free Speech: Technological Censorship and the Public Discourse”.

“If we prevent online platforms from removing objectionable content, we risk turning online platforms into 8-Chan,” said Carl Szabo, General Counsel for NetChoice. “Section 230 was specifically created to enable private platforms to remove offensive content.”

“Online platforms have bolstered conservative speech in public discourse, empowering modern conservative thought leaders such as Ben Shapiro, Jordan Peterson, and Blaire White,” continued Szabo.

“Sen. Cruz is a smart lawyer who surely wants online platforms to remove violent and hateful content, so he’s not really looking to apply the first amendment to private parties.” said Steve DelBianco, President of NetChoice. “Sen. Cruz just wants assurances that online platforms are not curtailing conservative speech. We look forward to today’s witnesses giving him those assurances.”

NetChoice Raises Concerns About Attacks on Platforms’ Ability to Remove Content

Today, NetChoice was concerned by suggestions made during the US Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution Hearing: Stifling Free Speech: Technological Censorship and the Public Discourse to prevent platforms from removing content it finds objectionable.

“Despite the misinformation, Section 230 was specifically created to enable content moderation and removal of offensive content.”  said Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel for NetChoice. “It’s surprising that conservatives support the Hobby Lobby decision while oppose the rights of private platforms to remove content they deem objectionable to users and advertisers.”

“Preclusions on platforms removing content would require ChristiansLikeMe to retain atheist’s “political” comments.” warned Szabo.  “If we prevent online platforms from removing objectionable content we risk turning the whole internet into 8-Chan.”

Politico Morning Tech - Stifling free speech

Politico Morning Tech – Stifling free speech

Not all conservatives are happy with the theme. Billy Easley, a senior tech policy analyst for the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity, is warning the committee against infringing on free speech. “Senator Cruz is right: tech companies ought to provide an open platform for speech across the political and ideological spectrum,” he said in a statement. “But asking the government to police online speech — either through direct action or by cajoling private firms — sets a dangerous precedent.” Carl Szabo, vice president for right-leaning trade group NetChoice, called it “inconsistent for conservatives to support the free speech rights of businesses” while opposing it for “private platforms when moderating content they host.”

NetChoice Commends LaHood on Effort to Combat Discriminatory Tax Proposals

Today, NetChoice commended Congressman Darin LaHood (R-IL) for leading the effort to combat discriminatory tax proposals coming from Europe.

“France’s Digital Service Tax’s (DST) targeting of U.S. companies is the poster child for taxation without representation,” said Carl Szabo, VP and General Counsel at NetChoice. “These taxes are designed to target American businesses regardless of whether they’re physically present in Europe.”

“France’s DST ignores advertising by newspapers and television by only taxing online businesses, most of whom are housed in the United States. DST is obviously intentional and patently unfair,” continued Szabo. “We commend Rep. LaHood for his initiative in pushing the White House to protect America’s businesses and combat this tax by a foreign power.”

NetChoice and Taxpayers Protection Alliance Reject Preferential Treatment for Big Media

Today, NetChoice and the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) voiced concerns over the “Journalism Competition and Preservation Act,” reintroduced by Rep. Cicilline (D-RI), and co-sponsored by Rep. Collins (R-GA).

The legislation would exempt media companies from certain antitrust laws, allowing them to collude against online platforms such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter.

“This bill empowers big media to circumvent antitrust laws and collude to grow their power.” said Carl Szabo, VP and General Counsel at NetChoice. “We should reject attempts by those representing the ‘old economy’ to maintain relevance and gain advantages to the detriment of the consumer.”

“This legislation empowers big media to force prioritization of their content over their competitors,” continued Szabo.

TPA President David Williams also voiced concerns with the legislation’s text arguing “Companies should get equal treatment under the law, instead of big media companies enjoying a lucrative exemption from antitrust laws.”

“Instead of complicating regulations via special carve-outs, lawmakers should look to simplify rules and promote digital innovation.”

Politico Morning Tech - Senators Bullish on Robocall Bill

FIRST IN MT: TALK 230 TO ME — E-commerce trade group NetChoice is ramping up its defense of a law that shields companies like Google and Facebook from lawsuits over content on their platforms. The new initiative, called Protect Online Voices, is part of the right-leaning association’s effort to challenge critics who argue tech firms no longer deserve the broad immunity afforded by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The campaign has debuted as a website with information about the law and statements from advocacy groups and lawmakers who back Section 230, including Democrats Sen. Ron Wyden (Ore.) and Rep. Ro Khanna (Calif). It will supplement lobbying that NetChoice and other groups already have underway on the Hill.

The internet industry is hustling to defend Section 230 after Congress passed a law last year making websites liable for facilitating sex trafficking. Both Democrats and Republicans have flirted with additional changes to the law to, for instance, make internet companies more accountable for online opioid sales or restrict them from censoring political speech. Carl Szabo, vice president and general counsel at NetChoice, argues that the law is what empowers companies to remove problematic material in the first place. “Before we consider doing anything to undermine that, I think it’s important for people to know what it is,” he said.

Politico - Facebook's FTC worries go beyond a massive fine

“This is a great opportunity to show the FTC really is the premiere privacy cop on the beat,” said Carl Szabo, who worked on privacy issues at the FTC in the early 2000s and is now vice president of the tech trade group NetChoice.

The commission can “show not only other agencies and states but the rest of the world that the U.S. takes privacy seriously, and that the American approach works,” he said.

NetChoice Criticizes Attacks on Successful American Businesses

Today, NetChoice was concerned by suggestions made by Sen. Cory Booker during a campaign event in Washington that suggested he could weaponize antitrust law against American tech companies.

“We are not seeing a call for antitrust enforcement but rather an attack on successful businesses,” said Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel at NetChoice. “Breaking-up America’s most successful innovators will leave a vacuum only to be filled by foreign enterprises.”

“Antitrust should not be exploited for political purposes – to do so undermines the American public’s trust in fair and honest enforcement of laws,” continued Szabo.

The reaction to Sen. Warren’s antitrust proposal shows that Americans want fair rather than political enforcement of antitrust laws.”

NetChoice Comments on Mark Zuckerberg’s Washington Post Op-Ed

“Zuckerberg rightly raised the threat to American businesses from data nationalization laws around the world, many of which intentionally target the U.S. tech economy,” said Steve DelBianco, President of NetChoice.

“Zuckerberg welcomed national or even global consensus about standards to moderate harmful content such as hate speech and terrorist propaganda. Until then, Facebook will continue to moderate content in order to meet the terms of service it promises to users.”

Politico - Lawmakers sound off as Facebook probe turns 1 

“Conservatives must keep to their principles and respect that online platforms are private businesses not public utilities,” said Carl Szabo, vice president at e-commerce trade group NetChoice.

The Hill - GOP steps up attack over tech bias claims

Carl Szabo, the general counsel for NetChoice, a trade group representing internet companies like Facebook, Google and Twitter, said on Tuesday that Nunes’s case is unlikely to succeed.

“This lawsuit underscores the importance of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act which empowers platforms to host content and discussions of our elected officials — whether our elected officials like it or not,” Szabo said in a statement.

“Twitter has been an amazing forum for discussing — and yes, criticizing — our public officials, hopefully this lawsuit doesn’t undermine that. The ability to criticize our public officials is core to our American principles.”

SacBee - Devin Nunes sued a parody account with about 1,000 followers. Here’s how many it has now

Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel at NetChoice, an advocacy group for the tech industry, said in a statement he hoped the lawsuit would not undermine internet forums for talking about public officials.

