Search MassTLC
Sign In

Sign In securely

Create Your Free Profile

MassTLC Calendar


Get email updates on upcoming events and
new content!




Promoting the Growth of the Internet
Share |

Internet Taxes (adopted in 2003)

The Council supports the position of the Internet Tax Fairness Coalition. The Coalition is an alliance of business, consumer, retail, technology and communications companies and associations that promote clear and simple tax rules for the borderless marketplace.

The Coalition supports neutral tax treatment of Internet commerce.

The Coalition supports federal legislation that would:

  • permanently ban taxes on Internet access;

  • encourage states to enter into a Congressionally-approved interstate compact to simplify and unify their sales and use tax systems;

  • provided that a sufficient number of states enter into the interstate compact, authorize the states to require out-of-state sellers to collect sales and use taxes on goods or services delivered in-state; and

  • prohibit states from imposing business activity taxes upon sellers with no physical presence in the state.

Because the Mass Technology Leadership Council believes that electronic commerce should be treated as a mainstream economic activity, the Council supports the recent Massachusetts legislation that authorized the Commonwealth to enter into the agreement simplifying state sales tax laws adopted by the Streamlined Sales Tax Project, while avoiding the imposition of onerous administrative burdens being placed upon small companies.

Principles to be Considered in the Regulation of Spam (adopted in 2003)

Spam is a threat to the long-term viability of the permission-based commercial email industry. The Council supports efforts by the information technology industry to develop technology-based solutions to the problems created by spam.

The Council believes that regulation of spam should be addressed at the federal level. But because Congress has not enacted legislation, the issue has moved to the state level.

The Council has adopted the following principles to serve as a benchmark against which legislation regulating spam should be measured:

  • Prohibit the use of an Internet address or domain name of a third party without the party’s consent.

  • Prohibit email containing false or misleading addresses and subjects, or false or missing routing information.

  • Prohibit the sale or distribution of software that is designed to falsify electronic mail transmissions or other routing information.

  • Require messages to contain a provision allowing the recipient to opt-out of receiving further messages.

  • Require messages containing material of a sexual, sexually explicit or otherwise adult-oriented nature to use "ADLT” as the first characters in the subject line.

  • Permit an affirmative defense in an action brought pursuant to the Commonwealth’s consumer protection statute if the defendant has established and implemented, with due care, reasonable practices and procedures to prevent violations of these principles.

Deployment of Broadband Services

We believe that broadband services (high-speed IP connectivity) should be universally available and affordable. We believe that a market-based economy promotes competition among broadband providers and stimulates innovation in applications, services and next generation infrastructure. We support the growth and development of all forms of broadband, and we are neutral as to which will prevail in the market. (adopted in 2000)

We believe that federal policies should permit providers who invest in their own facilities to charge Fair Rates to providers who lease these facilities, but on the condition that facilities-based providers implement Open Network Standards and Non-Discriminatory Practices. This condition is necessary in order to promote innovation and competition. (adopted in 2002)

Net Neutrality (adopted in 2006)

The Council supports policies that ensure unfettered access to lawful Internet content and services so that the free market can continue to determine the success of Internet innovation. The Council supports the following principles in support of an open, non-discriminatory platform for innovation:

  • Businesses and consumers of Internet services should have unfettered access to lawful Internet content, applications and services.

  • Businesses and consumers of Internet services should be allowed to use whatever bandwidth they pay for in any lawful manner they choose.

  • Businesses and consumers of Internet services should not be subject to limitations, redirections, or degradations of service by network operators who may want to favor their own content and services over others.

Protection of Online Privacy (adopted in 2003)

The Council supports the position that if companies voluntarily create effective privacy policies for their web sites, regulation is not needed, as companies would then be subject to the Federal Trade Commission's existing authority to regulate false and deceptive practices.

