[infoguys-list] US STAMPS/E-MAIL HOAX
- In a message dated 2/17/00 9:24:32 PM, JPH3190@... writes:
<< Subject: US Stamps for E-mails >>
ANOTHER HOAX forwarded by investigators who do not investigate.
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U.S. Postal Tax on Email?
Here's an item straight out of the hoax recycling bin. A "new" email forward
claims that the U.S. Postal Service is attempting to levy a 5-cent surcharge
on every email delivered within the United States.
Funny thing is, a virtually identical message circulating one month ago
claimed that the same thing was about to happen in Canada.
False, in both cases (see comments below).
Subject: E-MAIL SURCHARGE
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 bureacratic 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 (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" 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.
Guide's note: Compare the above to the Canadian version of one month ago.
It's the same message. Some unknown prankster has simply localized it by
replacing Canadian references with U.S. equivalents. No points for cleverness
or originality on this one.
Here's an excerpt from the U.S. Postal Service's published response:
A completely false rumor concerning the U.S. Postal Service is being
circulated over the Internet via e-mail.
The e-mail message claims that a "Congressman Schnell" has introduced "Bill
602P" to allow the federal government to impose a 5-cent surcharge on each
e-mail message delivered over the Internet. The money would be collected by
Internet Service Providers and then turned over to the Postal Service.
No such proposed legislation exists. In fact, no "Congressman Schnell"
US Postal Service:
'Email rumor completely untrue'
'Email rumor is shot down'
'Email hoax clutters lawmakers' inboxes'
Roy Betts, manager of media relations for the Postal Service, put it more
bluntly: "It's obviously a hoax."
Er... evidently not so obvious to everyone who's forwarded the email alert to
everyone in their address book. Those tempted to believe this nonsense should
visit the House of Representatives Website and search House Bills for "Bill
602P" or any reference at all to "email tax." Examine the List of
Representatives for a "Congressman Tony Schnell."
You won't find them, because they don't exist. Moreover, at least one
bonafide U.S. Congressman has issued a statement decrying the "Internet tax"
as a hoax.
The Washingtonian, which the email claims published an editorial supporting
the tax proposal, has also issued a disavowal.
Rumors of rate hikes or surcharges for Internet access, no matter how
preposterous, never fail to generate hysteria among rank and file users.
Witness the furor over the similar 'modem tax' legend of a decade ago, or the
more recent long distance access charge rumors that have swamped the FCC's
offices with protests in recent years.