“This suit’s survival is unlikely as the ability to criticize and mock our public officials is well settled court doctrine,” Szabo said.

Rep. Devin Nunes’s Suit against Twitter Won’t work

Today, NetChoice identified legal infirmities in Rep. Devin Nunes’s lawsuit against Twitter for comments posted on the platform.

“This lawsuit underscores the importance of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act which empowers platforms to host content and discussions of our elected officials — whether our elected officials like it or not,” said Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel at NetChoice.

“Twitter has been an amazing forum for discussing – and yes, criticizing – our public officials, hopefully this lawsuit doesn’t undermine that.” continued Szabo.  “The ability to criticize our public officials is core to our American principles.”

“This suit’s survival is unlikely as the ability to criticize and mock our public officials is well settled court doctrine.”

NetChoice Concerned by Ninth Circuit Ruling on Section 230

Today, NetChoice voiced concerns about today’s Ninth Circuit Ruling that could undermine Section 230 and threaten the legal structure that empowers entrepreneurs online.

“The Ninth Circuit’s ruling is wrong and violates the reasoning behind Section 230. This decision risks closing-off avenues of free speech and free enterprise for all Americans,” said Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel at NetChoice. “Section 230 empowers individuals and businesses all over the country through the use of online platforms like HomeAway and Airbnb.”

“This ruling runs contrary to multiple court decisions that have upheld Section 230 and enabled unprecedented innovation.”

NetChoice filed a joint “friend of the court” brief with Hon. Chris Cos on this case last year.

Multiple Sources – Media Reaction to Warren’s Medium Piece “Here’s How We Can Break Up Big Tech”

“Sen. Warren is wrong in her assertion that tech companies lack competition,” said Carl Szabo, vice president of the trade group NetChoice that lists both Facebook and Google as members. “Never before have consumers had access to more goods, services, and opportunities online.”

Reported in:

44 smaller outlets also quoted NetChoice.

NetChoice Challenges Warren’s Hipster Antitrust Assertions

Today, NetChoice challenged US Senator Warren’s new Medium post supporting the breaking-up of successful American tech businesses like Amazon, Facebook, and Google.

“Sen. Warren is wrong in her assertion that tech markets lack competition. Never before have consumers and workers had more access to goods, services, and opportunities online,” said Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel for NetChoice.

“Breaking up tech companies would hurt – not help – America’s middle class,” continued Szabo.

“Sen. Warren’s proposal would increase prices for consumers, make search and maps less useful, and raise costs to small businesses that advertise online. This proposal is bad for all Americans.”

Startups have never been more prevalent.  The Kauffman Index of Growth Entrepreneurship shows that entrepreneurship is at its highest levels since 2008. Main street growth and startup activity are likewise up.  The US Bureau of Labor Statistics found self-employment is up since 2014 and is projected to grow at 7.9% — faster than the projected rate for all workers.

NetChoice challenges Klobuchar’s Attempts to Politicize Antitrust

Today, NetChoice challenged US Senator Klobuchar’s comments on weaponizing antitrust during today’s Senate Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy, and Consumer Rights – “Does America Have a Monopoly Problem?: Examining Concentration and Competition in the US Economy

“It’s concerning to hear a US Senator weaponizing antitrust for campaign slogans while in the same breath berating the President over his approach to antitrust,” said Carl Szabo, NetChoice Vice President and General Counsel.

“Contrary to the claims of some presidential candidates, consumers have never had more choice when it comes to online services.”

Kansas City Star - Hawley’s CPAC debut: a moment in the spotlight and a subpoena in Missouri lawsuit

Carl Szabo, vice president and general counsel of NetChoice, a group that represents the tech industry, said in an email that platforms make their privacy rules clear in user agreements.

Facebook’s Terms say, ‘You own the content you create and share on Facebook and the other Facebook Products you use, and nothing in these Terms takes away the rights you have to your own content,’” Szabo said in an email.

“When customers choose to trade their information for services, whether discounts at a supermarket or access to free online services, conservatives should respect that agreement. This transaction is at the heart of property rights and contracts law.”

St Louis Dispatch - Hawley's declarations of independence riling up his party's right wing

“I understand the frustration about the issue, of being concerned that my voice is being de-prioritized,” said Carl Szabo, vice president and general counsel for the internet freedom group NetChoice. “But at the same time undermining our conservative values is risky business, because once you hand over this power to the government, you may not like what you get.”

Chamber Business News – New legislation would end Arizona sales tax exemption for out-of-state online retailers

Chamber Business News – New legislation would end Arizona sales tax exemption for out-of-state online retailers

NetChoice, a national trade association of eCommerce businesses that promotes convenience, choice and commerce online, opposes H.B. 2702 in its present form. According to a NetChoice analysis, H.B. 2702 would discriminate against interstate commerce by requiring out-of-state business to pay the Transaction Privilege Tax (sales tax) of the location where Arizona purchasers reside, while in-state businesses could simply use the rates and rules applying to the physical business location regardless of where customers reside.

NetChoice Comments in Advance of House and Senate Privacy Hearings

Below is NetChoice’s statement in advance of tomorrow’s privacy hearing in the House, and Wednesday’s privacy hearing in the Senate. Here are NetChoice’s comments for the record for the House Hearing on consumer privacy.

“We are seeing a fracturing of the internet driven by states introducing disparate privacy bills.” said Carl Szabo, Vice President of NetChoice. “The time has come for establishment of a nationwide standard for privacy online.”

“Americans should ask for a better privacy approach than what Europe and California concocted. Americans deserve a privacy law that doesn’t remove services and stymie innovation.” continued Szabo. “Federal privacy legislation should allow for industry safe-harbors similar to those in the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.”

City and State NY - What would Cuomo’s internet sales tax do?

This time around, some opposition from the industry remains. “Governor Cuomo’s internet tax proposal shows that he misunderstands who will pay his new tax – any taxes collected by Internet businesses will come from the pockets of New Yorkers who already bear the highest tax burden in the nation,” Steve DelBianco, president of NetChoice, an eCommerce trade association, said in an email.

AP News - Proposed bill would protect secondary-ticket market sales

Also reported in SFGate, Miami Herald, SF Chronicle, Santa Maria Times, The Journal Times, The Modesto Bee, The Gazette Times, Daily Journal Online, The Sentinel, and TDN

“But the share of restricted tickets is rising, according to Carl Szabo, vice president of NetChoice, an e-commerce trade association.”

NetChoice Raises Concerns with Calls to Tear Apart Previously Approved Mergers

Today, NetChoice raised concerns about House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee suggestions of re-reviewing merger approvals.

“Tearing apart previously approved mergers threatens America’s startups and empowers America’s competitors.” said Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel for NetChoice.  

“We must not take a rear-view mirror approach to merger reviews.” continued Szabo.  It’s surprising to hear Rep. Cicilline saying the Obama FTC failed to do an adequate review of mergers.”  

For more information read NetChoice’s oped: An antitrust Game of Thrones – The fantasy fight against Google and Facebook

Politico Morning Tech - Trump talks ‘industries of the future’

Politico Morning Tech – Trump talks ‘industries of the future’

TECH PUSHES BACK ON GRAHAM — The tech industry is pushing back on Graham’s plans to create a task force to look into allegations that tech companies are biased against conservatives. “This taskforce sets a dangerous precedent that government should intervene in spaces that enable free speech online,” said Carl Szabo, general counsel for NetChoice. Graham told reporters on Tuesday he wants to put together a joint task force of the Judiciary and Commerce committees to look at privacy, content, bias and terrorism in social media.

