Friday, April 1, 2011

Do We Need a Genealogy Tea Party?

I try to avoid politics on my Genea-Musings blog, but... I received an email this morning from a very concernedfriend who was reading the U.S. government's regulations passed to implement bills passed by the Congress last year.

Did you know that there is a new regulation, as part of the Internet Commerce Regulation Act of 2010, that imposes a fee for every 1 kilobyte of information sent over the Internet.  Effective 1 July 2011, this fee will be calculated, on a monthly basis, and billed to your account, by your Internet provider (every Internet provider you have). 

According to my friend, the fee will be only one cent ($0.01) for every megabyte, but when you think about it, that adds up!  That's $10 for every gigabyte. 

How much data do you send via email attachments?  How many uploads to family tree databases do you do?  How big are the images and videos that you attach to your blog posts?  What about the downloads of images and data from websites (like Ancestry, GenealogyBank) through our browsers?  How many gigabytes of files do you store in the cloud every month?  Those will be subject to the same fee.  Who will pay for those?  One guess!!

It's time for a tea party to throw this 21st century equivalent of the onerous Stamp Act overboard.  If we don't nip this in the bud, they'll try to raise the per megabyte fee on us next year! 

Before you know it, the government will try to exact a fee for every person in our family tree if we're not careful.  Keep your hands off my ancestors, Mr. President!

Update 4/3:  This was an April Fool's post, not a real, political, post.  I made it up (and I guess many others have also over the years) on the spur of the moment and tied it to genealogy.  I meant no offense to any politician, political party, or voter. 


  1. I am with you on this, Randy. Enough is enough...I will bring all the tea we need!

  2. I assume you posted this as an April Fool's joke... as this is an old one, which has appeared in various forms over the years. But bonus points if you can find the "internet commerce regulation act" anywhere (else) online!

  3. I certainly hope this is an April Fool's joke!!! I will be broke before July ends! oh my!

  4. LOL, I'll be screwed if that happens! Sign me up! ;-)

  5. Thanks, Andy, I looked for this Act and couldn't find it anywhere. I am dismayed at the last line of this post, especially if it was an April Fool's joke. I am *so* tired of the nonstop bashing of our President who is working his butt off to get us out of the mess he inherited, and taking nothing but whining and nastiness in thanks from a good chunk of the country.

  6. Thank you, Linda. Not funny. Sorry, Randy. We need unity not dividers... I never have appreciated "April's Fool' stuff, in any event... so often cruel, even when unintentional.

  7. Please stop propagating urban legends.