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EU Considers Taxing SMS Messages, Email 314

Posted by Zonk
from the europe-has-all-the-really-great-ideas dept.
An anonymous reader writes to mention a Reuters article about a proposed EU tax on email and phone messages. From the article: "In Italy, the concept of a tax on texting was floated in the past, as a way to help offset the country's huge deficit, although it was flatly rejected by the outgoing government. But Lamassoure argues that with billions of emails and texts sent around the world, it's a novel and simple way to raise funds from new technology. 'Exchanges between countries have ballooned, so everyone would understand that the money to finance the EU should come from the benefits engendered by the EU,' he said."
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EU Considers Taxing SMS Messages, Email

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  • Sender or Receiver? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Dunx (23729)
    Is it going to be the sender or receiver who pays the tax?

    If it's the sender, then this might would be a good way to reduce spam originating from the EU. ... although how much spams comes from the EU is doubtful.
    • by GeckoX (259575) on Friday May 26, 2006 @02:48PM (#15411456)
      I think that it is quite obvious that the intent is you'll be getting it at both ends ;)
    • Sender (AKA) SPAMMER (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ELProphet (909179)
      Sender- 1 cent (Euro, Dollar, whatever)

      I've thought this was a good idea for a long time. Charge it at the net connection to companies or individuals. Privately, I send ~100 emails a month, professionally, ~200 on a busy month. Most of the professional ones are through Intranet, and $1.00 a month isn't going to put me in the hole.

      Spammers, on the other hand, try sending in the hundreds of thousands to tens of millions range; $10,000 per batch pretty quickly adds up. Uh-oh, Granny caught a virus, and her PC
      • What part of "do not broadly oppress the people to (try and) stop crime" do you not understand?
      • "Uh-oh, Granny caught a virus, and her PC is a zombie [...] Teach her her lesson about not installing her virus definitions."

        The first thing that comes to mind is that there is a fool around every corner...And they usually have a Granny too so even if "Granny" does learn her lesson spammers move to the next. I don't see how it will curtail spamming in any way actually. This is why you are in favor of such a move, correct? There are a lot more negatives than positives with this type of scenario in my humb
      • The problem is, governments can't help tehmselves when it comes to taxes. It may start as 1 cent, but it won't stay there. Remember, when social security was implemented, it was 1%. It is of course no longer 1%
        Money to legislators is like cake to a fat kid.
    • The EU has no tax raising powers.

      Increased federalisation and progress towards a super-state has just been rejected by referenda many pro-europe countries, so it's unlikely to be getting raising taxes any time soon.

    • 1. Find a proxie server
      2. log into gmail
      3. send email out
      4. pay no taxes

      Can't that be done? You're not going through a pop server from your ISP, in theory the ISP just sees you going to a proxy server. Right? Or is there much more to this than that?
  • How about SPAM? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dc29A (636871) on Friday May 26, 2006 @02:41PM (#15411390)
    How will they tax the average Joe who got his PC hax0red and is being used a zombie for SPAM?

    Will be interesting to see them receive a 5 million Euro bill though! ;)
    • I think I'm all in favour of this tax!

      Since I don't know anyone in the EU I never phone there or send emails anyways. Even if I do the number will be low.

      However Capone was tossed in Jail for Tax Evasion so passing a law that taxes those who send emails will hit exactly that part of the spammer world that needs to be hit - and hard!

      If it happens to hit some innocent folks who set up open mail gateways, or otherwise connect (willing) unsecured hosts to high speed lines, then I guess this is reasonable coll
    • Re:How about SPAM? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by fracai (796392)
      The same way we currently handle people that let others walk in their unlocked door, rummage through desks for large quantities of stamps, envelopes, and paper, and then send bulk spam complete with a forged return address.
      The guy wises up and gets the home builder, or himself, to fill in the gaping cracks or finds a better more secure house.