NetChoice Raises Concerns with Calls for Conservative Taskforce to Regulate Tech

Today, NetChoice raised concerns about Senate Commerce Committee calls for a taskforce to investigate allegations of tech bias against conservatives.

“It is a myth that social media platforms are unregulated. Online platforms are subject to dozens of laws from across the country.” said Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel for NetChoice.

“Jumping to big government solutions such as a task force to address concerns is counter to conservative principles.” continued Szabo.  “This taskforce sets a dangerous precedent that government should intervene in spaces that enable free speech online. Politicians regardless of political affiliation should reject policies that put our online freedoms at risk.”

Politico Influence - Who’s still lobbying for Bayer

She’s already working with the trade group NetChoice “on their efforts in various states to promote and improve the economic and tax environment” for data centers, according to her spokesperson.

Bloomberg – Tech Group Favors Privacy Bill That Preempts Tougher State Laws

Bloomberg – Tech Group Favors Privacy Bill That Preempts Tougher State Laws

NetChoice says measure would avoid a patchwork of regulations.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch - Hawley says he'd welcome joining with Ocasio-Cortez in challenging big social media companies

St. Louis Post-Dispatch – Hawley says he’d welcome joining with Ocasio-Cortez in challenging big social media companies

also reported in Nouvelles Du Monde and Tech2.

Hawley and Ocasio-Cortez are facing resistance from online industry players, including NetChoice, the trade association representing e-commerce companies.

“Sensible legislators need to avoid the allure of weaponizing antitrust for political aims,” said Carl Szabo, NetChoice’s vice president and general counsel. “Politicizing antitrust exchanges good policy for partisan politics and creates a disastrous precedent.”

He added: “Hipster antitrust threatens small businesses that rely on large platforms to find new customers. If Sen. Hawley and Rep. Ocasio-Cortez want to support small business back home, they should applaud platforms — not attack them.”

Internet Society - International Approach to Internet Policy Declining, Some Experts Say

also reported in Finance Follow

Recent efforts to keep the Internet safe for free expression and free enterprise are “mission impossible,” said Steve DelBianco, president and CEO of Internet-focused trade group NetChoice.

Back in the early 2000s, the Internet was enabling the disruption of governments and powerful businesses by providing users ways to work around those organizations, DelBianco added. “Fifteen years later, I’d have to say that governments and big businesses have regained their footing and are reasserting control,” he said.

Fox News - Missouri's GOP senator wants to work with Ocasio-Cortez on tackling tech giants

“Sensible legislators need to avoid the allure of weaponizing antitrust for political aims,” Carl Szabo, NetChoice’s vice president and general counsel, told the newspaper. “Politicizing antitrust exchanges good policy for partisan politics and creates a disastrous precedent.”

“Hipster antitrust threatens small businesses that rely on large platforms to find new customers,” he added. “If Sen. Hawley and Rep. Ocasio-Cortez want to support small business back home, they should applaud platforms — not attack them.”

NetChoice Commends Facebook for Securing User Data

Today, NetChoice commended Facebook for prioritizing the security of its users by restricting what user data third party apps can access.

“After Cambridge Analytica, Facebook is right to prevent third party apps from abusing their access to Facebook user data,” said Steve DelBianco, President of NetChoice. “Even if a good actor wishes to access Facebook user data, allowing that risks bad actors gaining access too.”

“Facebook is balancing important priorities that traditional media outlets like the Guardian should appreciate rather than tying Facebook up in a Catch-22.”

NetChoice Applauds the US Supreme Court’s denial of Certiorari in Online Platform Liability Case

Washington, D.C. – Today, NetChoice applauded the US Supreme Court’s denial of Certiorari in Hassell v. Yelp, Inc, No. 18-506. This denial retains a California State Supreme Court ruling that Section 230 protections prevent Yelp from being held legally liable for negative reviews posted on their site.

“This case shows the importance of Section 230. Without Section 230 Yelp would be held responsible for negative reviews posted on their site — a legal burden that could shut them down,” said Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel at NetChoice. “Americans increasingly rely on online services like Yelp in their daily lives, services which rely on Section 230 to function.”

Small Business Advocate Radio - Short-Term Rentals, Antitrust, and Facial Recognition

Segments:

NetChoice Concerned By Push for Government Intervention in Barr Confirmation Hearing

Washington, D.C. – Today, NetChoice raised concerns with some Senators’ politically motivated demands to punish the tech industry during the Senate Judiciary Committee’s confirmation hearing of William Barr.

“Weaponizing antitrust in order to attack online platforms sets a dangerous precedent,” said Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel at NetChoice. “Conservatives should turn to market-based solutions to solve perceived problems, not seek more intervention from big government.”

“Anyone who’s seen the movie “Vice” knows conservatives like Vice President Dick Cheney fought against the so-called fairness doctrine for broadcast TV.  Only after eliminating “equal time” mandates did we see the rise of conservative voices like Fox News and Rush Limbaugh,” continued Szabo.

“An internet unhindered by heavy-handed government regulation continues to help conservative voices be heard online. Had the proposals we heard in today’s confirmation hearing been implemented 10 years ago, modern conservative voices like Ben Shapiro and Candace Owens would likely be no more than whispers.”

The Information - Tech’s Next Big Battle: Protecting Immunity From Content Lawsuits

Groups like NetChoice, a trade association for eCommerce whose clients include Airbnb, Facebook, Google, Twitter and Hotels.com, are educating new and old members of Congress on the history and usefulness of the law.

“Without Section 230, we couldn’t have Yelp reviews. We couldn’t have services like Patreon or GoFundMe or websites like NextDoor,” said Carl Szabo, president of NetChoice, in an interview with The Information. “This is the most important law for the internet that no one has ever heard of.”

E-Turbo News - NY court protects Airbnb and Homeaway from customer data violation

E-Turbo News – NY court protects Airbnb and Homeaway from customer data violation

“New York City’s fight against their own residents has led them to defy the constitution and violate the rights of New Yorkers,” said Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel at NetChoice. “New York’s Southern District Court should protect the rights of NYC homeowners. The city’s anti-homesharing laws are dysfunctional and to enforce them New York City is trampling residents’ right to privacy.”

NetChoice Commends Injunction of NYC’s Anti-Homesharing Ordinance

Today, NetChoice commended the US Southern District Court of New York’s preliminary injunction of NYC’s anti-homesharing ordinance requiring short-term rental platforms, like Airbnb and HomeAway, to hand over huge amounts of sensitive customer data.

“New York City’s fight against their own residents has lead them to defy the constitution and violate the rights of New Yorkers,” said Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel at NetChoice. “New York’s Southern District Court should protect the rights of NYC homeowners. The city’s anti-homesharing laws are dysfunctional and to enforce them New York City is trampling residents’ right to privacy.”

Here are some quotes from the Southern District Court’s decision:

  1. “[The ordinance] would invite such productions so as to permit regulators to troll these records for potential violations of law, even as to customers as to which there had been no basis theretofore to suspect any violation of law.” P.40
  2. “Existing Fourth Amendment law does not afford a charter for such a wholesale regulatory appropriation of a company’s user database.” P.40
  3. “A home-sharing platform has at least two very good reasons to keep host and guest information private, whether as to these users’ identities, contact information, usage patterns, and payment practices. One is competitive: Keeping such data confidential keeps such information from rivals (whether competing platforms or hotels) who might exploit it. The other involves customer relations: Keeping such data private assuredly promotes better relations with, and retention of, a platform’s users.” P.22

Link to opinion and order: netchoice.org/nycpreliminjunction

WJBF - New year, new laws for 2019

“You’re seeing states throw away the recommendations set forth by Justice Kennedy and instead doing anything and everything they can do to collect as much taxes from every small seller across the country as possible,” says Carl Szabo of NetChoice.

