The United Nations Organization always wants to expand its power. But it has no power without money. It has to beg governments to provide it with money.
The United States government always ponies up it share. This is a waste of money.
The UN would like to tap into America’s Internet market by imposing a tax. As to how it would be able to collect this tax, it has not said. It does not possess sovereignty inside the USA.
A European lobbying group has come up with a plan. If a U.S-based firm offers hosting abroad, it must pay the tax, says the group.
This proposal would have to be done through the International Telecommunications Regulations. But there have been no changes to its rules since 1988 — before the Web browser was invented. Before Google. Before the Internet went commercial.
The proposal announced this:
“New services enabled by the Internet are changing the economic landscape, and indeed the very nature of the telecoms industry. Revisions of the ITRs should acknowledge . . . the principle that fair compensation is received for carried traffic and operators’ revenues should not be disconnected from the investment needs caused by rapid Internet traffic growth. This should at best be achieved through commercial arrangements between players.”
To which American companies can announce: “Oh yeah? You and who else says so?”
It is not clear how much this tax would collect.
As to what counts as fair, who knows?
“It will be possible to establish new interconnection policies based on the ‘value’ of the traffic (not only on the ‘volume’), enabling new business models and implementing an ecosystem where operators’ revenues will not be disconnected from the investment needs made necessary by the rapid growth of Internet traffic.”
The UN is toothless. It has no way to enforce any of this. No U.S. court needs to uphold any such tax program.
This is one more example of a bunch of bureaucrats pretending that another group of bureaucrats have the power to impose taxes. The UN has no such authority.
I think we can safely shrug this off.