Discovered: January 09, 2002
Updated: February 13, 2007 11:59:29 AM
The following is one of many versions of this hoax; similar messages have been circulating for several years. All claim that the U.S. Postal Service will charge everyone a small amount of money for each email message that they send.
This and all similar messages are false.
One version of this hoax:
Federal BIll 602p
Guess the warnings were true. Federal Bill 602P 5-cents per E-mail sent. It figures! No more free E-mail! We knew this was coming!! Bill 602P will permit the Federal Government to charge a 5-cent charge on every delivered E-mail. Please read the following carefully if you intend to stay online and continue using E-mail. 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 our use of the Internet. Under proposed legislation, the US Postal Service will be attempting to bill E-mail users out of "alternative 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. The consumer would then be billed in turn by the ISP. Washington DC lawyer Richard Stepp is working without pay to prevent this legislation from becoming law. The US Postal Service is claiming lost revenue, due to the proliferation of E-mail, is costing nearly $230,000,000 in revenue per year. You may have noticed their recent ad campaign: "There is nothing like a letter." Since the average person received about 10 pieces of E-mail per day in 1998, the cost of the typical individual would be an additional 50 cents a day - or over $180 per year - above and beyond their regular Internet costs. Note that this would be money paid directly to the US Postal Service for a service they do not even provide. The whole point of the Internet is
democracy and non-interference. You are already paying an exorbitant price for snail mail because of bureaucratic inefficiency. It currently takes up to 6 days for a letter to be delivered from coast to coast. If the US Postal Service is allowed to tinker with E-mail, it will mark the end of the "free" Internet in the United States. Congressional representative, Tony Schnell (r) has even suggested a "$20-$40 per month surcharge on all Internet service" above and beyond the governments proposed E-mail charges. Note that most of the major newspapers have ignored the story the only exception being the Washingtonian which called the idea of E-mail surcharge "a useful concept who's time has come" (March 6th,1999 Editorial).
Do not sit by and watch your freedom erode away! Send this E-mail to EVERYONE on your list, and tell all your friends and relatives to write their congressional representative and say "NO" to Bill 602P.
It will only take a few moments of your time and could very well be instrumental in killing a bill we do not want.
I went on US house of Representatives to e-mail my State Representative.
NOTE: This hoax is sometimes confused with the Postal Service's (completely voluntary) Electronic Postmark service. Currently, information on this is available at:
Please ignore any messages regarding this hoax and do not pass on messages. Passing on messages about the hoax only serves to further propagate it.