A new tax on e-mail ?

Robert E. Seastrom rs@seastrom.com
11 Jun 1999 11:57:24 -0400

This is a variation on the old "modem tax" urban legend, and appears
to be bogus.

A search of pending legislation at http://thomas.loc.gov/ reveals that
"bill 602P" is not a valid bill number (I could have told you that
without looking; bills start with H.R. or S. depending on which house
they start in).

A text search of pending bills (also at http://thomas.loc.gov)
containing the words "email" or "e-mail" only returns bills on
privacy, bankruptcy reform, smuggling, and human rights violations in

The address of the law firm is given as 216 Concorde Street, Vienna, VA.
maps.yahoo.com does not know about a Concorde Street (or variant spelling
Concord) in Vienna, VA.

It should be of no great surprise then, that a search of lawyers and
attorneys in Vienna, VA does not find a law firm with a name that even
comes close to that name.

Please make an effort to verify this sort of "please forward this to
all your friends" alert before you forward it along.

Kind regards,


"Andre' Kesteloot" <akestelo@bellatlantic.net> writes:

> > >>Date: Wed, 2 Jun 1999 14:11:06 +0300
> > >>To: Stomcc@aol.com
> > >>From: John Pack <pack@aegeancenter.org>
> > >>Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
> > >>
> > >>Dear Internet Subscriber:
> > >>Please read the following carefully if you intend to stay
> > >>online and continue using email:
> > >>
> > >>The last few months have revealed an alarming trend in the
> > >>Government of the United States attempting to quietly push through
> > >>legislation that will affect your use of the Internet. Under proposed
> > >>legislation
> > >>the U.S. Postal Service will be attempting to bilk email users out of
> > >>"alternate postage fees."  Bill 602P will permit the Federal Govt to
> > charge
> > >>a 5
> > >>cent surcharge on every email delivered, by billing Internet Service
> > >>Providers at source.  The consumer would then be billed in turn by the
> > ISP.
> > >>Washington D.C. lawyer Richard Stepp is working without pay to prevent
> > this
> > >>legislation  from becoming law. The U.S. Postal Service is claiming that
> > >>lost revenue due to the proliferation of email is costing nearly
> > >>$230,000,000 in revenue per year.  You may have noticed their recent ad
> > >>campaign "There is
> > >>nothing like a letter". Since the average citizen received about 10 pieces
> > >>of email per day in 1998, the cost to the typical individual would be an
> > >>additional 50 cents per day, or over $180 dollars per year, above and
> > >>beyond their regular Internet costs. Note that this would be money paid
> > >>directly to the U.S. Postal Service for a service they do not even
> > provide.
> > >>
> > >>The whole point of the Internet is democracy and non-interference. If the
> > >>federal government is permitted to tamper with our liberties
> > >>by adding a surcharge to email, who knows where it will end. You are
> > >>already paying an exorbitant price for snail mail because of bureaucratic
> > >>efficiency. It currently takes up to 6 days for a letter to be delivered
> > >>from New York to Buffalo. If the U.S. Postal Service is allowed to tinker
> > >>with email, it will mark the end of the "free" Internet in the United
> > >>States. One congressman, Tony Schnell has even suggested a "$24.00 per
> > >>month surcharge on all Internet service" above and beyond the government's
> > >>proposed email charges.  Note that most of the major newspapers have
> > >>ignored the story, the only exception being the Washingtonian which called
> > >>the
> > >>idea of email surcharge "a useful concept who's time has come," (March 6th
> > >>1999 Editorial).
> > >>
> > >>Don't sit by and watch your freedoms erode away!  Send this email to all
> > >>Americans on your list and tell your friends and relatives to write to
> > >>their congressman and say "No!" to Bill 602P.
> > >>
> > >>Kate Turner
> > >>Assistant to Richard Stepp,
> > >>Berger, Stepp and Gorman Attorneys at Law
> > >>216 Concorde Street, Vienna, Va.
> >