A look at legislation…

Now that the impeachment trial is over, Congress is back in business. Legislation regarding the Internet, privacy, and outbound telemarketing has catalogers and direct marketing organizations watching Capitol Hill and state governments closely.

Federal bills S. 328 (Smith, R-NH): Calls for a permanent moratorium on Internet taxes.

H.R. 87 (Blagojevich, D-IL): Would prohibit Internet and mail order sales of ammunition without a license to deal in firearms, and would require licensed firearms dealers to record all sales of at least 1,000 rounds of ammunition to a single person.

H.R. 369 (Franks, R-NJ): Would amend Title 18, U.S. Code, to prohibit the sale of personal information about children without their parents’ consent, and for other marketing purposes. (This bill is a repeat of legislation introduced in the 104th and 105th Congresses.)

(One note regarding the Internet Freedom Act, passed last October, which calls for a three-year moratorium on ‘Net taxes and established an Advisory Commission on Electronic Commerce. The U.S. Conference of Mayors and the National Association of Counties in February filed a lawsuit accusing Congress of violating the commission appointment requirements.)

State bills Connecticut H.B. 5125: Would require list brokers to be licensed by the Consumer Protection Department and would require state agencies to notify individuals when an inquiry is made to copy a record concerning them. Also would allow consumers to prohibit release of information.

Michigan S.B. 9: Would exempt shipping and handling charges from sales tax.

New York S.B. 1586/A.B. 2739: Would prohibit agencies that collect consumer data from giving names and addresses to third parties for inclusion on a mailing list without obtaining verifiable written consent from the consumers.

Utah S.B. 178: Calls for a yearlong study of sales tax collections on the Internet and from mail order catalogs. Would authorize the Utah Tax Commission to begin negotiating agreements with other states to enforce sales-tax collections on interstate transactions. (In addition, Utah is talking to officials in other states, including Idaho and Washington, about setting up a simplified, uniform tax system.)–SO

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