      Maybe taxing e-mail is the solution to spam. It smartens up Joe Average or enrages him to the point that something is done about it.
      It sure is a shame that e-mail is s
  • by spun (1352) <loverevolutionary@@@yahoo...com> on Friday May 26, 2006 @02:41PM (#15411394) Journal
    Tax breathing, man that would be a great way for cash strapped governments to raise some extra funds. Makes about as much sense as taxing texting...
  • Let's tax the hell out of hard working citizens!
    • Free healthcare, free education and social security net in case of unemployment..
      Rather good way to spend taxes, if you ask me.
      • Some education... (Score:2, Insightful)

        by GuloGulo2 (972355)
        "Free healthcare, free education"

        Repeat after me,

        "IT IS NOT FREE, IT IS PAID FOR BY TAXES"

        Now, proceed to make a half-assed attempt to justify your previous statement and how it is completely contradicted by reality.

  • by taskforce (866056) on Friday May 26, 2006 @02:42PM (#15411401) Homepage
    ..explain how the EU has "engendered" any benefits to me in the field of E-Mail and SMS? Actually it would be great if you could explain to me how the EU has engendered any net benefits to me at all.
    • by dyftm (880762) on Friday May 26, 2006 @02:50PM (#15411472)
      Well, IIRC, it was an EU move to make it illegal to charge extortionate roaming rates on mobile phones. That's one way.
  • SMS? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by cashman73 (855518)
    On the bright side, this would cut down on all the SMS spam that's sent that we all have to pay for receiving. On the minus side, it could put a major dent in the usage of SMS. Though, in Europe, I think it's used quite a bit -- for some reason, it's been a bit slower to catch on in the US.
    • Re:SMS? (Score:5, Informative)

      by marsu_k (701360) on Friday May 26, 2006 @02:46PM (#15411442)
      I think it's used quite a bit more over here because we don't have to pay for receiving.
    • I know there are few people who use SMS here in the US, but it's complicated and cost extra. I know my phone has a pile of features like text messages and that vcast thing, but it's just too hard to use with those tiny little cell phone keys with three+ letters to a key. (it took me a week to figure out how to put my mp3s on the damn player mode!) It's just easier to call and keep it short.

      Dude! Movies! Xmen. 5. Dennys? cool.
    • In the US it seems that it is just kids that use text messaging to any degree. Telephones are for TALKING and I have no desire to use a portable telephone to carry on a text based converstation. I do use my cell phone on occasion to send and receive a limited number of short email messages that generally do not require an answer.
  • Look! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by GeckoX (259575) on Friday May 26, 2006 @02:43PM (#15411408)
    Money growing on Trees!

    Lets just hope our populous is ignorant enough to swallow it and realize we're actually levying an excessive tax on something that has ZERO cost to the government in the first place.

    But hey, money's money right? I should bring this idea up in the Canadian Parliament, lets get them to impose a tax on every page view on the internet. Not only will we be out of debt in no time, we'll be rich Rich RICH!!!

    Oh the fallacies and deceit sitting on a pile of incompetence and idiocy!
  • That's it (Score:4, Funny)

    by Eudial (590661) on Friday May 26, 2006 @02:43PM (#15411412)
    Well, I guess I'll be seeing you in Norway then.
    • As a member of the EEA, Norway has to bend over and silently accept being pounded in the ass by the bloated Eurocrats. If the EU were to implement an SMS tax, Norway would have to take it and moan...

      • Re:That's it (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Chainsaw (2302)
        If the EU were to implement an SMS tax, Norway would have to take it and moan...

        Norway isn't a member of the EU. But you knew that, right?

  • by dada21 (163177) <adam.dada@gmail.com> on Friday May 26, 2006 @02:43PM (#15411413) Homepage Journal
    Stop spending so much.

    When the economy slows down, fire some publicans. When the economy grows, fire more publicans so it can grow more. Start downsizing today, and then downsize tomorrow. Keep downsizing until you've downsized to the point of no more complaints for more money or overstretched budget.

    I think there should be a law that says the minute that a government employee complains about his pay or his budget, he gets fired. Roll the money to someone else. When they complain, fire them and keep rolling it over and refunding it to the taxpayers.

