Tax Authorities Put Spiders On The Web

Tax collecting agencies are wising up that many people are making money on the internet, and some of them might be... less than enthusiastic about paying taxes on it. And they're sending out spiders, just like Google or Yahoo or any other search engine, and looking for taxable transactions.

The "Xenon" program -- a reference to the super-bright auto headlights that light up dark places -- was started in The Netherlands in 2004 by the Dutch equivalent of the IRS, Belastingdienst. It has since been expanded and enhanced by international group of tax authorities in Austria, Denmark, Britain and Canada, with the assistance of Amsterdam-based data mining firm Sentient Machine Research.

The American version, The Internal Revenue Service, will neither confirm nor deny use of such a data collection method. Let me translate that for you: Of course they are.

Read it here.

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