2019 Outlook: States Still Responding to ‘Wayfair’

“Among the new states imposing remote sales tax are some who are nowhere close to the standards in the Wayfair ruling,” Steve DelBianco, president of NetChoice, a trade association of e-commerce business and online consumers. “That includes states where hundreds of local tax jurisdictions have their own rules, returns, and audits, like Arizona, Colorado, and Louisiana, who are likely targets for litigation.”

NetChoice Commends Moderation Efforts by Tech Platforms

Today, NetChoice commended efforts by tech platforms to curb manipulation by foreign actors to influence American elections. The statement was made in response to President Trump’s comments made earlier today criticizing online platforms for their moderation efforts.

“Platforms are taking steps to curb manipulation – proactively addressing the issues raised by the recently released Senate Report on Disinformation Campaigns. This should be celebrated, not condemned,” said Carl Szabo, Vice President at NetChoice. “Condemning platforms for addressing foreign interference in our elections sends the wrong message.”

Retail Dive - 12 news stories that shaped retail in 2018

The ruling has sparked a chain reaction of various tax legislation in the states. In December, California, for example, laid out new e-commerce tax requirements with the same threshold. Meanwhile, some trade organizations like the American Catalog Mailers Association and NetChoice have continued to push local and federal lawmakers to carve out protections for small businesses, which may be negatively affected by the burden of sales tax collection across the country. Retailers can expect the issue to continue into 2019

Retail Dive - California lays out new e-commerce tax requirements

In the months since that decision came down, the issue has played out in various ways state by state. Some trade organizations like the American Catalog Mailers Association and NetChoice continue to push local and federal lawmakers to carve out protections for small businesses, which may be negatively affected by the burden of sales tax collection across the country.

Politico Morning Tech – The Latest Privacy Proposals

Politico Morning Tech – The Latest Privacy Proposals

TWITTER JOINS NETCHOICE — Tech trade association NetChoice has added Twitter to its ranks, bringing its total membership count to 31, the group tells MT. “NetChoice fights to keep the internet safe for free enterprise and free expression, and we’re excited to have Twitter’s support,” NetChoice spokesman Robert Winterton said. Twitter joins Facebook, Google, Alibaba and other top industry players repped by the group.

Disruptive Competitive Project - Crucial USMCA Intermediary Protections Are Consistent with U.S. Law

Disruptive Competitive Project – Crucial USMCA Intermediary Protections Are Consistent with U.S. Law

However, this progress has been criticized by a handful of commentators who are under the misimpression that inclusion of these longstanding protections will lead to political bias, or represent a departure from current U.S. law.  (For more on why neither Section 230 nor the USMCA provision are enablers of political bias, see this post by NetChoice’s Carl Szabo.)

POLITICO – CEOs to White House to talk tech today

POLITICO – CEOs to White House to talk tech today

— The remarks drew swift repudiation from tech industry groups. NetChoice Vice President Carl Szabo said he is “blown away that leaders of the conservative movement want increased government regulation of business and increased government regulation of free speech.” And the libertarian-leaning TechFreedom tweeted that in “suggesting government meddle in a private companies business,” Hawley was taking a stance that “true conservatives are against.”

The Kansas City Star - Josh Hawley’s war against Big Tech could bring down small startups

The Kansas City Star – Josh Hawley’s war against Big Tech could bring down small startups

Also available in the Miami Herald, and the Sacramento Bee

Carl Szabo, vice president and general counsel of the tech industry group NetChoice, said that rolling back the law would make it nearly impossible for some internet startups to operate.

“The liability would just be too great to the point where only incumbents with armies of lawyers and dollars could even conceive of operating,” he said.

USMCA Interactive Computer Service Provisions Put America’s Digital Economy First

Washington, D.C. – Today, NetChoice commended the Trump Administration for including Article 19.17 in the US-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA). The USMCA contains language from the Communications Decency Act that allows online platforms to engage in good faith content moderation efforts without being subjected to legal liability.

“When it comes to our digital economy, USMCA puts America first,” said Steve DelBianco, President of NetChoice. “Online platform protections make the United States a world leader in tech and innovation, Canada and Mexico will surely benefit from emulating these platform protections.”

Insights Association - Should America Copy the EU General Data Protection Regulation?

Insights Association – Should America Copy the EU General Data Protection Regulation?

Carl Szabo of Netchoice contended that the FTC’s “unfairness” authority “is pretty broad,” so he asked if Section 5 can address a lot of Brookman’s concerns? And should it apply to nonprofits, he asked, since they deal with so much data, too?

The Daily Caller: The Misguided 'Hipster Antitrust' Movement to Break Up Amazon, Apple, and Google

Rarely does a day go by without groups decrying economic disparity in America. The rich are too rich, and America’s most successful businesses are too big.

And as you can expect, these groups oppose free-markets seeing heavy-handed government engagement as our only savior. Apparently, these groups have forgotten that it is America’s exceptionalism that led us to become the greatest country on earth.

When it comes to America’s tech businesses, their complaints are the same: Apple is too powerful, Google too large, and Amazon too ubiquitous. Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch called these attacks “hipster antitrust.”

Legislation Will Imperil Short-Term Renters from Anacostia to Brookland

Washington DC, November 12, 2018 – The future of short-term rentals (STRs) throughout the nation’s capital is being put at risk by DC Council Bill – B22-0092 which would introduce a licensing system that would eliminate nearly all current short-term rentals like Airbnb, HomeAway and VRBO.

The bill would:

  • impose zoning requirements that effectively eliminate nearly all short-term rentals;
  • require short-term rental platforms to share private information about hosts with the city government;
  • cost the city over $104 million in lost taxes and implementation costs;
  • eliminate short-term rental competition allowing big-hotels to gouge visitors to the nation’s capital.

“Big hotels are the only real winners of DC’s anti-home sharing bill.” said Carl Szabo, Vice President at NetChoice. “The city’s latest anti-tech action threatens resident’s privacy and financial security.”

“I can think of a better way for the city to spend $100 million.”

“DC is going after short-term rentals to the detriment of home owners and at a cost of $104 million,” continued Szabo. “The City Council’s proposed rules would burden residents who use STR platforms to help make ends meet.”

A copy of coalition opposition letter can be found at: https://netchoice.org/wp-content/uploads/Association-Joint-DC-Council-Letter-150.pdf

About NetChoice

NetChoice is a trade association of eCommerce and online businesses that share the goal of promoting convenience, choice, and commerce on the net.

NetChoice Calls For Federal Privacy Legislation to Stop Fracturing of the Internet

Washington, D.C. – Today, NetChoice filed comments with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (“NTIA”) request for comments on Request for Comments on Developing the Administration’s Approach to Consumer Privacy.

“We are seeing a fracturing of the internet driven by states introducing disparate privacy bills.” said Carl Szabo, Vice President of NetChoice. “The time has come for establishment of a nationwide standard for privacy online.”

“Americans should ask for a better privacy approach than what Europe and California concocted. Americans deserve a privacy law that doesn’t remove services and stymie innovation.” continued Szabo. “Federal privacy legislation should allow for industry safe-harbors similar to those in the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.”

