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Tech at Night: More sales tax issues, the Lieberman-Collins bill is still wrong

Tech at Night

It’s easy to see why there’s sudden, strong opposition to the Marketplace Fairness Act, as yet another Republican governor, Terry Branstad, backs the bill.

I again state my opposition to the lousy language backing the bill, including “fairness” and “loophole”. Yes, that language is being driven by marketplace losers, but both sides of this debate are ponying up cash.

I favor the bill on its merits, not because of who’s spending. I’m not even used to seeing Republicans equating business backing of a bill with the bill’s wrongness. Democrats? Yes, but not Republicans. I don’t think it should be a factor at all. I want to save the sales tax from becoming obsolete, and from having to be replaced by “progressive” taxation, as it probably will, since as people shift from local to national and global, firms not called Amazon still aren’t going to have distribution in every state.

Limited government does not mean no government, particularly at the state level. The money’s got to come from somewhere. Either we shore up the sales tax or we raise other taxes, all else being equal.

TIA joins the chorus against version 3 of Lieberman-Collins, the Barack Obama-Harry Reid-Senate Democrat backed cybersecurity power grab. Again, the claims that ‘privacy’ issues are fixed are a red herring, as privacy was never the problem. The government mandates and control of the Internet are. We need a light touch. Pass CISPA, the House bill, or SECURE IT, the bill with support across the Republican caucus. We need government to work with business, not dictate to it.

Because you know what? Computer security is moving too fast to regulate anyway, as DARPA shows.

Yes, our networks are vulnerable, as Michael Chertoff points out was a lesson of Google’s massive Wi-Spy Street View network spying operation. But note that regulation of the Internet won’t secure local networks! It won’t even address the problem of poor private sector decision making! That’s why tools like the DARPA power strip work!

Some say we need more information on what Google did anyway, as this is becoming part of a pattern of bad behavior of Google’s.. Now, I think some of those Google worsts just come from being the biggest. It’s easy to strike out more than anyone else if you have the most at-bats. But there are real problems there.

Also, Mobile is it, and we need real spectrum reform to keep FCC, FTC, and DoJ from being a three-headed impediment to efficient, market-based spectrum allocation.

I find it interesting that the Obama administration is making a public fight over the Apple/iBooks case instead of just fighting it in court. Why do that if this is just a matter of enforcing the law, and not motivated by some need to get attention and single out Apple? Remember: Apple may be a favorite of hippies, but Google is the favorite of the Obama administration, going back to the early days when then-CEO Eric Schmidt was directly involved as an adviser in the campaign.

Breaking: Kim Dotcom is now blaming Barack Obama and not Joe Biden for the vast conspiracy against him. Wait until he finds out that President Romney will be even more pro-copyright… I guess fatty will have to claim that the conspiracy got to Mittens.

A great point: Mutual corporations make great sense for utilities, including Internet access. Let private coordination happen in the marketplace, without government picking winners and losers.

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