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Hey, this might affect us;( Sorry about the non-Groo post )
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 DC 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 noninterference. 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
inefficiency. 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 (r) has even suggested a "twenty to
forty dollar 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" in a 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.
Assistant to Richard Stepp
Berger, Stepp and Gorman
Attorneys at Law
216 Concorde Street
Groosum - "Into the fray!"