Global Internet Tax Scheduled For U.N. Debate in December

Sunday, June 10th 2012. | Hardware News

Global Internet Tax Scheduled For U.N. Debate in December

The United Nations is considering a new Internet tax targeting the largest Web content providers, including Google, Facebook, Apple, and Netflix, that could cripple their ability to reach users in developing nations. The European proposal, offered for debate at a December meeting of a U.N. agency called the International Telecommunication Union, would amend an existing telecommunications treaty by imposing heavy costs on popular Web sites and their network providers for the privilege of serving non-U.S. users, according to newly leaked documents. You can read the documents here and here. This proposal likely wouldn’t impact websites like Legit Reviews, but it is still worrisome to see global tax proposals like this.

United Nations

It’s not clear how much the taxes levied by the ETNO’s plan would total per year, but observers expect them to be in the billions of dollars. Government data show that in 1996, U.S. phone companies paid their overseas counterparts a total of $ 5.4 billion just for international long distance calls. If the new taxes were levied, larger U.S. companies might be able to reduce the amount of money they pay by moving data closer to overseas customers, something that Netflix, for instance, already does through Akamai and other content delivery networks. But smaller U.S. companies unable to afford servers in other nations would still have to pay.

CNET News

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