[thelist] Fwd: Say good bye to free e-mail

Rachell Coe rachell at coeville.com
Fri Feb 16 11:54:05 CST 2001

Hi All!

I received this email today, and although I am hoping that you are all 
going to flame me for posting another urban legend :), I had to find out if 
it was true or not -- and figured this was the best place to do it.  Have 
any of you heard anything about this?

>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 our use of the Internet.

>Under proposed legislation, the US Postal Service will be attempting to 
>bill E-mail users out of "alternative postage fees." Bill 602P will permit 
>the Federal Government to charge a 5-cent surcharge on every E-mail 
>delivered, by billing Internet Service Providers at source. The consumer 
>would then be billed in turn by the ISP.

>Washington, DC lawyer Richard Stepp is working without pay to prevent this 
>legislation from becoming law. The US Postal Service is claiming lost 
>revenue, due to the proliferation of E-mail, 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 person 
>received about 10 pieces of E-mail per day in 1998, the cost of the 
>typical individual would be an additional 50 cents a day-or over $180 per 
>year-above and beyond their regular Internet costs. Note that this would 
>be money paid directly to the US Postal Service for a service
>they do not even provide. The whole point of the Internet is democracy and 
>noninterference. You are already paying an exorbitant price for snail mail 
>because of bureaucratic efficiency. It currently takes up to 6 days for a 
>letter to be delivered from coast to coast. If the US Postal Service is 
>allowed to tinker with E-mail, it will mark the end of the "free" Internet 
>in the United States. Our congressional representative, Tony Schnell? 
>(Pat's note: would guess this is the original author's congressman) has even
>suggested a "$20-$40 per month surcharge on all Internet service" above 
>and beyond the governments proposed E-mail charges

>Note that most of the major newspapers have ignored the story-the only 
>exception being the Washingtonian - which called the idea of E-mail 
>surcharge "a useful concept who's time has come"
>(March 6th, 1999 Editorial.)

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