Facebook shuts down Graph Search; investigators scrambling for workarounds

On Thursday, June 6, as I went to one of my favourite tools for online investigation, the one hosted by Michael Bazzell, I instead found a warning saying the service is unavailable. I then jumped over to NetBootCamp, and even to StalkScan, also to be denied. Finally, I manually re-opened some old browser bookmarks on…mm

New logistics and fulfillment matching services have sales tax implications

The advent of sharing economy B2C services has spawned new B2B services for businesses that have a significant e-commerce operation.  For example, Darkstore is a company that offers a mobile app containing shipping and logistics providers in a database.  In fact their website advocates “same day service fulfillment” for e-commerce sites.  This has obvious implications…mm

Click-Thru Affiliate Nexus

21 States have passed or pending Click-Thru or Affiliate Nexus legislation, and 12 states are considering it as of this writing.  The phenomenon is known as Click-Thru because it requires an out-of-state retailer to use an in-state marketing affiliate to promote his/her products through their e-commerce site.   Once customers have purchased product beyond $10,000 from that out-of-state retailer via the marketing affiliate, that retailer is now required to collect and remit sales tax to the state.  Now many state revenue agencies would call this the “Amazon Law” which compels the largest e-commerce retailer in the US to collect sales tax.  But there are many other high-grossing e-commerce sites with no retail presence that need to be added to this list as well:

  • Etsy (online hand-made arts and crafts site)
  • Ebay (online auction / retail site)
  • Groupon (Daily deals on products and services in major cities)
  • NewEgg (Electronics, computer parts, peripherals)
  • SteamPowered (Sells video games direct to consumer)
  • Overstock (Brand name surplus and over-produced items)
  • 6pm (name brand shoes)
  • BhPhotoVideo (photography, consumer electronics)

Many states also have specific language on what constitutes an affiliate solicitation.  For example, California requires an explicit “pushed” solicitation resulting in a transaction, such as an email.  Other states such as Illinois require merely a promotional coupon from that retailer.  Yet other states are unsure what scenarios constitute an affiliate solicitation.

That being said, technology exists that can help automatically harvest as many affiliates as possible in-state.  TaxCrawler can make the task of finding these sites very easy.  This leads the state agency to merely codify the rules around affiliate nexus, and let TaxCrawler do the digging on the internet.

Here are some examples of Affiliate Nexus that can be extracted.

No expectation of privacy in a Craigslist ad

Recently in a California court, the defendant has made a motion to suppress evidence from various subpoenas to email, mobile and internet service providers, but included in the motion was a request to suppress a subpoena response from Craigslist regarding an ad posted by someone else.  Directly quoted from the ruling: The Government asserts that…mm