Print 30 comment(s) - last by Rob94hawk.. on Feb 11 at 6:44 PM

North Carolina Department of Revenue has agreed to discontinue requesting the personal information of its residents that shop through Amazon

A privacy lawsuit between the North Carolina Department of Revenue and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) was settled on Wednesday, and the state agreed to stop requesting its residents' personal information through 

Since 2003, the state has asked Amazon for detailed records of what North Carolina customers were purchasing on the site in order to collect sales use taxes, which amounted to about $50 million. Amazon gave this information to the state without including the customers' personal information such as their name and address, but the North Carolina Department of Revenue started to demand this information as well, which led to the legal battle. 

The American Civil Liberties Union joined Amazon in their fight to protect customer information when the online retailer refused to violate the privacy of its customers. 

"The N.C. Department of Revenue does not need access to private customer records that reveal which specific customers in North Carolina have ordered which specific books, music or movies in order to complete its audit of Amazon and collect any taxes owed," said Jennifer Rudinger, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina. "We are pleased that the public's First Amendment rights have been upheld by this settlement, which prohibits the department from seeking this kind of information from Amazon or other Internet retailers in the future."

A representative for the North Carolina Department of Revenue argued that the state was never really interested in its citizens' buying patterns.  

"The case between the North Carolina Department of Revenue and Amazon has long been twisted into something it is not," said Beth Stevenson, spokeswoman for the North Carolina Department of Revenue. "Bottom line, this is about fairly collecting the tax that is due to the state of North Carolina and nothing more. The Department has always maintained that we do not need - or want - titles or similar details about products purchased by Amazon customers. The department voluntarily destroyed the detailed information that Amazon unnecessarily provided and offered them the opportunity to comply with the state tax laws moving forward.

"The lawsuit on this particular issue could have been avoided altogether if not for the aggressive stance Amazon took to avoid compliance with North Carolina's tax laws. There would have never been an issue of customer privacy if Amazon would simply collect the North Carolina sales tax that others already do."

U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman ruled last October that the North Carolina Department of Revenue had overstepped its boundaries with its request for personal information, and noted that there is "no legitimate need" for them to have such information. 

"The fear of government tracking and censoring one's reading, listening and viewing choices chills the exercise of First Amendment rights," said Pechman. 

According to Rudinger, Amazon was not part of the settlement, and it was unclear whether Amazon's lawsuit regarding the state's audit was pending on appeal.

In addition to Amazon, the North Carolina Department of Revenue is also facing lawsuits from many online travel companies such as, Travelscape,, Trip Network Inc. and Orbitz due to the state and counties' tendencies to "arbitrarily change the contracts" they have with hotels in North Carolina. 

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RE: Most of you guys are dicks
By guffwd13 on 2/11/2011 11:03:07 AM , Rating: 2
funny you should say that cause most people on DT actually share your point of view (politically) and yet they're still voting you down... cause well... you clearly never went to school to learn how things work and go together.

governing people is a great deal more complicated than you realize and taxation is absolutely imperative for it to function. as much as i love my expensive toys... cameras... exotic cars etc... i'd acually find it quite fun (and i'm not sure it'd ever wear off) to live in total chaos... which, ironically, is ultimate freedom. yes governments limit your freedom by definition.

just because you think your way is right, doesn't mean everyone does. this is obvious, but you seem to fail to grasp that. yes this is a forum and by all means speak your point of view, but you until this post simply stated gibberish and accused others of being abusive for asking you to stop using your examples incorrectly.

in no way whatsoever is obamacare taxation without representation (even if it were a tax - which is an actual levy on something you do, buy or own). the only way in which you would not represented in this country is if all legislators (that means Senators and Representatives in plain English).

opposing points of view are absolutely necessary for survival. you don't know happiness without sadness. you don't know right without left. and the human world requires these opposites to keep the other in check... kinda like... our government... with Checks and Balances... maybe you read about that in chapter 4 of your prized history book.

most people on this site are 20-45 (as far as i'm aware) and ironicaly there is a pattern with the one who refers to all others as "children" are actually children themselves. how old are you?

oh and ps - as illigitimate as you think obamacare is, you forgot that auto insurance is also required by law. yes, you have a choice to own a car - but yeah, sadly we don't have european city setups where cars aren't required to do practically anything.

you can call this arrogant all you want, sir, but you're still the one that hasn't acknowledged the lack of thought and philosophy in your arguments and global understanding of what all this - life and order - takes to operate.

the government is not here to ensure you get to live your life as YOU see fit. nor have you demonstrated you deserve it. you are one in 310 million. at the end of the day, nothing you nor i thinks really matters. and with that i've provided the most effective argument here against everything i've just said.

