North Carolina has asked online retailer Amazon.com to turn over the names and addresses of every customer who has made a purchase on the site since 2003 and what they bought. ... last year, the state passed a law that required retailers like Amazon to collect tax in the state if they ran marketing affiliate programs, which Amazon does. Amazon responded by shutting down Amazon.com Associates in N.C. ... Despite the program's shutdown, N.C. wants to find ways to collect back taxes on sales that took place before the law went into effect.
So the state government shuts down a bazillion small (in most cases very small) businesses that bring money into North Carolina, part of which is even captured in sales taxes and such when it's spent locally.
Then those same politicians want the company that made those small businesses possible in the first place to violate its customers' privacy so that it can engage in a little ex post facto looting.
Fortunately, Amazon also sells the hardware for dealing with contingencies like this. Shame nobody in North Carolina can collect the sales commissions on it.
In a nation ruled by swine, all pigs are upward-mobile — and the rest of us are fucked until we can put our acts together: Not necessarily to Win, but mainly to keep from Losing Completely. We owe that to ourselves and our crippled self-image as something better than a nation of panicked sheep ... but we owe it especially to our children, who will have to live with our loss and all its long-term consequences. -- Hunter S. Thompson