    I can't believe they want to tax communications more. To me, I believe that the Right to Expression is universal (inherent/God-given/natural), and that taxing expression in any way is regulating a right that can't be regulated.
  • by yagu (721525) * <yayagu.gmail@com> on Friday May 26, 2006 @02:44PM (#15411424) Journal

    Under the aegis of "..., This is peanuts, but given the billions of transactions every day, this could still raise an immense income," he said....,

    So, government when faced with a need for money (how often does that happen?) sees that billions of e-mails and text messages are being sent and infers they can and should extract a tiny morsel of blood from their constituents, concluding, "it's only a tiny bit". This is insane.

    Better served and directed would be transparency by the government: "This is how much money we need, and this is what it will cost each taxpayer..." At least then the people get a more honest appraisal of what government is doing.

    Foisting micro-taxes and micro-debits is also an additional unnecessary burden upon the billing mechanism for an already too complex system of charges.

    If this were proposed in the United States, it would be almost singularly enough of a reason to cast my vote against any representative who supported such a scheme.

    • So, government when faced with a need for money (how often does that happen?) sees that billions of e-mails and text messages are being sent and infers they can and should extract a tiny morsel of blood from their constituents, concluding, "it's only a tiny bit". This is insane.

      I've got a better idea...

      Maybe they should just take all those fractional cents from bank transactions and funnel them into an EU account. Nobody will miss them anyways, and it worked out great in both Superman III and Office Space.

      P
  • by vmalloc_ (516438)
    One of the main reasons that e-mail is so popular is that it -isn't- taxed by the government, unlike just about every form of communication in Europe.
  • Tax SMS? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Friday May 26, 2006 @02:45PM (#15411430) Homepage Journal

    This makes no sense whatsoever. Taxing email makes a little sense if they're providing infrastructure, but they probably aren't. Taking SMS makes ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE however, because the cellphone companies provided 100% of the infrastructure except where they tie into the phone system.

    I don't know if european phone system wiring was typically consumer-subsidized as it was here in the USA, but if it was, then the cellphone companies are probably already paying taxes in their bills for trunks, or whatever kind of connections they're using, and as such no additional tax should be levied.

    Taxing SMS would be like taxing breathing - the EU has nothing to do with providing either one.

  • Whilst I can see how an SMS tax would easily be passed onto customers, I can't see how an email tax is feasable, since if they tax ISPs, people can simply use a foreign ISP, and it would be a logistical nightmare to tax individuals for it - it's not like you have to stick a stamp on them or anything!

    Oh - and summary? The title says "EU" but the summary says "Italy". There's a slight difference between these two (I didn't RTFA but it really isn't clear FTFS).
    • It's easy: a similar thing was once proposed in Italy and quickly shot down, but now some other idiots are refloating its corpse in the EU administration.
  • Silliness (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MrNougat (927651) <ckratsch AT gmail DOT com> on Friday May 26, 2006 @02:47PM (#15411450)
    Let's think of something that lots of people do, then say we're going to tax it! Without even considering any of the details on how to apply the tax to the correct person or organization, how to collect that tax, or how to punish those who avoid the tax! Woohoo! Let's run around waving our arms like we're doing something!

    Anyone with a whit of sense has to know that under the current technology there is no way to tax email. If you want to tax the sender, there would have to be a way to absolutely identify the sender of the email, which there's not. If you're going to tax the recipient, then you need to provide recipients a way to decline to receive email that they don't want to pay taxes on (spam), which means you have to have a way to absolutely identify the sender of the email, and there's still not a way to do that.
    • Re:Silliness (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Eudial (590661)

      Let's think of something that lots of people do, then say we're going to tax it! Without even considering any of the details on how to apply the tax to the correct person or organization, how to collect that tax, or how to punish those who avoid the tax! Woohoo! Let's run around waving our arms like we're doing something!

      How silly of you, the EU already knows who you text-message and e-mail, through the data retention bill [bbc.co.uk] that was passed.

