A collection of European internet based corporations and their socialist government protectors are seeking to use a global internet tax to cut off their American competition from the European markets. The proposal being floated to the United Nations is to implement a per user tax on internet access to websites based in other nations. For example a France based user who provides $0.001 worth of net value to an American website will cost that American based $0.005 in additional taxes, costing the company a net loss. The benefit to a France based website is this makes it unfeasible for many foreign companies to operate in France.
A side effect of this legislation is in developing countries, where the margins are slimmer, will be essentially cut off from accessing websites outside thier own nation. If this UN Treaty is approved, expect more ads on many foreign websites as well as the occassional error message of "This address cannot be accessed from your country."
The most common purpose of government regulations is to cut off some corporations or small businesses from a market sector to the advantage of competing companies with better government relations. For example in the toy lead scare, caused by Mattel toys, there was a call for additional mandatory lead testing. This call was issued by none other than lobbyists for Mattel. Analysts estimated that the legislation would cost $40k per toy line, essentially an overhead cost. This is to the advantage of big corporations such as Mattel. Smaller companies or companies with broad product lines however had to go out of business. The number of toy product lines on the market reduced 60% in 2 years, cutting Mattel's competition dramatically.
The use of the United Nations as a tool for crony socialist endeavors is much less common than with national government legislatures, however it is not without incident. Many nations push the UN to shift protected fishing waters into regions where independent fishermen tend to fish while leaving areas where large corporations with a heavy lobbying force unprotected. Carbon credits are another example of cronyism; corporations with a stake in the credit trade industry have been the biggest backers of treaties such as Kyoto.
In the case of a global tax on the internet, it would rely in support of a significant number of nations. This may be an example of a global tax which is not supported by developing nations. Restrictions on the internet are usually not received well by the general public, and the tax would weigh heaviest on the poorest users. Unfortunately, many supporters of crony socialism will not see the connection between this potentially unpopular proposal and thier own favorite political movements which typically base thier ideology upon cronyism.
Source Re-Internet Tax: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2012