Read Comments to NTIA

American Action Forum - Comments On Developing The Administration's Approach To Consumer Privacy

An unwillingness to pay is a common finding and for good reason. Everyone would love to get something for nothing. Trade association NetChoice worked with Zogby Analytics to find that only 16 percent of people are willing to pay for online platform service. Strahilevitz and Kugler found that 65 percent of email users, even though they knew their email service scans emails to serve ads, wouldn’t pay for alternative.

POLITICO – Tech Pushes Back on Trump Regulation Remarks

POLITICO – Tech Pushes Back on Trump Regulation Remarks

— Industry rebuttal: “When President Trump says he would regulate online platforms for alleged anti-conservative bias, he really means he would suppress free expression,” NetChoice president Steve DelBianco said in a statement. “Government suppression of negative news and views about the President would blatantly violate the constitution.” And the libertarian TechFreedom group tweeted that “Principled conservatives and liberals should unite against Trump’s attempts to create a Fairness Doctrine for the Internet as a sword for government meddling in social media.”

NetChoice Warns Lawmakers: Americans Reject Government in Tech

Washington, D.C. – Today, NetChoice warned President Trump that heavy-handed regulations on tech platforms is out-of-step with his electorate.

“When President Trump says he would regulate online platforms for alleged anti-conservative bias, he really means he would suppress free expression,” said Steve DelBianco, President of NetChoice. “Government suppression of negative news and views about the President would blatantly violate the constitution.”

“Other policy proposals being thrown out by beltway pundits and think tanks are even more unpopular,” continued DelBianco. “Whether it’s competition and antitrust, advertising or parental controls, Americans overwhelmingly oppose government intervention in tech. 90% of Americans don’t think the government should block tech company acquisitions and 95% think the government should not focus on trying to break them up.”

NetChoice’s comments follow statements made by President Trump during a press briefing on the results of yesterday’s Midterm Election.

Learn more about NetChoice’s recent poll at netchoice.org/techlashpoll.

Ticket News – Michigan Bill Could Legalize Ticket Scalping If Passed In Senate

Ticket News – Michigan Bill Could Legalize Ticket Scalping If Passed In Senate

Among those in support of the legislation is Carl Szabo, vice president of the eCommerce association NetChoice.

“NetChoice supports [the bill] as it updates an 80-year-old law that restricts Michigan fans’ ability to sell at market prices,” Szabo told Watchdog.org. “Michigan stands virtually alone with this restriction that harms the ability of fans to recoup their ticket expenses.”

Michigan Capitol Confidential – Little Guy Faces Jail For Scalping A Ticket, Corporations Do It Every Day

Michigan Capitol Confidential – Little Guy Faces Jail For Scalping A Ticket, Corporations Do It Every Day

NetChoice, an eCommerce association that includes several online companies, such as StubHub, eBay and Google, supports the legislation.

“NetChoice supports [the bill] as it updates an 80-year-old law that restricts Michigan fans’ ability to sell at market prices,” NetChoice Vice President Carl Szabo said. “Michigan stands virtually alone with this restriction that harms the ability of fans to recoup their ticket expenses.”

Szabo said the proposed law would put Michigan on equal footing with the rest of the country by allowing Michigan residents to sell their tickets at market price, which can sometimes fluctuate above the face value of the ticket.

“And to address the problem of unscrupulous ticket sellers, HB 4424 helps ensure that one group doesn’t use ‘bots’ to grab hundreds of tickets the minute they go on sale by making the use of technology illegal and empowering the [Michigan] attorney general to enforce,” Szabo said.

Washington Examiner – DC Council Should Give Residents a Break, Not Big Hotel Chains

Washington Examiner – DC Council Should Give Residents a Break, Not Big Hotel Chains

“A crackdown on short-term rentals would allow companies like Marriott and Hilton to raise room rates even higher. Even worse, D.C. would need to spend more than $100 million to enforce these new regulations on residents — including losing tax revenue earned from short-term rentals.

Imagine what the District could do if it spent $350 million on affordable housing rather than on this new handout to big hotels.”

Does the “Consumer Welfare Standard” Still Protect Competition? Opinions from FTC Antitrust Hearings

Removing the consumer welfare standard would risk injecting politics into what should otherwise be impartial decisions. Doing so would seriously degrade the trust Americans have in the impartiality of the FTC and would expose yet another component of our government to political scrutiny.”

Tech goes to the races

NetChoice, a trade group that counts Facebook and Google as members, sees “a real threat and not in a good way with [a] Democratically controlled House in advancing federal privacy legislation,” said general counsel Carl Szabo, who fears Democrats will resist pre-emption.

Democrats brace for 'tug of war' with tech after midterms

NetChoice, a trade group counting Facebook, Google and eBay among its members, sees “a real threat and not in a good way with [a] Democratically controlled House in advancing federal privacy legislation,” said general counsel Carl Szabo. He said NetChoice is especially concerned Democrats won’t be as inclined as Republicans to preempt states from passing their own privacy laws, which would leave the industry with a patchwork of different rules.

Biometric Update – New York City Councillor to Propose Facial Recognition Disclosure Rules for Businesses

Biometric Update – New York City Councillor to Propose Facial Recognition Disclosure Rules for Businesses

Carl Szabo, Vice President of the e-commerce trade association NetChoice, says Texas and Illinois state laws requiring consent from customers for businesses to use facial recognition are too stringent, but that the increased transparency driven by Torres’ bill could ease consumer concerns about the technology.

Tech Policy Podcast – Techlash: What Do Americans Think?

Tech Policy Podcast – Techlash: What Do Americans Think?

The tech industry’s reputation has taken several hits in recent years over privacy breaches, allegations of bias, and concerns over election interference, causing a backlash in public opinion. But exactly how severe in this “techlash” among American consumers? What do they think government’s role should be in regulating the sector? A recent NetChoice poll attempts to answer these questions. The organization’s president and CEO, Steve DelBianco, joins the show to discuss the poll’s results.

World News Travel Wire – Palm Beach County Short-Term Rental Ordinance

World News Travel Wire – Palm Beach County Short-Term Rental Ordinance

“Palm Beach County is flaunting years of federal protections that have benefitted consumers and enabled the Internet to become a vital economic engine for local, state and national economies,” said Carl Szabo, VP and General Counsel for NetChoice. “The existence of short-term rentals in Palm Beach benefits local residents as much as it does tourists. STRs allow local homeowners to pay their mortgages and afford the added burdens of local taxes and hurricane insurance. Visitors save money by staying in STRs enabling them to have extra cash to spend at local restaurants and stores.”

“Palm Beach County Short-Term Rental Ordinance is Unconstitutional and Undermines Homeowners’ Personal Privacy”, NetChoice Says

October 15, 2018 – Efforts by Palm Beach County to regulate short-term rentals (STRs) infringes on the constitutional rights of homeowners, invades the privacy of county residents and undermines a vital economic engine to the local economy, NetChoice filed in legal testimony today.

Proposed Ordinance 95-30 would require online STR platforms, like Homeaway, Airbnb and VRBO, to disclose user data to the government or face liability requirements.

NetChoice believes the ordinance:

  • Violates the U.S. constitution.
  • Breaks federal Internet law.
  • Prevents local residents from earning extra income and would have wide-ranging negative impacts on the local economy.
  • Threatens the privacy of local residents.

“Palm Beach County is flaunting years of federal protections that have benefitted consumers and enabled the Internet to become a vital economic engine for local, state and national economies,” said Carl Szabo, VP and General Counsel for NetChoice. “The existence of short-term rentals in Palm Beach benefits local residents as much as it does tourists. STRs allow local homeowners to pay their mortgages and afford the added burdens of local taxes and hurricane insurance. Visitors save money by staying in STRs enabling them to have extra cash to spend at local restaurants and stores.”

