Australian Government Backdoor Internet Filter Shuts Down 1,000 Websites
An anonymous reader writes "The Australian government has secretly censored over 1,000 web sites through a hitherto-unused internet censorship law. In April the Melbourne Free University was blocked without any explanation. Section 313 of the Telecommunications Act allows the government to close web sites without warning to "uphold laws, protect public revenue and safeguard national security". This is open to abuse as Australians only have limited free speech rights which already make it difficult for the press to report corruption."
Wisconsin Gov. Promises To Use Internet Sales Tax To Lower Income Tax
It sounds like a nice idea, if you don’t own a calculator. The governor of Wisconsin wants to give his residents a tax break, using the revenue from a proposed Internet Sales tax to lower the state’s income tax. “I want to make clear, should federal Marketplace legislation become law, my intention would be for any resulting additional revenue be used to provide individual income tax relief for Wisconsin’s taxpayers,” Wrote Governor Scott Walker to members of Congress. The Marketplace Fairness Act will permit state governments to collect sales taxes from any business that both grosses more than $1M in revenue and has a substantial operating base in their region. Earlier this month, a draft of the bill passed the U.S. Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support, but faces tougher opposition in the House, where Republican leadership is concerned that the law will be a logistical nightmare for small businesses. Although, I wouldn’t get too excited. With 5 million residents in Wisconsin ...
Indie Music Agency Merlin: iTunes Remains Biggest Digital Destination; Spotify And Amazon 2nd And 3rd; Streaming Still Just An Opening Act
On the heels of Google wading into the music streaming waters with its Google Play Music All Access service, with a $10 fee for all-you-can-eat streamed tracks, the indie music agency Merlin has today published some results of a recent survey of its 20,000-label member group, plus an analysis of 6.5 billion music streams over the last year, which spell out where the money is coming from today. It notes that streaming services are making increasing headway as a revenue driver for musicians, but that digital downloads -- specifically Apple's iTunes -- are still ruling the roost.
Did Internet Sales Tax Backers Bribe Congress? (Video)
This may be a coincidence, but according to the MapLight Foundation, Senators who voted last week for the bill allowing states to directly collect taxes on sales via the Internet, AKA The Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013, received 40 times as much campaign donation money (yes, that's four-oh, not just four) from businesses in favor of the bill as those who voted against it received from businesses that were against Internet sales taxes. Was this bribery? Of course not! We're not some piddly fifth-world country. But it's a prime example of how money influences politics here in the good old USA, and it's far from the only one we've seen lately. In this video, MapLight Foundation Program Director Peter Costa shares a bunch more with us, along with tips on how to spot this sort of thing and some steps we voters can take to fight against both direct and indirect influence-buying. Note that all this is totally non-partisan; the politicians with the most influence -- whether local, state or federal ...
Obama Scoffs at Libya Outcry but Vows to Act on I.R.S. Audits
President Obama on Monday rejected as “a sideshow” criticism of his handling of the attacks in Benghazi, Libya. On the scandal at the revenue agency, he said the singling out of certain groups, if true, was “outrageous.”