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The Modem Tax
The modem tax email is an Internet hoax that started
as a true story. In 1987 the US Federal Communications Commission announced
that it was considering eliminating a tax benefit traditionally provided
to computer network companies.
Under some interpretations, this could have resulted in higher costs for users.
However, the FCC quickly dropped the idea after users loudly complained about
what they called a "modem tax."
However, the legend lives on, and warnings about the modem
tax continue to be posted to the Usenet newsgroups and distributed by email
by hoaxers. The classic version
mentions a talk-show host from the station KGO in San Francisco who reads a story
about the tax in the New York Times newspaper. Similar hoaxes claim there will
be a tax on email..