NetChoice’s testimony detailed how Palm Beach’s proposed ordinance breaks the 4th amendment of the U.S. constitution, as it requires unreasonable search and seizure of personal information.  Further, the proposed ordinance also violates the Communications Decency Act,  which protects online platforms from being legally responsible for content posted by their users. The law’s existence has enabled consumers and businesses to conduct billions of dollars of commerce on the internet.

Politico Morning Tax – Changes ahead for Ways and Means

Politico Morning Tax – Changes ahead for Ways and Means

States that have voluntarily coordinated their sales tax regimes for remote sellers are showing little interest in federal legislation to mandate such harmonization, said Steve DelBianco, president and CEO of NetChoice, an e-commerce trade association.

“I floated the idea to a crowd that you would have thought would be attracted to the idea,” DelBianco said, “but there was little interest in any federal legislation in the wake of Wayfair.”

Washington Examiner – Transportation Department forges ahead on rules for self-driving cars

Washington Examiner – Transportation Department forges ahead on rules for self-driving cars

The Transportation Department’s guideline revisions “will drive the autonomous vehicle industry to innovate while maintaining public safety,” Carl Szabo, vice president at NetChoice, a trade association for e-commerce businesses, wrote in a statement.

Bloomberg BNA – State of Wayfair: State, Trade Group Officials Have a Chat

Bloomberg BNA – State of Wayfair: State, Trade Group Officials Have a Chat

A federal bill imposing standards of uniformity and simplicity on the states is needed to ensure that remote sellers can cope with their new collection obligations and that the states don’t ignore the limits on state authority set up by the court, said Steve DelBianco, president and CEO of NetChoice, an e-commerce lobbying group.

The discussion took place Oct. 4 in St. Louis at an informal gathering of tax stakeholders organized by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Also at the meeting were officials from the Streamlined Sales Tax Governing Board Inc. (SSTGB), the Multistate Tax Commission, the National Governor’s Association, and the Federal Tax Administrators.

NetChoice has proposed 20 tax simplifications, a ban on retroactive taxes, a delay before collection obligations can be imposed, a small-business exemption, and incentives to get states to join the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement (SSUTA).

Multi Channel Merchant – With More States Requiring Online Sales Tax Collection, Concerns Rise

Multi Channel Merchant – With More States Requiring Online Sales Tax Collection, Concerns Rise

While there was an initial meeting in July between the ACMA, the MTC and NetChoice – an online seller advocacy group – to try and find common ground in the wake of Wayfair and set up working groups, a subsequent meeting never materialized.

New DOT Guidelines Will Put Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Into Gear, Says NetChoice

NetChoice, which counts Waymo and Lyft as members, applauded new guidelines from the Department of Transportation (DOT) that foster innovation while still prioritizing safety.

“DOT’s new guidelines put self-driving cars into gear and onto the roads.” said Carl Szabo, VP and General Counsel at NetChoice.

“DOT guidelines will drive the autonomous vehicle industry to innovate while maintaining public safety,” continued Szabo. “The guidelines are forward looking, taking into account that cars of the future may not have many features of today’s cars, such as steering wheels, gas pedals and mirrors.”

The guidelines also push states and localities to remove barriers to autonomous vehicle testing and to ensure the growth of new technologies and interoperability. The new guidelines also allow car manufacturers to self-define their cars as self-driving rather than having to comply with a specific description. These are just two of many ways the DOT will ensure effective regulations that do not burden innovators.

“Autonomous vehicles are the future of road transportation, and the DOT has provided guidelines that will allow America to lead in the adoption of this revolutionary technology,” continued Szabo.

Morning Tech, Politico - D.C. Council, Tech Clash Over Short-Term Rental Measure

“Extreme restrictions on short-term rentals is not only bad local policy, it is bad business policy,” wrote the Internet Association, the Consumer Technology Association, NetChoice and Travel Tech on Monday. “It sends a message that DC is not open for innovative businesses and is not a place for the technology sector to invest in.”

Global Travel Industry News - NYC short-term rental law unconstitutional, NetChoice issues statement

“New York’s fight against their own residents has led them to defy the constitution and violate the rights of New Yorkers,” continued Szabo. “New York’s Southern District Court should protect the rights of NYC homeowners. The city’s anti-home sharing laws are dysfunctional and to enforce them New York is trampling residents’ right to privacy.”

NYC Short-Term Rental Law Is Unconstitutional, NetChoice States

Forcing Businesses to Turn Over Private and Personal Customer Information Violates the Rights of all New Yorkers

Washington, D.C., October-1, 2018 – Local Law 146, a short-term rental law passed by the New York City (NYC) Council and signed into law by Mayor de Blasio in August violates the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and needs to be amended, NetChoice says.

NetChoice filed in the court cases of Airbnb vs. NYC and HomeAway vs. NYC. Both Airbnb and Homeway are seeking preliminary injunctions against NYC’s Local Law 146.

Local Law 146 requires short-term rental (STR) platforms to disclose private and personal information of hosts who reserve STRs through them. This law is an attempt by the city government to improve enforcement of strict regulations on STRs.

However, NetChoice believes that the law has three fatal flaws as it:

  • Breaks the 4th Amendment of the Constitution
  • Defies the federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act
  • Violates New York State privacy laws

“New York’s fight against their own residents has lead them to defy the constitution and violate the rights of New Yorkers,” continued Szabo. “New York’s Southern District Court should protect the rights of NYC homeowners. The city’s anti-home sharing laws are dysfunctional and to enforce them New York is trampling residents’ right to privacy.”

Law360 – 9 States Face Remote Sales Tax Collection In Uncertain Waters

Law360 – 9 States Face Remote Sales Tax Collection In Uncertain Waters

“This won’t be much of a milestone for states, who will add less than 1 percent to their total tax revenue,” said Steve DelBianco, CEO of retail trade group Netchoice. “But these new tax collection burdens will be a millstone around the necks of small businesses who go online to reach customers around the country.”

Global Travel Industry News - Thousands Will Be Decimated in the US Capital by Proposed Bill

also reported at Luis Alberto Benshimol Chonchol

“Washington DC already gives millions in tax breaks to big hotels, and Council should not give hotels another handout by curtailing the property rights of District home owners,” said Carl Szabo, General Counsel of NetChoice.

“This legislation has been marred by misinformation and process problems and should not be rammed through in the closing days of this year’s final Council session. This issue deserves a robust public discussion and economic impact analysis,”

NetChoice Calls on Senate Committee to Resist Heavy-Handed Regulation

Washington D.C., September 25 – Today, NetChoice called on members of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transport Committee to resist imposing heavy-handed regulations on online platforms. The hearing, “Examining Safeguards for Consumer Data Privacy” will take place on Wednesday, September 24th. New polling from NetChoice and Zogby Analytics shows Americans have little appetite for heavy-handed government regulation of tech platforms.

“Congress should listen to Americans and resist the temptation to overregulate tech platforms,” said Steve DelBianco, President of NetChoice. “The vast majority (71%) of Americans prefer that advertising continues to pay for their free online services. Heavy-handed regulation could undermine the business models Americans want and would lead to fewer services and more paywalls.”

Polling shows 4 out of 5 Americans with an opinion think new regulations on internet services would harm choice and freedom online. Polling also showed that Americans are not locked-in to existing platforms. 43% have stopped using a social media platform at some point, but less than 1% did so because of a change in privacy policy.

