Prior to passage of the bill obligating collection and remittance in such circumstances, prominent online retailers including Amazon.com and Overstock.com had threatened to terminate relationships with affiliates, if the legislation became law. Now that it has, and affiliate relationships are being severed, something critics of the legislation say was entirely foreseeable is occurring: Online businesses and entrepreneurs are leaving the state, thus risking an actual reduction, as opposed to marginal increase, in California’s tax revenue.
Last month, news broke of one California-based online entrepreneur who had decided to ditch California and move to Nevada in the aftermath of Gov. Jerry Brown signing the law. ”I always figured that in California, home to Silicon Valley and a million tech startups, they’d never pass a law like this,” said Nick Loper, who formerly operated ShoesRUs and has now opened a new venture, ShoeSniper.
Per the piece in which Loper is quoted, more than 70 affiliates had at that stage already left California, according to online businesses.
Then, last Thursday, another online entrepreneur, Erica Douglass, posted a mock “It’s Over” letter to California on her blog. Douglass, who sold an internet company she had built for $1.1 million in 2007 when she was just 26, cited multiple reasons for moving to Austin. Among them were unnecessary paperwork requirements mandated by the state, and high taxes as well as business fees. However, the straw that broke the camel’s back, was according to Portfolio, Brown signing the Amazon Tax into law.
This is one of those, `I see the wall, I see the wall, Oooh where did that wall come from?` events. When will politicians learn that everything they do has an equally troubling reaction?
Two key senators want to know if the leader of the vast U.S. intelligence apparatus believes it’s legal for spooks to track where you go through your iPhone.
In a letter that Sens. Mark Udall (D-Colorado) and Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) will send later on Thursday, obtained by Danger Room, the senators ask Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, “Do government agencies have the authority to collect the geolocation information of American citizens for intelligence purposes?”
Both senators are members of the panel overseeing the 16 intelligence agencies. In May, they sounded warnings that the Obama administration was secretly reinterpreting the Patriot Act to allow a broader amount of domestic surveillance than it had publicly disclosed.
“[R]ecent advances in geolocation technology have made it increasingly easy to secretly track the movements and whereabouts of individual Americans on an ongoing, 24/7 basis,” they write. “Law enforcement agencies have relied on a variety of different methods to conduct this sort of electronic surveillance, including the acquisition of cell phone mobility data from communications companies as well as the use of tracking devices covertly installed by the law enforcement agencies themselves.”
Well gee dude, you signed off on the Patriot Act what do you expect you Turkey. But of course they are tracking you. They are probably tracking your mistress too, if you have one. Get real.
This blog has been up nearly 4 years. In that time we have been beating the drum that its the governemnt – telecom axis that has delayed US deployment of faster, better, cheaper services. Don’t take our word for it –
Why is European broadband faster and cheaper? Blame the government
If you’ve stayed with friends who live in European cities, you’ve probably had an experience like this: You hop onto their WiFi or wired internet connection and realize it’s really fast. Way faster than the one that you have at home. It might even make your own DSL or cable connection feel as sluggish as dialup.
You ask them how much they pay for broadband.
“Oh, forty Euros.” That’s about $56.
“A week?” you ask.
“No,” they might say. “Per month. And that includes phone and TV.”
It’s really that bad. The nation that invented the internet ranks 16th in the world when it comes to the speed and cost of our broadband connections. That’s according to a study released last year by Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society on behalf of the Federal Communications Commission.
It’s not surprising that we lag behind such hacker havens as Sweden (number one worldwide, according to the study) and Finland (number seven), nor densely-populated Asian nations like Japan and South Korea (numbers three and four). But the U.S. also trails countries that are poor by European standards: Portugal is just ahead of us in 15th place; Italy is number 14. (The full rankings are on page 81 of the study.)
We’re barely behind of Portugal folks and by next survey we will have sunk even further. Count on that. We as a nation are sinking in the morass of a cabal that likes it the way it is. Its, the 4th of July, Ben Franklin would be pissed if he saw our current state of affairs.
Calling the regulations the “most egregious of all violations of federal law,” Mr. Cuccinelli told The Washington Times on Thursday that he will begin in July or August to gather support from other attorneys general and private partners for a lawsuit against the Federal Communications Commission.
“They have no respect for the courts, no respect for the states, no respect for the Constitution, no respect for federal law,” Mr. Cuccinelli, a Republican, said during an appearance on Capitol Hill at a lunch meeting of the National Italian-American Foundation.
Mr. Cuccinelli has engaged the federal government in legal battles related to other hot-button political issues, including health care and climate change. The net neutrality issue has become a cause celebre for Republicans who fear the Obama administration is attempting to control the Internet.
The regulations were approved Dec. 21 by the five-member board of the FCC over the objections of its two Republican members and are expected to go into effect this summer.
Is he right? Probably. Conceptually Net Neutrality, wherein there are no tiers or right of way charge for access is laudable. That is not however what we have in the current regs. Fact it is doubtful that the FCC even has the charter to do so if the reading of the first District court is to be believed.
Va’s uphill battle however is in how they go about it. They won’t be able to attack it directly on regulatory grounds. Its a creature of the Congress and SCOTUS gives broad latitude to the Legislature on such matters. No, Va will have to do so on Constitutional grounds which will be a tougher nut. I wish them luck, but I won’t hold my breath.
Evidently. South Carolina all but tells Amazon to go stuff it with a new distribution center. This is after Texas does the same darn thing two months back —
Amazon all but told South Carolina goodbye Wednesday after the online retailer lost a legislative showdown on a sales tax collection exemption it wants to open a distribution center that would bring 1,249 jobs to the Midlands.
Company officials immediately halted plans to equip and staff the one million-square-foot building under construction at I-77 and 12th Street near Cayce.
“As a result of today’s unfortunate House vote, we’ve canceled $52 million in procurement contracts and removed all South Carolina fulfillment center job postings from our (Web) site,” said Paul Misener, Amazon vice president for global public policy.
In the middle of the worst recession in 50 years? The State does not want those jobs? Who the hell is the State of SC working for?
It is certainly not the people.