To protect the privacy of users on-line, companies should voluntarily create effective privacy policies for their web sites by:

Implementing the "Fair Information Practices" of:

  • notice: clear and conspicuous disclosure to users about the use, or change of use, of personal information

  • choice: giving users options regarding how information collected from them online may be used, including the opportunity to opt out of such use

  • access: the right of individuals to have reasonable access to information about them

  • security: measures to prevent unauthorized disclosure of information, to assure its reliability and to protect it from loss, misuse or alteration;

Participating in third party seal programs (Better Business Bureau On-line; Trust E, etc.) to monitor and verify the implementation of the Fair Information Practices and to provide for user complaint resolution;

Incorporating the Platform for Privacy Preferences, P3P, in order to aid users in understanding the privacy policies of web sites they visit. The technology industry is increasingly emphasizing this technology-based approach, a standard developed by the Worldwide Web Consortium and implemented by Microsoft in Version 6 of Internet Explorer.

The Council further supports the position that if legislation is proposed to protect on-line privacy, it should be considered only at the federal level, and it should only:

  • Require web sites to provide users clear and conspicuous notice about their information collection practices and the choice to limit the disclosure of information;

  • Authorize the FTC to enforce these notice and disclosure requirements through civil penalties; and

  • Pre-empt state laws regulating on-line privacy.

The Council believes that regulation at the state level is impractical because state authorities can only reach servers located within their jurisdiction, and state efforts to regulate Internet content have been invalidated by courts as an unconstitutional regulation of interstate commerce.

Finally, the Council believes that any proposed legislation should not disadvantage the on-line world, as compared to the off-line world.

Security Breach (adopted in 2006)

We recognize the need to protect consumers from actual breaches of personal information. However, businesses are already taking significant steps to address security issues by adopting internal notification procedures. Companies that do so should not be penalized by a patchwork of inconsistent state laws.

Any security breach legislation should consider the following issues that are of concern for businesses, particularly the many computer and internet-based companies, hospitals and financial institutions that make up the membership of the Council.

Definition of security breach

  • Notice provisions should apply to a confirmed breach (requiring investigation) rather than merely a suspected breach.

  • Definition of "breach” should focus on release of data that creates a reasonable risk of harm or ID theft

  • Definition of "personal data” should be narrowly defined and should exclude, at a minimum, information/material that is publicly available for free from government sources

Unencrypted computerized data

  • Legislation should specify "unencrypted computerized data”

  • Data that has been encrypted should not trigger notice provisions -- unless the key to the encryption has also been released.

Notice provisions

  • Businesses should be able to satisfy notice provisions by following internal notification procedures that are consistent with the law.

  • Companies face enormous compliance costs of following multiple state-mandated procedures.

Allowing notification by email

  • Companies should be able to notify people in the same way that they normally communicate or do business with them (e.g., by email if that is the customary mode of communication).

  • Citation of the federal e-sign statute (15 U.S. C. sec. 7001) is too restrictive to allow routine notice by mail because it requires affirmative consent to email communication.

Third party data facilitators

  • Legislation should recognize that data is shared among multiple parties in business transactions and care should be taken to place the notification burden on commercial entities that actually own or license the data (rather than just process it) and have contact information for the consumer.

Open Source/Open Standards (adopted in 2004)

When state government purchases IT products and services, it should provide a level playing field, in which open source and mixed solutions (combination of open source and proprietary) are considered on the same basis as other solutions, and with issues like functionality, total cost of ownership, and long-term risk assessment determining the successful bidders. In addition, we support the adoption of open standards, wherever appropriate, by state government.

Government IT Infrastructure (adopted 2006)

The Council supports the innovation and funding that will build and maintain an up-to-date IT infrastructure, enabling government to function effectively. It is important that Massachusetts has a technology-enabled government and that this is an important part of making Massachusetts a great place to live and work.

                                                                                                   THANK YOU TO OUR GLOBAL SPONSORS                                                       

















Board of Directors
In the News
Contact Us
Member Directory
Tech Company
IT Department
Join Now
Renew Now
Annual Meeting
Boston TechJam
Innovation unConference
Leadership Awards
MassTLC Events
Community Events
Big Data
CXO Series
Internet of Things
Healthcare & Life Sciences
Sales & Marketing
Software Dev
Workforce Dev
Ed Foundation
K-12 Initiatives

Affiliate Directory

Content Library
Job Board
More Opportunities
Get Involved