Just Plain iAWFUL

Internet commerce will die by a thousand cuts. NetChoice gave been cataloguing federal and state attempts to uses taxes and unreasonable privacy laws to close off rational business models that could support e-commerce and Web-based publishing. Braden Cox prefaces its latest report today at Technology Liberation Front.

NetChoice unveiled an updated version of out Internet Advocates’ Watchlist for Ugly Laws (iAWFUL) where we track the ten instances of state and federal legislation that pose the greatest threat to the Internet and e-commerce. Our efforts so far this year have helped to remove two of the worst offenders from the February 2010 iAWFUL list, including a federal bill giving the Federal Trade Commission more powers to make new rules for online activity without Congressional guidance, and a Maine law restricting online marketing to teenagers.

In our second update for 2010, NetChoice identifies new legislation that has the potential to stall Internet commerce. Our top two are Congressional bills:

Number 1: Federal online privacy efforts such as Rep. Rush’s “Best Practices Act” (HR 5777) and the staff discussion draft from Boucher / Stearns.

Number 2: The expansion of Internet taxation HR 5660, the “Streamlined Sales Tax Bill”

This iAWFUL list targets federal privacy proposals that would curtail the continued development of ad-supported content and services that consumers have come to expect from the Internet. No one’s saying that privacy isn’t important or that we shouldn’t be concerned with our personal information. However, one federal privacy proposal would regulate small websites that don’t collect personally identifiable information but add just 100 users a week, even when users provide only a nickname and password.

Find the full post here. For more depressing reading as to the level of federal and state attempts to regulate, control and otherwise undermine Internet speech and commerce, see NetChoice’s iAWFUL site.

Steven Titch served as a policy analyst at Reason Foundation from 2004 to 2013.

Titch's work primarily focused on telecommunications, the Internet and new media. He is a former managing editor of InfoTech & Telecom News (IT&T News) published by the Heartland Institute. His columns have appeared in Investor's Business Daily, Total Telecom, and America's Network, among others.

Prior to joining Reason in 2004, Titch covered the telecommunications industry as a journalist for more than two decades. Titch was director of editorial projects for Data Communications magazine where he directed content development for supplemental publications and special projects. He has also held the positions of editorial director of Telephony, editor of Global Telephony magazine, Midwest bureau chief of CommunicationsWeek, and associate editor-communications at Electronic News.

Outside of the telecom industry, Titch conducted rich media and content development for publishers and corporate marketing groups. He has also developed and launched his own web-based media, including, an on-line resource for the security industry.

Titch graduated cum laude from Syracuse University with a dual degree in journalism and English.