Speaking at a security conference in San Francisco, Microsoft Vice President for Trustworthy Computing Scott Charney pitched the Web usage fee as one way to subsidize efforts to combat emerging cyber threats — a costly venture, he said, but one that had vast community benefits.
The problem with this is: We already pay fees and taxes for web usage. We also pay fees and taxes for phone usage (both cell and land lines), cable TV, and utilities in general.
This is someone who has never looked at a bill for any service he pays. We pay sales taxes, franchise fees, FCC fees, and the like typically adding up to about 20-25% of the bill, depending on the service. For instance, my Vonage business account is supposed to cost $49.99/month but the bill is always $74 or higher. If I don’t go over my free minutes for the toll free or fax numbers, it’s $74/month. If I go over… well, you get the idea.
Go ahead, open up your next bill or dig out one of your old ones and look at all the various fees and taxes that are added to the supposed cheap price of services. It becomes more ironic when you find you’re paying taxes on a government owned utility such as your electric bill or water services.
Where has this guy been living? In a cocoon? People are already hurting trying to make their dollars stretch and he wants to add yet another tax. I suppose this is one of those: The government will insure that it receives its fair share of our labors regardless of how they describe it, be it income tax or some fee for supposed services that never seem to materialize into anything concrete except more governmental control.