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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Amazon Files Suit Against North Carolina

North Carolina was considering legislation which would have Amazon charging the state's residents sales tax and sending it in to North Carolina. The state's legislators argued that Amazon had ties to businesses within the state because it had affiliates there who included links to Amazon products in their blogs, on their sites, and so forth. Amazon responded by excluding NC residents from participating in their affiliate program. NC legislators then requested a list of every North Carolinian who has purchased from Amazon since 2003.

Amazon responded by filing a lawsuit in its home state of Washington, which seeks to classify such information under the First Amendment (Freedom of Speech). As Amazon's suit states, providing NC legislators with a list of people and their purchases would almost certainly compromise some of those customers' right to privacy.

Amazon filed the suit in their home state in the hopes that the decision will be extended to cover any and all other states and territories who try to make the same request.

© C Harris Lynn, 2010

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