“Don’t interrupt the online experiences and innovation that Americans enjoy,” continued DelBianco. “Americans have no appetite for heavy-handed government regulations, and Congress should listen to them.”

*About the Survey: From August 6-8, 2018 Zogby Analytics conducted an interactive survey of 1,222 adults focused on consumer attitudes toward Internet platforms and government regulation. The survey, commissioned by NetChoice, has a margin of error of +/- 2.8%. More information can be found at netchoice.org/TechLashPoll.

About NetChoice

NetChoice is a trade association of eCommerce businesses who share the goal of promoting convenience, choice, and commerce on the net.

Anti-Home Sharing Bill Would Hurt Thousands in the District

WASHINGTON, September 25, 2018 – A newly proposed ordinance would decimate DC’s robust short-term rental market, depriving home-owners of their property rights and hurting neighborhood restaurants and small businesses that benefit from short-term rentals in the District.

The proposed restrictions on short-term rentals, to be released later today, are accompanied by a half-million-dollar ad campaign funded by the big hotel chains – who want to eliminate competition from short-term rentals.   LaSalle Hotel Properties’s CEO told investors that a law curtailing short-term rental services would allow hotels to boost their room rates.

“Washington DC already gives millions in tax breaks to big hotels, and Council should not give hotels another handout by curtailing the property rights of District home owners,” said Carl Szabo, General Counsel of NetChoice.

Short-term rentals provide much-needed income to hundreds of DC residents.  Over 52 percent of short-term rental hosts nationwide live in low-to-moderate income households. And almost half of the income hosts earn through short-term rentals helps them cover household expenses.  Moreover, there are hundreds of local restaurants, shops, and cleaning services that benefit from the activity of short-term rentals.

“This legislation has been marred by misinformation and process problems and should not be rammed through in the closing days of this year’s final Council session.   This issue deserves a robust public discussion and economic impact analysis,” continued Szabo.

“This bill will harm thousands of DC residents who rely on short-term rentals, not just home owners, but small businesses that benefit from the economic boost created by short term renting.”

About NetChoice

NetChoice is a trade association of eCommerce businesses who share the goal of promoting convenience, choice, and commerce on the net.

President Trump & Attorney General Sessions Lack Support for Breaking Up Tech, New Netchoice Survey Finds

Just 5% of Americans Want Antitrust Focus on Tech

WASHINGTON, September 24, 2018 – Americans overwhelmingly value the contributions of the technology industry and do not support antitrust enforcement, despite aggressive rhetoric from President Trump, a new NetChoice survey* of 1,200 U.S. consumers found.

President Trump has placed America’s largest tech platforms in the crosshairs of U.S. antitrust authorities.  Attorney General Jeff Sessions is also holding a meeting with several State Attorneys General today to discuss accusations of social media bias. But Americans don’t support an antitrust crack down on America’s most innovative businesses.

New polling shows that only about 5% of Americans (on both sides of the political aisles) say the federal government should focus anti-competitive enforcement on the tech industry. Further, just 1 in 5 Americans say the break-up of big tech would most benefit consumers.

The value of tech to consumers and businesses is clear.

Over 70% of Americans say that digital advertising platforms like Google and Facebook are valuable to both small businesses and the national economy. Just 13% say that they have had a negative experience with large Internet platforms and 72% say that services like Facebook, Google, and Amazon make it easier for them to connect with people in their community.

“President Trump’s fixation on breaking up tech platforms lacks support from Americans,” said Steve DelBianco, president of NetChoice. “Antitrust policy needs to be guided by facts, not emotional outbursts. The government cannot violate the First Amendment by forcing Internet platforms to suppress negative news. Internet platforms are a boon for American consumers, businesses, and, in turn, the U.S. economy. The President should listen to regular Americans and allow U.S. tech companies to continue to thrive and innovate.”

*About the Survey: From August 6-8, 2018 Zogby Analytics conducted an interactive survey of 1,222 adults focused on consumer attitudes toward Internet platforms and government regulation. The survey, commissioned by NetChoice, has a margin of error of +/- 2.8%.  It is available at NetChoice.org/TechlashPoll

About NetChoice

NetChoice is a trade association of eCommerce businesses all of whom share the goal of promoting convenience, choice, and commerce on the net.

State Tax Notes – States and Online Marketers Set Date for Post-Wayfair Dialogue

State Tax Notes – States and Online Marketers Set Date for Post-Wayfair Dialogue

George Isaacson of Brann & Isaacson, Steve DelBianco of NetChoice, and Hamilton Davison of the American Catalog Mailers Association laid the groundwork for such discussions in July when they met with the Multistate Tax Commission’s executive committee in Boston.

Gas & Electricity – U.S. to relinquish remaining control over the internet

Gas & Electricity – U.S. to relinquish remaining control over the internet

“It’s inconceivable that ICANN can be accountable to the whole world. That’s the equivalent of being accountable to no one,” said Steve DelBianco, executive director of NetChoice, a trade group representing major Internet commerce businesses.

The Boston Globe – The Mass. taxman cometh — for online retailers

The Boston Globe – The Mass. taxman cometh — for online retailers

Many states adopted tax-collection rules that would take effect next month, or later. But the DOR is sticking to its story: We started taxing you last fall. NetChoice, a trade group for online retailers, calls this retroactive taxation, and complains that companies are being unfairly hit up for the nearly nine months before the landmark ruling. DOR says it’s just doing its job.

Bloomberg BNA – State of Wayfair: Illinois ‘Amorphous,’ Attempting to Streamline

Bloomberg BNA – State of Wayfair: Illinois ‘Amorphous,’ Attempting to Streamline

During the July meeting, post-Wayfairsimplification measures were passed along to state groups by George Isaacson, a senior partner at Brann & Isaacson LLP in Lewiston, Maine, who represented e-retailers before the high court in Wayfair; Steve DelBianco, president and CEO of NetChoice, a Washington-based trade association representing e-commerce businesses and online consumers; and Hamilton Davison, president and executive director of the American Catalog Mailers Association in Providence, R.I.

Bloomberg BNA – Online Tax Bill Will See Action This Year, Rep. Sensenbrenner Says

Bloomberg BNA – Online Tax Bill Will See Action This Year, Rep. Sensenbrenner Says

Steve DelBianco, president and CEO of NetChoice, an e-commerce trade organization, defended Sensenbrenner’s bill, arguing that in the event the bill became law, any sales tax retained by a state before Jan. 1, 2019, could be retained to satisfy use taxes owed.

Use tax is a sales tax on purchases made outside one’s state of residence for taxable items that will be used, stored, or consumed in one’s state of residence and on which no tax was collected in the state of purchase, according to investopedia.

“Use taxes are the flip side of the coin, it’s the same tax, if you don’t owe sales tax you still owe use tax,” DelBianco told Bloomberg Tax. “The real intention of Sensenbrenner’s bill is to relieve businesses of far-too-soon state implementation dates. It’s a small thing to ask for states to wait until January.”

Michigan Residents Back Legislation to Secure Ticket Rights – “I bought it, I own it”

80% support the right of ticket holders to resell, give away or donate their tickets

68% of Michigan Fans SUPPORT legislation like HB 4224 – allowing fans to resell at prices they choose

September 19 – New polling released by NetChoice shows that both Michigan voters support ticket resale rights and want to be able to resell their tickets for a price they choose.