      Makes one wonder if the idea is to tax the terrorists out of the EU.

    • While you're right, I am quite concerned at what point of view you chose to take, and that your post immediately rose to the top.

      So you're suggesting that taxes such as this would be a good thing if the mechanics of collecting them were all in place to do so in an accountable fashion? Whether you intend it or not, you're arguing the wrong points, and by doing so are actually promoting this idea.
      • Re:Silliness (Score:3, Insightful)

        by MrNougat (927651)
        So you're suggesting that taxes such as this would be a good thing if the mechanics of collecting them were all in place to do so in an accountable fashion? Whether you intend it or not, you're arguing the wrong points, and by doing so are actually promoting this idea.

        A fair point of discussion.

        My comments were regarding the technical feasability of taxing email. Following those, begin to imagine the expense in money and time to make a hack-proof sender identification system for email (either with SMTP or
    • Right. I have scripts running on my old P90, that send debug info to a Postfix mail server running on the same computer. I wonder how they intend to tax me.

      SMS, on the other hand, is already taxed, at least here in the Netherlands. I pay 19% VAT over my phone bill.

    • Anyone with a whit of sense has to know that under the current technology there is no way to tax email. If you want to tax the sender, there would have to be a way to absolutely identify the sender of the email, which there's not.

      Can't be done? They could just talk to the NSA and AT&T! I'm sure the US would gladly help count all their email as long as they can read it too.

      • Can't be done? They could just talk to the NSA and AT&T! I'm sure the US would gladly help count all their email as long as they can read it too.

        That would force US intelligence agencies to have to process zillions of spams every day. Wouldn't that amount to DDoS'ing?

        Wait a minute, if they're already reading email (and you have to think they are), aren't they already reading zillions of spams a day? They must be employing some kind of Roswell-based spam filtering. Maybe the terrorists could get smart
    • tax the carrier (Score:3, Insightful)

      by leehwtsohg (618675)
      Though I absolutely agree with you that this is un-enforceable, I think the problem is not with identifying who pays. It is easy - you tax the carrier of the e-mail, and the rest takes care of itself - the carrier knows who to charge.
      But you can not really tax e-mail. People (i.e. internet providers, and through them people) will move to a different port, different protocol, icu, secret blogs, hidden web pages whatever. In the end you'd have to tax bytes sent on the net.
      • In the end you'd have to tax bytes sent on the net.

        You already do this, since you pay your monthly fee, which has its tax already.

  • Oh, man! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Otter (3800) on Friday May 26, 2006 @02:49PM (#15411460) Journal
    Now the EU is moving in on our American urban legends!
  • by 3seas (184403)
    it'd be more forward moving to just accept that economy is changing due to computing and allow an economic system to develope on this reduced cost of communication and digital distribution. and since its world wide communication you won't need to deal with how one country is to level taxes on those not of that country?

  • Billions of people move their legs, billions of people masturbate.

    Let's tax masturbation, maybe that will work better than this...
  • It would be a double tax. SMSers already pay tax on their phone service via VAT in every single bill or top up card.

    I am in favour of taxes such as VAT, which impose a flat rate on all goods and services where it would be too complex and cumbersome to evaluate the cost to the government of each individual services. I'm only in favour of additional, specific, taxes when it can be shown that the good or service does actually cost the government more money. Best example is alcohol. Prime target for excise duty
  • I think this might be a great opportunity for all of the American Republican consultants to set up shop over in the EU. A heavy dosage of tax cuts and a touch of religious mania should do miracles for the EU economy. Still have to figure out what to do with all the Democratic tax and spenders running wild in their absence. It's a zero sum game no matter how you cut it. :(
    • I think this might be a great opportunity for all of the American Republican consultants to set up shop over in the EU. A heavy dosage of tax cuts and a touch of religious mania should do miracles for the EU economy.

      Not likely. The problem with Republicans is when they cut taxes, they don't cut spending (or maybe that was the plan [wikipedia.org] all along). Putting it on the card isn't too fiscally sound.

