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There's a NEW Mafia in Town

By Deirdre Jones
Posted Monday, November 22, 2004

By now you may or may not have heard about a new company called Habeas. If not, let me briefly explain to you what all the hoopla is about. Habeas is offering all of us “protection" from the bad guys (i.e. spammers), and on the surface it sounds all good. That is until you really understand how it will affect you.

I mean, sure, I am tired of getting all the emails telling me how I can enlarge body parts I do not even possess and inviting me to look at naked teenage girls. But this is a small price to pay for my freedom - my delete button works just fine, thank you. Oh yeah, and I am wondering, has the rest of the civilized world heard of filtering your email as it arrives to your inbox? I do not need the help of my Internet Service Provider for this - my IQ indicates that I am above average in intelligence.

And if you decide not to comply (buy into this “protection") with Habeas, then you will surely be crippled. Sure sounds a lot like the Mafia to me. What do I mean by all this? Just stay with me here as I briefly go through the paces.

Habeas (a private corporation, mind you) has proposed that we all pay for a header in all our outgoing emails that identifies the email as legitimate (i.e. not sp*m). And for this “privilege", we will be required to pay.

Small businesses, those who make less than $100,000 a year, will pay a fee of $200 a year for the privilege of sending email to people who have legitimately requested it. Outrageous! But that is only the tip of the iceberg.

Those business owners that make over $100,000 a year will be required to pay ½ cent to 1 cent per email sent, up to a maximum of $3,000 a month. Who died and made these people God?! And I thought the government was giving it to me in the way of taxes every year... Now you tell me that I have to be robbed by the common citizen, too?

“So what," you say, “I do not even do business by email..." Well, let me explain to you how this will affect you, the ordinary citizen. Right now, the header is free for ordinary citizens to use in their emails. But they ALSO originally said that only the rich would pay taxes, didn't they?

And guess who is taking it in the rear now? The poor and middle class, of course, while the rich hide behind their “tax shelters". So, how long do you think that it will be before the ordinary citizen pays, too?

Not only that, mull this one over...

Remember, all that GREAT free information provided to you by the home and small business owner? POOF! No more. Either you will pay for this information or no longer receive it. After all, you cannot expect these small businesses to absorb all the costs by themselves, can you? It is just not feasible - that would put them out of business. So expect to open your wallets, too, ordinary citizens.

And why do you think it is that all the large entities like AOL, Yahoo, and others are jumping on this bandwagon so gleefully? Because they know that now that can send us all the junk mail they want with virtually no competition, because THEY can afford it. After all, $3,000 a month is a small price to pay for eliminating your competition, isn't it?

Of course, the REAL spammers are going to have a field day with this one, too. They forge email headers now, so what is to stop them from forging Habeas' header? The threat of a lawsuit, you say. Ha! Surely, you jest... How can you sue someone who is invisible (impossible to find)?

The REAL clincher to all this is that you will be paying this “protection" money to a PRIVATE corporation. Wake up, people! Would you allow “Joe Ordinary “ to just rob you on the street and not report him to the authorities? Heck no!

So can you explain why we are allowing Habeas to do this to us? They have even eliminated all of their competition by applying for a patent. Sounds like the Mafia to me - eliminate the competition...

Here is what I saying... We lay down and took it when the Internet Service Providers decided that it was their job to decide what email we should receive, for the most part. My ISP gives me a choice - I would not have it ANY other way. I pay them, they DO NOT pay me. Are we going to continue down this same path until we have no freedom?

As one popular commercial says, “It sucks when other people make choices for you, doesn't it?" My question to you is, how long are we going to be strong-armed into “protection" before we say, “Enough is enough!"

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