According to a survey of more than 600 Michiganders conducted by Zogby Analytics and commissioned by NetChoice, 80% support the right of ticket holders to resell, give away, or donate their tickets. 62% say that Michigan law needs to change so consumers can decide what price to sell their tickets – 68% of Michigan Fans support legislation like HB 4224 allowing fans to resell at prices they choose. Read more

NetChoice Commends Sensenbrenner Bill Protecting Small Businesses From SCOTUS Internet Sales Tax Decision

Washington, D.C., September 14 – This afternoon, Reps. Reps. Sensenbrenner, Eshoo, Duncan, and Lofgren introduced the Online Sales Simplicity and Small Business Relief Act of 2018. This legislation is a response to the chaos caused by the June-2018 Supreme Court decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair.

The Court overturned decades of legal precedent and put small business owners at the mercy of all out-of-state sales tax collectors, covering more than 12,000 local tax jurisdictions.

Below, please find a statement from Steve DelBianco of NetChoice regarding the introduction of HR 6824 this afternoon:

“The U.S. Congress has the Constitutional role of protecting interstate commerce.  Reps. Sensenbrenner, Eshoo, Duncan, and Lofgren are to be commended for stepping into the breach created when the U.S. Supreme Court erased 60 years of settled law that restrained state tax collectors from reaching across their borders.

America’s small businesses cannot survive under the complex burdens and audit risks from 46 different state sales tax regimes. HR 6824 incentivizes all states to significantly simplify their sales tax systems.”

Small Business Advocate – Consumers Think the Tech Industry Should Be Left Alone

Consumers Think the Tech Industry Should Be Left Alone

Steve DelBianco joins Jim Blasingame to report that only single digit responses from 1200 consumers polled indicate they want government restrictions on the activities of tech firms.

Steve DelBianco joins Jim Blasingame to report on a recent Zogby survey of consumers’ sentiment regarding government regulation of big technology companies.

American Consumers Reject Government Intervention in Tech:  “Let Us Pick Internet Platform Winners and Losers,” New NetChoice Research Finds

AMERICAN CONSUMERS REJECT GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION IN TECH:  “LET US PICK INTERNET PLATFORM WINNERS AND LOSERS,” NEW NETCHOICE RESEARCH FINDS

Just 5% Say Regulators Should Focus Anti-Competitive Enforcement on Tech

Americans Prefer Interest-Based Ads Over Paying for Content By a 3-1 Margin

SEPTEMBER 12, 2018, Washington, DC – State and federal legislators on both sides of the aisle have called for more regulation of the technology industry. However, new research from NetChoice shows that Americans want a light regulatory touch for tech companies, believing that consumer spending and online surfing habits should be the ultimate means of ensuring competition and consumer choice.

According to a survey* of more than 1,200 U.S. consumers conducted by Zogby Analytics, only 5% said that regulators should focus anti-competitive enforcement on the tech industry. Only 10% think the government should prevent successful online businesses from acquiring other companies.

“There is a disconnect between American consumers and the anti-tech community,” said Steve DelBianco, president of NetChoice. “Americans prefer to make their own decisions rather than having a heavy-handed government determine what is ‘best’ for them.” Read more

Politico – Takeaways from tech’s marathon hearings

Politico – Takeaways from tech’s marathon hearings

Carl Szabo, general counsel of the trade group NetChoice, added: “Conservative values are centered around the idea that businesses should be allowed to do what they think is best for their customers, and that’s exactly what these companies are doing.”

Politico – Sessions throws DOJ’s weight into social media bias complaints

Politico – Sessions throws DOJ’s weight into social media bias complaints

Carl Szabo, vice president and general counsel of the trade association NetChoice, said that his fellow conservatives’ push for more oversight of digital platforms is ill-conceived.

“Conservative values are centered around the idea that businesses should be allowed to do what they think is best for their customers, and that’s exactly what these companies are doing,” said Szabo. Facebook and Google are members of NetChoice.

Bloomberg BNA – State of Wayfair: First Look at South Dakota Bills

Bloomberg BNA – State of Wayfair: First Look at South Dakota Bills

The state sued Wayfair, Newegg, and others in July 2017 right after its South Dakota-style law went on the books, inviting a countersuit by the e-commerce industry. The American Catalog Mailers Association and NetChoice said the Quill physical presence standard blocked Wyoming from forcing out-of-state vendors to collect and remit sales and use taxes.

Bloomberg BNA – South Dakota Special Session to Decide Future of Online Sales Tax (1)

Bloomberg BNA – South Dakota Special Session to Decide Future of Online Sales Tax

Steve DelBianco, president and CEO of NetChoice, told Bloomberg Tax Aug. 29 that its lawsuit in Tennessee is “still pending and we have scheduled discussions.” But regardless of the outcome, the Legislature has to act before collections can be required from remote sellers operating in that state, which won’t happen before January 2019, he said. The Tennessee Legislature is scheduled to reconvene Jan. 8, 2019.

Indiana Business Journal – State settles sales tax lawsuit with four online retailers

Indiana Business Journal – State settles sales tax lawsuit with four online retailers

American Catalog Mailers Association and NetChoice initially filed the lawsuit against the state in June 2017, and Wayfair Inc. and Overstock.com joined the suit in August 2017.

Specifically, in the settlement with the American Catalog Mailers Association and NetChoice, the state agreed to provide sales tax administration software for free and cover the costs of any errors caused by that software.

Midland Paper – ACMA’s Davison & Attorney Isaacson to Provide Further Wayfair/Quill Guidance at Sept. 13th NEMOA Summit

Midland Paper – ACMA’s Davison & Attorney Isaacson to Provide Further Wayfair/Quill Guidance at Sept. 13th NEMOA Summit

As you may recall, last month the ACMA held a conference call with Brann & Isaacson attorneys George Isaacson and Martin Eisenstein, ACMA President & Executive Director Hamilton Davison, and NetChoice Executive Director Steve DelBianco, the replay of which is still available by clicking here.

President Trump’s Heat on Tech Industry Not in Sync with Americans and His Base

President Trump’s Heat on Tech Industry Not in Sync with Americans and His Base

New Polling Shows by a 7-to-1 margin Republicans believe online regulation would harm consumer freedom and choice on the internet

Washington, D.C., August 29, 2018 – President Trump’s attack on America’s most popular online search provider Google along with regulatory threats from White House Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow are not supported by most Americans, according to new research from NetChoice.

NetChoice found that by a 7-to-1 margin, Republicans agree, rather than disagree, with the idea that online regulation would harm consumer freedom and choice on the internet.

“When the Administration says they are “taking a look” at regulating Google Search results, they really mean that they plan on regulating political speech,” said Steve DelBianco, president of NetChoice.

“Forcing Google to demote critical news about President Trump blatantly conflicts with the first amendment and endangers all forms of online expression. Businesses must be allowed to do what is best for their users.

The basic tenets of capitalism need to hold true on the Internet. Consumers pick winners and losers, not bureaucrats.”

To see NetChoice’s view on conservative concerns about social media content moderation, see here and here.

About the Polling

NetChoice commissioned research firm Zogby Analytics to conduct an interactive survey of more than 1,200 U.S. consumers from Aug. 6-8. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 2.8%. The entire survey will be publicly available in September.

The Hill – Tech’s road to economic demise is paved with good intentions

The Hill – Tech’s road to economic demise is paved with good intentions

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) recently laid out his plan to “solve” modern day tech issues. But despite his good intentions, he has proposed policies that would break down our greatest economic engine – the tech industry.

The 20-page white paper call “Potential Policy Proposals for Regulation of Social Media and Technology Firms” represents noble ideas that would result in knee-capping American innovation, promoting increased market consolidation, and undermining privacy – all while leaving the problems the paper seeks to solve unaddressed.