To the People

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or TO THE PEOPLE.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Boycott eBay

The House Judiciary Committee will vote today on a bill introduced by Rep. Robert W. Goodlatte (R) that would ban most online gambling, including bets on sporting events and games of chance such as poker. The bill would also force banking and credit card executives to become law enforcement officers by compelling them to monitor their customers' activities and block transactions related to online gambling. Most disturbingly, it would give federal agencies the power to force Internet service providers to remove or disable links to gambling sites, which is government censorship on par with what China and other totalitarian countries do.
"I am a big advocate of opening up the Internet to all kinds of legitimate uses," said Goodlatte, who is co-chairman of the Congressional Internet Caucus. "But we don't want the Internet to become the Wild West of the 21st century." Goodlatte said he opposes gambling because it leads to "a whole host of ills in society."
Congressman Goodlatte is obviously an asshole who should switch his party affiliation to Democrat since he loves federal power so much. But, I'm used to conservative pricks like him trying to turn America into Iran. What really bothers me is that eBay is one of the top three supporters of this anti-internet bill (the other two being religious groups like the Southern Baptist Convention and professional sports leagues such as the NFL.) There are many reasons why the online auction company (which has merged with PayPal) would be supporting legislation expanding government regulation over the internet, including fear.

One theory from an industry source familiar with the legislative situation is that eBay is kowtowing to Goodlatte because of his position in Congress.

"It is true that Rep. Goodlatte chairs the Congressional Internet Caucus," said the source, "so a Net-based company like eBay would probably be inclined to be deferential to him."
But, regardless of their reasons, it is simply unacceptable for an Internet company to support legislation that infringes on the rights of Internet companies and their customers. Internet companies should be united on net freedom, and those who break ranks and work with politicians to destroy what makes the Internet so great should be criticized and boycotted.

eBay has lost this customer until it reverses its position on this bill.