May 27, 2006

"EU SMS/email tax" story debunked

[The EU lawmakers consider taxing emails, SMS messages" story is echoing now. I wrote the following debunking for a mailing-list, in a futile attempt to use the wonderous power of The Internet and unpaid freelancing, I mean, "citizen journalism", to debunk bad reporting. We see how well that's working ...]

As far as I can tell, this story is being blown way, way, out of proportion. The EU is nowhere near taxing e-mail or text messages. One member put forth the idea in a discussion, but it's unclear if anything ever happened after that. I managed to trace back what might be the source:

"Participants were not short of imagination for new forms of funding: taxes on flights, company profits or even on short text messages sent by mobile phones. The supporter of this idea, EP own resources rapporteur Alain Lamassoure (EPP-ED, FR), also believed that the new system would have to be clearly linked with benefits drawn from the European Union. Thanks to the internal market "exchanges between countries have ballooned, so everyone would understand that the money to finance the EU should come from the benefits engendered by the EU," he explained."

Then there was an interview with a newspaper, EU Observer, which is now locked in pay-archives, though there's some excerpts here:

Alain Lamassoure has a website here:

There's a forum where he's responding, but it's in French, and I don't feel comfortable attempting to translate his replies.

But there's a vast difference between some woolgathering, and any sort of formal proposal, much less anything being enacted.

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in journo | on May 27, 2006 09:43 PM (Infothought permalink)
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

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