[governance] FW: TP: city government exercising policy on Google Applications / consumer rights / Consumer Protection Act / trial period

michael gurstein gurstein at gmail.com
Thu Jul 14 10:48:25 EDT 2011

Interesting reply Kerry (and it's good to see another Canadian involved in
these discussions :)

Couldn't there be alternative processes of allocating the results of any tax
collected -- per capita, Internet usage, self-reporting of location on a
quantitative basis and so on?

I'm not disagreeing with your concern regarding a digital ID and access to
that (CIRA's procedures/safeguards might also work here would they not)?

I'm also wondering whether something akin to Google Analytics which seems to
be able to pinpoint those accessing and downloading from the online journal
that I edit to the city level might also not be useable here?

I guess the question is one of whether you think the issue of
"identification" at this level makes the process of a global taxation regime
for (let's say) virtual goods is impossible in principle or something which
we need to put some very clever minds to figuring out a technical solution



-----Original Message-----
From: Kerry Brown [mailto:kerry at kdbsystems.com] 
Sent: Thursday, July 14, 2011 7:33 AM
To: michael gurstein; governance at lists.cpsr.org
Subject: RE: [governance] FW: TP: city government exercising policy on
Google Applications / consumer rights / Consumer Protection Act / trial

> I'm not sure why you think that a mechanism for global governance to 
> allow for some sort of regulation/taxation would necessarily require 
> tracking of Internet users anymore than they are already 
> trackable/traceable for the purposes of e-commerce which is the point 
> of the exercise.

In order to ensure that all relevant jurisdictions receive their portion of
any tax collected both the seller and the purchaser must be identified. In a
physical transaction the goods can be followed and taxes applied. In a
virtual transaction with no physical goods only the seller and buyer can be
tracked. Without ensuring the identity of the buyer it would be easy for
buyers to scam the system and avoid paying the tax. I don't think a
worldwide taxation system could work without some form of irrefutable
digital ID that is open to inspection by any government. I'm not against a
digital ID. It would actually help with Internet commerce. I am against any
government having access to how and where these IDs are used without some
kind of court oversight. Maybe I'm just being paranoid but for me it is the
top of a slippery slope that leads to more government control.

Kerry Brown

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