[clug] The 1st Internet Tax is here.

Hal Ashburner hal.ashburner at gmail.com
Fri Nov 14 14:36:33 GMT 2008

Ian said:
=>> I was in one of the Co-op Bookshops the other day and they had prepaid visa
=>> cards which match this discription very closely. I only saw it only in
=>> passing so am not sure of the specifics.
=>I looked into these, but something in the fine print really turned me
=>off getting one. I can't remember exactly what it was off hand, but
=>make sure you read it if you're thinking of getting one. It might have
=>been something about the funds on the card being sacrificed should the
=>card be allowed to expire, but I have a feeling there was something
=>else I didn't like in there.

No anonymity.
Funds forfeit on card expiry.
Application fee.
'Deposit' fee.
Monthly fee.
ATM transaction fee.
Cash withdrawal fee.
Telephone enquiry fee.
Balance enquiry fee.
Additional transaction fee for foreign purchase (above them naming their
rate, which would be a large spread.) They add 3.5% to that spread.
Replacement card fee.

I'm no expert but their PIN security model looks a bit broken to me and they
lump any potential liability for that on you.

Even on the standards of banks this is pretty aggressive stuff. All up for
most users it's likely to be more than the GST.

So yeah, not really the ideal solution for mine.  No privacy and very
expensive. Open an account with a small balance and link it to a credit card
is a cheaper solution that performs better than this rubbish. 

Someone posted something about privacy being the cause of criminal activity
earlier so financial transactions should not be allowed to be anonymous.. Do
I need to point out that such an argument is equally valid in requiring
people to notify the police each time they walk outside of their house? Or
that what medicinal drugs someone is buying isn't anyone's business and need
not be on any searchable database? Or that every single database
administered by the public service or private enterprise has been abused
regularly? Or that anyone who is really doing illegal things can buy a
stolen credit card very cheaply so such nonsense only infringes on the
rights of the honest? I doubt it, but I did anyway... The big brother
databases seem to be taking over without much of a fight.

Unless an officer of the law has a good reason to suspect you of illegal
activities and then properly obtains a warrant, it should not be possible
for someone to find information about your doings where such information can
be made private. The Principal of Least Privilege really does make sense.

Maybe Kevin07's internet censorship is a good thing. We'll route around the
damage like we always do and we'll start getting ourselves some workable
privacy. Much like they do in Iran, Saudi Arabia, China... Maybe we'll even
listen to friends' grandparents stories of escape from totalitarian regimes
and similar. I'm betting the sites that organised the peaceful protest
against scientology will make the banned list.

Hmm. Must ban myself for a while for posting non-linux stuff to linux list.

America wasn't founded so that we could all be better. America was founded so
we could all be anything we damned well pleased. 
		--P.J. O'Rourke

More information about the linux mailing list