      Still have to figure out what to do with all the Democratic tax and spenders running wild in their absence.

      Vote liber
  • by Iphtashu Fitz (263795) on Friday May 26, 2006 @02:55PM (#15411527)
    What are they going to do, build up some of those closets that the NSA reportedly has in major US datacenters to tap into all net traffic?

    Seriously though, how could you possibly track e-mail without the help of virtually every domain owner? How do you deal with webmail services? If I send an e-mail from a gmail account to a yahoo account then yes it's going over port 25 so it could theoretically be tracked by monitoring systems. But if you send a webmail from one gmail account to another or from one yahoo account to another then the only way you'd know about it is if Google, Yahoo, etc. starts tracking and accounting for all their e-mails.

    And then there's the whole issue of spam. Spammers have control of tons of virus/trojan infected PC's that they regularly use to send out their spew. Are end users responsible for paying the taxes on spam sent unknowingly from their PC's? I could see individuals suing the government for knowing about infected PC's and doing nothing about it since those machines are now a source of tax revenue.

    And what about personal domains, smaller companies, etc? Unless you force each and every domain owner worldwide to turn over mail logs you'd end up with huge discrepencies in the application of the taxes. Although I don't live in Europe I do own a few of my own domains and run my own mail server. It's used mostly for family accounts. If I lived in the EU then would I be required to keep accounting information and turn it over to the tax authorities? Could I charge them for the time involved in setting this up and regularly turning the logs over to them?
    • How do you deal with webmail services? If I send an e-mail from a gmail account to a yahoo account then yes it's going over port 25 so it could theoretically be tracked by monitoring systems.

      You can do it [i.e. charge for mails sent through webmail services] but that would mean the end of every and all free webmail as we know it, since the webmail company could charge you the fee after all your mails. They would probably sell some prepaid plans, or discounts if you pay for longer periods, etc etc. I abso
  • There are exactly 2 reasons why email and SMS are very popular: they are convenient and cheap (with email being free). Take away one of the 2 (or in the worst case, both) and people will move on to something else.
    • "Lamassoure, a member of Jacques Chirac's UMP party, is proposing to add a tax of around 1.5 cents on text or SMS messages and a 0.00001 cent levy on every email sent."

      For the ability to send 100 SMS a month, I pay a flat 2,00 euro/month fee to my GSM operator. Do the math, it comes out to 2 cents per 1 SMS. If they are somehow thinking that a 75% increase in price will fly, they need their heads checked.
  • The suggestion has been suggested by the French centre-right wing member of parliament Alain Lamassoure. The suggested tax would be 0.00001 cent (eurocent) for an email, and an incredible 1.5 cent for an sms! While the email tax seems reasonable given that we accept the premise of the tax, the sms tax is outright ridiculous. In Denmark that amounts to more than 50% of the current price of an sms!
  • Bite my shiny TLS-protected port-you-don't-know ass.
  • The numbers just don't add up: "a 0.00001 cent levy on every email sent" translates to 1e-7 EUR per message (and probably per hop). Assuming that there are 1 million million message-hops per day (1 US trillion, way over the top IMHO), this translates to just 100,000 EUR per day, or 36.5 million EUR per year. Obviously, this doesn't even cover the cost of the required accounting infrastructure.
  • They must have gotten that email forward [snopes.com] finally. I got it like 7 years ago.
  • They can tax SMS, this is because mobile operators are few, offer limited services and SMS traffic is easy to follow and always passes through their central.

    But i wanna see them try taxing e-mail. E-mail is basically a piece of electronic information in a huge sea of information on the Internet, travels point to point and isn't guaranteed to pass through some "registration" server at EU, so basically it's undetectable from one central place.

    An e-mail can happen at any point at any time, and the source can a
  • I now pay 10 cents per SMS. At 21% TVA, that is 2.1 cents. 1.5 cent would mean a reduction in cost for me.

