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With friends like these...
...who needs enemas? (Administered by plunger, no doubt.)
Internet Tax Plan Is Needed, Net Creator Says
(09/09/97; 12:00 p.m. EDT)
By Douglas Hayward, TechWire
GENEVA -- Internet taxes are inevitable, according to the man dubbed
the "Father of the Net." The only way to avoid global chaos is to
create an international agreement on how to do it, added Vint Cerf at
a meeting of the Internet Society here. Cerf co-developed the
TCP/IP[LINK] protocol on which all Web and Net transaction depend.
Although proposals for taxing the Internet were rejected by both the
Clinton administration and the European Commission earlier this year,
there will be no way to avoid it, he said. "We need to be prepared for
the day when there will be taxation as a consequence of Internet
transactions," said Cerf, who is senior vice president for Internet
architecture and engineering at MCI, in Washington.
Taxation of the Internet, also called "bit taxes," must be
well-planned, Cerf said. "And it must also be thought through on a
global scale -- not parochially," he said. In the United States alone,
there are 30,000 taxing authorities that might be interested in taxing
transactions on the Internet, said Cerf, adding that right now, there
is no way to determine which of those authorities should have
jurisdiction over a particular transaction.
"Imagine going through 30,000 tests for each transaction -- no
transaction would ever go through," Cerf said. "If the Internet
becomes a major tool for electronic commerce, every major taxing
jurisdiction in the world will be interested in using that as a
Although the rate of growth of visible Internet hosts appears to be
slowing significantly, the growth of intranets is still on the rise,
Cerf said. "Traffic is growing at such as rate that on [MCI's]
backbone, we will have to consume as much fiber capacity for the
Internet as for the telephone network by the third quarter of 2110,"
As Internet traffic grows, Cerf said, legislators will move to
regulate it. "You cannot have a fully and totally unregulated
environment," he said.
"If something is becoming an infrastructure that is important for
people's daily lives, then governments will have the right to be
concerned about the public's safety and well-being," Cerf said. "When
you build roads, you make rules about how people are to behave on
these roads, in order to protect people." TW
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