Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Taxes Instruments

Well netizens (most annoying word ever?), the government is about to claim eminent domain over your domain name. Say hello to the Cyber Czar:

President Barack Obama on Friday declared the country’s computer and digital networks a “strategic national asset” and said he will select a cyber security coordinator to spearhead the effort to protect them.

Until now, the Internet has been about as close to free as one could hope for. Kiss that goodbye. Once the government declares it needs to take an active role in the Internet, it will just cite that alleged need as justification for taxing the Internet. After all, if we're to have a "safe" Internet, someone has to pay for it. We’re already seeing state level Internet tax efforts in spots like Hawaii and Rhode Island, so the Cyber Czar and his eventual tax burden comes at an opportune time.

We know the bill for the Cyber Czar and his Popup Cops won’t be cheap, because when the government has assumed control over other realms, particularly anything requiring vague “security” programs, what we’ve gotten was hemophilia as public policy, with taxpayers being needled and slowly bled of their income and dignity. But don’t trouble yourself with such doubts. The entity that can’t be trusted to maintain the interstate highway will surely find a way to maintain the information superhighway.

Mr. Obama assures us the Cyber Czar won’t be: “monitoring private sector networks or Internet traffic.” Of course he will. If he casts a narrow net, he won’t find enough “cyber threats” to validate these measures being taken in the first place. So the net will widen, along with the definition of cyber threat. Before long, they’ll be using these newly assumed duties to crack down on ”hate speech” or “dangerously unregulated” entrepreneurs (which really means non-lobbying schmucks unloading toasters on Craigslist without sales tax).

And like always, we’ll get used to it, and the knowledge that the Internet ever existed without a Cyber Czar and the related taxes will evaporate from public memory. Public schools will spook pupils with campfire tales about how the net was overrun with hungry Cyber-Kraken before the government bravely stepped in with its digital harpoons.

Soon we Americans will be obediently taking our shoes off before we get online. Sounds good to me. How else can we be expected to win the War on Islamospamism?

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