RE: Most of you guys are dicks
By Rob94hawk on 2/11/2011 3:36:47 PM , Rating: 2
funny you should say that cause most people on DT actually share your point of view

LMFOA! Rule #1 when making comments about other people: LEARN TO READ. There wasnt one person here that agreed with me however plenty decided to name call and be dicks. But it's ok. I have thick skin and I enjoy confrontations.

Note to asshats like yourself: Check your ego at the door. No one cares. Really. But I'm sure someone here will respond with some run on sentence that no one but themselves cares about. Enjoy!

RE: Most of you guys are dicks
By guffwd13 on 2/11/2011 5:36:42 PM , Rating: 1
funny you should say that cause most people on DT actually share your point of view

wow dude... my statement read: "share your point of view (politically)." in that sentence the word 'politically' is key because its conveying that while people here agree with your politically.... ie they are conservative like you... they are still making fun of you. generally one people share a certain point of view together they don't make fun of each other for risk of making that point of view look bad. even plainer: people don't usually make fun of themselves. my point was... in pretty plain english... that while they agree with your political conservatism they still made fun of you. this is significant because it means you are so incredibly incompetent (in a dictionary that means stupid), that they went out of their way to call you so (stupid).

in other words: i said exactly what you just said. no one agreed with your statement (but they do agree with your political alignment). but clearly its me who needs to learn to read. you should take your own advice, because its the one intelligent thing you've said thus far.

and btw, i don't consider what i'm saying to egotistical. i consider it standard intelligence. if you consider any of this demeaning, you should hang out with smarter people more often so you get used to having intellectual conversations. but if you want to see some egotism, read some of my past posts. they contain more intellectual prowess and insults than this one.

and of note you haven't actually spent any time addressing any of my "asshole condescending comments." if you actually enjoyed confrontation, you'd enjoy formulating a coherent and logical argument that attempts to refute my statements. rather than just calling me an asshole.

so go ahead, i challenge you to "confront" me. i enjoy debating too... but please for the sake of having a successful debate, think your argument through first so we're not stuck on semantics and inability to follow an argument. just like mathematic proofs in school, all the if...thens need to connect...

RE: Most of you guys are dicks
By guffwd13 on 2/11/2011 5:44:15 PM , Rating: 2
oh and by the way, i ended my previous statement with: it doesn't really matter because what do you or I really matter?

and so you replied:
No one cares. Really.

which again, was what i just said. so your counterattack is to regurgitate (that means repeat) my arguments?

so ultimate irony here is that you say no one cares... and yet... you came back twice, once 12 hours later last night, and again another 20 hours after that to check back to see what people wrote (and also responded).

i guess you did that because you.... didn't care?

RE: Most of you guys are dicks
By Rob94hawk on 2/11/2011 6:42:23 PM , Rating: 1
Would have been interested in debating rationally but when you get a response that starts off with insults because your thoughts dont coincide with others that already displays the type of people you are debating with. Irrational ones. Immature ones.

Rational rebuttal: Your wrong, here's why

DT members rebuttal: You're and idiot, you're posting here why?

Like I said before, read the comments. Would have no problem explaining myself why I posted what I did. But if you're gonna be a dick cause you THINK I don't understand the meaning of what I posted than I'll post comments people can obviously understand.

Kind of like debating with radical muslims. You can debate civilized all you want, in the end they're still gonna try to put a bullet in your head.


RE: Most of you guys are dicks
By Rob94hawk on 2/11/2011 6:44:52 PM , Rating: 2
you clearly never went to school to learn how things work and go together.

Case in point. Comments like this leads to rational discussion how again?

“We do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone.” -- Steve Jobs
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