Steve DelBianco is on the shameless side. He leads NetChoice, a national trade association representing e-commerce and online businesses.
“Massachusetts has this unique theory of electronic presence,” DelBianco said. “But under that theory, your business is subject to the taxation [and] regulation in any state where a user simply enters your website address. That can’t hold up to legal scrutiny, ’cause it certainly doesn’t hold up to common sense.”
For DelBianco, the only option left is a legal challenge to fight the idea that a cookie on your computer is the same thing as a storefront on Newbury Street. He said his group has sued a number of other states for online sales tax laws and he’s looking at a legal fight in Massachusetts too.
“We’re researching the legal arguments and raising the funds to pursue a lawsuit right now,” DelBianco said. He said it’s “too soon to say when we’ll be ready.”
Segment 1: What will the Internet look like in five years
Segment 2: Do we have anything to fear from impending ICANN changes?
Segment 3: Is an Internet sales tax inevitable?
Steve DelBianco speaks about internet sales tax issues.
Steve DelBianco speaks about ICANN at 30 minute mark.
Carl Szabo speaks on NPR panel on Big Data
Edward Snowden’s revelations about Internet spying by the National Security Agency put pressure on the Obama White House. Last week, it issued two reports — not on privacy threats from the NSA, but from corporations that use the same techniques for collecting what’s called “meta data” from America’s millions of Internet users. It’s focusing on the way private companies find patterns in your online habits to create a “digital persona” you don’t even know about. The goal is not just to market products you might like. It’s also used to predict whether you’re a good credit risk, job prospect or candidate for insurance. Privacy advocates welcome proposals for regulation, but Silicon Valley’s saying, “Not so fast.” We hear from both sides.