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I thought the group might be interested in this. Carol
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Date: Thu, 03 Jun 1999 10:49:55 -0500
From: Christine Peterson <christip>
X-Mailer: Mozilla 4.04 [en]C-EXECPC-404 (Win95; U)
To: rllieber, amyndan, lmvolkman,
shanka, aero, dani313
Subject: e-mail charges hoax
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
Tue, 01 Jun 1999 17:18:55 -0500
Michael Ritzke <ritzke>
E-mail rumor is shot down
Post Office has no designs on cyberspace
By Rex Nutting, CBS MarketWatch
Last Update: 6:23 PM ET May 21, 1999
WASHINGTON (CBS.MW) -- Don't believe the rumors flying around
the Internet: The Post Office doesn't really want to start charging you
In yet another example of how the Internet is the best medium ever
invented for spreading rumors, word has been spread by
e-mail that the
U.S. Postal Service is secretly plotting to charge 5
for every e-mail
sent over the Internet.
The version we received at
CBS.MarketWatch.com breathlessly warns: "The
last few months have revealed an alarming trend in
the government of the United States attempting to
quietly push through legislation that will affect your
use of the Internet. Under proposed legislation the
U.S. Postal Service will be attempting to bilk e-mail
users out of 'alternate postage fees.' Bill 602P will
permit the federal government to charge a 5 cent
surcharge on every e-mail delivered, by billing
Internet service providers at source."
Apparently, a certain Rep. Tony Schnell is the
congressman behind this plot, or so the rumor has
"It's obviously a hoax," said Roy Betts, manager of
media relations for snailmail.
The postal service noticed the rumor about a week
ago, Betts said. They've got a disavowal on their
Web site: "e-mail rumor completely untrue."
"No such proposed legislation exists," the post office
said. "In fact, no
'Congressman Schnell' exists. The U.S. Postal Service
no authority to
surcharge e-mail messages sent over the Internet, nor
Mark Q. Rhoads, legislative director for the U.S.
the e-mail hoax may be a recycled version of the old
Congress (or the FCC, or the CIA, or the Trilateral
Commission, or the
Masons) imposing a secret "access fee" on Internet
Betts said the Internet has been good for business at
because, while folks may be sending fewer letters to
friends and paying
more bills on line, they're ordering more merchandise
-- much delivered by those funny trucks with the steering wheel on the wrong side.
"Online retailing remains a tremendous opportunity" for
the post office as it battles to reclaim some of the market share in package delivery that it's lost to United Parcel Service and others.
For more laughs, visit the urbanlegends site. For some really scary stuff, see the government's Internet Hoax site. For stuff out of this world, see this.