    Oh you mean ON TOP of what I already pay?
  • Your PC gets zombified, and suddenly you are hit with a tax bill for 3 billion emails.
  • Case in point: (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Cyphoid (759039)
    This is why we don't want Europe controlling the internet.
  • A tax is not 'money for the hell of it.'

    A tax is 'money for a service or security provided.'

    Bastard politicians like this seem to have not gotten the memo.

    Technically, postage, a license (for nearly anything), a toll, a goverment-mandated surcharge of any sort, are all forms of tax, and in many cases, you get something back, even if it is in the form of regulation that (theoretically) makes it safer for you to conduct business. It boggles the mind that politicians can become aware of a transaction of any so
  • What they don't appear to understand is that by levying a tax on a popular service, they are essentially raising its price. This means that the demand for this service will likely decrease because it is already more or less priced as high as it can be without lowering demand. Way to stifle the industry!

  • I for one (and probably the only one) think this is a great idea. For starters, if I were to only get e-mails that the sender was willing to pay a cent for, my inbox would be a much better place. Taxes have to come from somewhere, and I don't see that communications is that much worse than the alternatives.

    The general sentiment in this forum appears to be that taxes are evil, but around here the more they cut taxes the more things fall apart. We used to have a pretty nice city - now we can't afford any o
  • Lamassoure went on to say, "It is important to tax new technologies, to generate new revenues, especially to extend the reach of our existing tax to fight the Norman invasion of 1066."

    --Rob

  • 1. Convert Italian govt computers to SPAM zombies.
    2. Govt Computers send tons of SPAM all over the web.
    3. Italian govt bills itself for all of the sent eMails.
    4. Mark those bills as income.
    5. ???
    6. Profit?
  • by l3v1 (787564)
    the money to finance the EU should come from the benefits engendered by the EU

    If we're talking about e-mail and sms here, then this is nothing more than plain smelly bullshit. First, for most countries it was not the EU who built or paid for the network infrastructure. Second, it's not the EU who provides sms services or mobile network infrastructure, it's the cell companies, which pay their own share of taxes already (how much where or why is not the question here). Maybe we all should pay huge amounts
  • How? How would one tax email and SMS?

    Also: What does this offset?

    I run my own mail server on the net which I used for email for friends and family. About 85 people have accounts. How the hell would they tax email sent from my machine to the EU, or .it addresses?

    They really need to tax the connection to the internet, not the message. Better yet only tax spam. All and all taxes are a tool to cuase people to avoid someting. If something it popular, tax it, and it becomes a little less popular. I'm just not hap
  • it's a novel and simple way to raise funds from new technology.

    Simple? They must be smoking some good stuff over there.

    How is this possibly simple? Use taxes do nothing but unnaturally constrain a particular use at the expense of the overall economy. Use taxes unnaturally constrain economic activity just so that polticians can take more of people's time and money without the politicians having to be the ones that are seen to take it out of your pocket. Simply cowardly politicians wanting a bigger slice
  • Last I checked you paid for sending SMS text messages. And for internet service. And those are both taxed by a general sales tax (every EU memberstate is in fact required to have a general sales tax, though sales tax hits poor people the most, as it's unrelated to your income or whether you even make a living wage).

    And apart from a very few exceptions (environmental 'levies' and 'fees' etc.) there is a ban on double taxation.

    So, no. Next.
  • by PSaltyDS (467134) on Friday May 26, 2006 @07:12PM (#15413336) Journal
    "...so everyone would understand that the money to finance the EU should come from the benefits engendered by the EU"

    Did the EU invent texting before or after Al Gore invented the internet?

  • What the!?!? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by NoMercy (105420) on Friday May 26, 2006 @07:30PM (#15413423)
    Firstly, it's just plain friggin stupid to have a tax on SMS, it's a neiche which doesn't have any goverment inolvement.

    Two, we already pay sales tax on SMSs when the bill come through, and a stealth tax because phone companies need to claw back the money they spent on licencing next-gen radio bands though there most profitable area, SMS messages.

