The Chicago Chapter of the Internet Society

ISOC Press Release

Dear ISOC Member,

Below is a copy of an Internet Society press release calling for an extensionof the moratorium on Internet taxes. ISOC's greatest concern, regarding taxes,is the possibility of a tax on Internet use.

Taxation is a key issue affecting the growth of the Internet. We don't alwaysrealize it, but many of us are already, in effect, being taxed on Internetusage. Those of us who have a second line or DSL or a cable modem are paying taxes for the use of those lines that are dedicated to Internet usage.

Please review the release. If you agree that an extension of the moratorium is needed, please join with other ISOC members around the country and call/email your two Senators and your representative and tell them you want them to support it, too. HR 1552 and the similar Wyden-McCain bill in the Senate appear to be the best bills. Please consider asking your friends and
associates to do the same. Whatever happens in the U.S. could have a ripple effect around the world, especially if the action is negative (e.g., "if the 'great' U.S. is doing [getting away with] it, so can/should we"). So your support can benefit the entire Internet community.

To find a representative's name and contact info, you can go to key in your state and zip code to find a link to a rep's web page.

For the Senate:
Find the list of Senators by state or alphabetically at

If we all do it on Thursday and Friday, that will add to our effectiveness. But even doing it later is better than not making your opinion heard.

Calling is best. Fax is good. Email is ok, but Congress is getting inundated with all kinds of emails. Postal mail is out.

We urge you to take a few minutes to make your views known.

Lynn St.Amour David Maher
President/CEO VP of Public Policy
Internet Society Internet Society

Washington DC Chapter of ISOC (DCISOC)
New York Metro Chapter of ISOC (ISOCNY)
South Central Texas Chapter of ISOC (SalsaNet)
Chicago Chapter of ISOC (ISOC-Chicago)
Los Angeles Chapter of ISOC (ISOC-LA)

30 October 2001
Washington, DC - The Internet Society (ISOC) today urged the U.S. Congress to move quickly to extend the moratorium on discriminatory Internet taxes. "There is a need for the U.S. Congress to take action," said ISOC's President and CEO, Lynn St. Amour, "to avoid opening a door to damaging and inconsistent regulation of the Internet in the United States, which could set a dangerous precedent worldwide."

ISOC is contacting its members in the US to ask them to make known their support of a continued moratorium to their representatives in Congress. Similarly, the organization urges its members outside of the US to make their views known about not taxing Internet use and the need to ensure effective mechanisms to establish fair taxation in their jurisdictions.

The moratorium was a critically important factor in promoting the growth and spread of the Internet in the United States, according to ISOC, and it provided a model to other countries, showing that a suspension of burdensome taxation could provide widespread benefits. The moratorium ended on October 21, when the U.S. Senate adjourned without taking action on an extension of the moratorium that had been passed by the U.S. House of Representatives.

It is clear, the Society said, that agreement on an effective enforcement and collection regime among local jurisdictions, let alone international entities, is still elusive for sales taxes. Realistically, it will take time to reconcile the diverse range of potential and existing legislations and apply these to the "borderless" nature of Internet commerce. A continuing moratorium in the United States is a key factor in allowing time to balance the interests involved.

The Internet Society recognizes that many of the states in the U.S. have lost tax revenue because of untaxed sales made on the Internet that were formerly taxed at the retail level. This aspect of the moratorium should clearly be treated as a temporary measure, allowing careful consideration of new tax structures that will provide a level playing field of taxation for all types of commercial transactions, electronic or not.

The Internet Society believes that taxation on use of the Internet would have a negative effect on its continued growth, and the Society opposes any form of taxation of this type.


The Internet Society, is a non-profit, non-governmental,open membership organization whose worldwide individual and organization members make up a veritable "who's who" of the Internet industry. Itprovides leadership in technical and operational standards, policy issues,and education. ISOC hosts two annual Internet conferences, trains people from all over the world in networking technologies, conducts workshops for educators, and publishes an award-winning magazine, OnTheInternet.

ISOC provides an international forum to address the most important economic, political, social, ethical and legal initiatives influencing the evolution of the Internet. This includes facilitating discussions on key policy decisions such as taxation, copyright protection, privacy and confidentiality, and initiatives towards self-governance of the Internet. ISOC created the Internet Societal Task Force as an on-going forum for discussion, debate, and development of position papers, white papers, and statements on Internet related societal issues.

ISOC is the organizational home of the International Engineering Task Force, the Internet Architecture Board, the Internet Engineering Steering Group, and the Internet Research Task Force - the standards setting and research arms of the Internet community. These organizations operate in an environment of bottom-up consensus building made possible through the participation of thousands of people from throughout the world.

David Maher
Vice President, Public Policy
Internet Society
Tel: +1 312 876 8055
Fax: +1 312 876 7934


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What is the mission of the Internet Society?

The Internet Society’s mission is to assure the open development, evolution and use of the Internet for the benefit of all people throughout the world.

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