Freedom Still Not Free (Wiretap Tax Edition)


Occasional Reason contributor Declan McCullagh reports:

Broadband providers and Internet phone companies will have to pick up the tab for the cost of building in mandatory wiretap access for police surveillance, federal regulators ruled Wednesday.

The Federal Communications Commission voted unanimously to levy what likely will amount to wiretapping taxes on companies, municipalities and universities, saying it would create an incentive for them to keep costs down and that it was necessary to fight the war on terror. Universities have estimated their cost to be about $7 billion.

A few months into working for a weekly newspaper in Myanmar, I learned that the dictatorship was forcing us to pay for our own government-appointed censorship body and our own set of spooks. It seemed ludicrous at the time.