    Three, theve got some fucking cheek "benefits engendered by the EU" lets see, apart from licencing bands to companies at insane prices, I don't think theve done anything... The benefit engendered by the EU, is we pay more for our SMSs, other than that you can get SMSs pretty much anywhere in the world where there's enough people to justify mobile phone coverage.
  • Why so much tax? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hacker (14635) <hacker@gnu-designs.com> on Friday May 26, 2006 @07:59PM (#15413543)

    I've recently found myself explaining to people why the US has added a tax onto their telephone bills to help fund the Spanish/American war, a war which ended over 108 years ago. Why is there an 18% tax on alcohol in Philadelphia to help fund WWII, and other silly rider taxes.

    Which brings me to my point.

    Q: Why are they trying to tax [insert item here]?

    A: Because they can.

    They'd tax air if they think they could get away with it.

  • Nope. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SeaFox (739806) on Friday May 26, 2006 @11:43PM (#15414326)
    This article advocates a

    ( ) technical (x) legislative ( ) market-based ( ) vigilante

    approach to fighting spam. Your idea will not work. Here is why it won't work.
    (One or more of the following may apply to your particular idea, and it may
    have other flaws which used to vary from state to state before a bad federal
    law was passed.)

    ( ) Spammers can easily use it to harvest email addresses
    ( ) Mailing lists and other legitimate email uses would be affected
    (x) No one will be able to find the guy or collect the money
    ( ) It is defenseless against brute force attacks
    ( ) It will stop spam for two weeks and then we'll be stuck with it
    (x) Users of email will not put up with it
    ( ) Microsoft will not put up with it
    ( ) The police will not put up with it
    ( ) Requires too much cooperation from spammers
    (x) Requires immediate total cooperation from everybody at once
    ( ) Many email users cannot afford to lose business or alienate potential
    employers
    ( ) Spammers don't care about invalid addresses in their lists
    ( ) Anyone could anonymously destroy anyone else's career or business

    Specifically, your plan fails to account for

    ( ) Laws expressly prohibiting it
    ( ) Lack of centrally controlling authority for email
    (x) Open relays in foreign countries
    ( ) Ease of searching tiny alphanumeric address space of all email addresses
    ( ) Asshats
    ( ) Jurisdictional problems
    (x) Unpopularity of weird new taxes
    ( ) Public reluctance to accept weird new forms of money
    ( ) Huge existing software investment in SMTP
    ( ) Susceptibility of protocols other than SMTP to attack
    ( ) Willingness of users to install OS patches received by email
    (x) Armies of worm riddled broadband-connected Windows boxes
    ( ) Eternal arms race involved in all filtering approaches
    ( ) Extreme profitability of spam
    ( ) Joe jobs and/or identity theft
    ( ) Technically illiterate politicians
    ( ) Extreme stupidity on the part of people who do business with spammers
    ( ) Dishonesty on the part of spammers themselves
    ( ) Bandwidth costs that are unaffected by client filtering
    ( ) Outlook

    and the following philosophical objections may also apply:

    ( ) Ideas similar to yours are easy to come up with, yet none have ever been
    shown practical
    ( ) Any scheme based on opt-out is unacceptable
    ( ) SMTP headers should not be the subject of legislation
    ( ) Blacklists suck
    ( ) Whitelists suck
    ( ) We should be able to talk about Viagra without being censored
    ( ) Countermeasures should not involve wire fraud or credit card fraud
    ( ) Countermeasures should not involve sabotage of public networks
    ( ) Countermeasures must work if phased in gradually
    (x) Sending email should be free
    ( ) Why should we have to trust you and your servers?
    ( ) Incompatiblity with open source or open source licenses
    ( ) Feel-good measures do nothing to solve the problem
    ( ) Temporary/one-time email addresses are cumbersome
    ( ) I don't want the government reading my email
    ( ) Killing them that way is not slow and painful enough

    Furthermore, this is what I think about you:

    (x) Sorry dude, but I don't think it would work.
    ( ) This is a stupid idea, and you're a stupid person for suggesting it.

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