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Pirate Party MEP Helps Draft New Credit Card Company Controls

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the common-carrier-of-currency dept.

EU 129

Dupple writes with this excerpt: "It has become an increasingly large problem that Visa, MasterCard, and Paypal control the valve to any money flow on the planet. Today, the European Parliament established this as a clear problem, and initiated regulation of the companies, limiting and strictly regulating their right to refuse service. The Pirate Party was the initiator of this regulation, following the damaging cutoff of donations to WikiLeaks, after said organization had performed journalism that was embarrassing to certain governments."

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Journalism.....!? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42042131)

Using the terms wikileaks and journalism in the same paragraph is a huge disservice to true journalists!

Re:Journalism.....!? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42042233)

And who, exactly, gets to determine who the "true" journalists are? Are what "true" journalism is, for that matter?

Re:Journalism.....!? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42042439)

And who, exactly, gets to determine who the "true" journalists are? Are what "true" journalism is, for that matter?

Slashdot anonymous cowards and bloggers, of course.

Re:Journalism.....!? (1, Insightful)

gsslay (807818) | about 2 years ago | (#42043301)

And who, exactly, gets to determine who the "true" journalists are?

Well, Slashdot, apparently. As the introduction to this story has not only decided that Wikileaks is "journalism", but also that depriving it of funds is "damaging".

Is it ok for someone to determine this as long as you are in agreement?

Re:Journalism.....!? (1)

jythie (914043) | about 2 years ago | (#42043589)

Twue journalists are ones that only say what matches your community's narrative. Anyone else is biased.

Re:Journalism.....!? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42043881)

A journalist is someone who:

1) claims to be a journalist (for example, a guy like Bill O'Reilly claims to be a commentator, who provides opinion pieces on news; journalists should present news regardless of their own opinions)
2) presents a story to the public that is based on facts and has conducted some level of due dilligence to ensure the accuracy of those facts
3) protects sources from potential reprisal

Wikileaks takes a bunch of info gathered from people and posts it on the web. There's no story or context, just raw data. Most of what they post are emails which are heavily personal and thus could be construed as facts, but are entirely skewed by the author of the email's personal beliefs and thus are questionable as facts. And Wikileaks has an extremely poor reputation for protecting sources; thier own sources as well as proper redation from the data to protect innocents.

Re:Journalism.....!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42046251)

Most of what they post are emails which are heavily personal and thus could be construed as facts, but are entirely skewed by the author of the email's personal beliefs and thus are questionable as facts.

So the difference between a journalist and a non-journalist is that a journalist writes "This was written in an e-mail: " before the content to transform it to fact?

Re:Journalism.....!? (1)

nospam007 (722110) | about 2 years ago | (#42046725)

"Bill O'Reilly claims to be a commentator, who provides opinion pieces on news"

He also gave us his 'opinion' about tides.
“Tide goes in, tide goes out. Never a miscommunication. You can’t explain that. You can’t explain why the tide goes in.”

http://www.newser.com/story/109164/bill-oreilly-to-atheists-you-cant-explain-the-tides.html [newser.com]

Re:Journalism.....!? (1)

ConfusedVorlon (657247) | about 2 years ago | (#42045191)

that's kinda the point.

The broader question : which companies/organisations are ok.

e.g. a company selling sex toys (totally legal in their market) and another selling horror movies have been denied service by visa/mc/paypal
http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&u=http://christianengstrom.wordpress.com/2012/11/13/eu-maste-reglera-hur-visa-mastercard-och-paypal-far-bete-sig/ [google.com]

The regulation is required if you do not think that visa/mc/paypal should be the ones deciding which companies should be allowed to accept payments online.

Re:Journalism.....!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42048371)

NO - it's not about who decides is a journalist or not, it's about making sure the BANKS don't get to make that decision for us.

True dat (4, Insightful)

Frankie70 (803801) | about 2 years ago | (#42042245)

Journalists really are no longer in the business of letting their readers know what their government doesn't want them to know.

Listen, Nigger (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42042455)

Maybe for WikiLeaks' next journalistic exercise it can publish the names and address of people working to further America's interests around the world.

It would put their lives at risk, but would be similar enough to journalism that uneducated niggers like the parent would either confuse it with journalism, or claim its superior to modern journalism.

Oh wait.. Wikileaks has already disclosed the names and addresses of American operatives around the world. Hmmm... Well, do it again.

We can use the attention we'll get to fuck loose women without a condom. Again.

Re:Listen, Nigger (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42042619)

Maybe for WikiLeaks' next journalistic exercise it can publish the names and address of people working to further America's interests around the world.

It would put their lives at risk, but (...)

It could also save lives, if you enter the lives of those whose interests they're working against into the equation. Many lives, in fact, if wars across the Arab world since 1948 are anything to go by.

Re:Listen, Nigger (0)

MightyYar (622222) | about 2 years ago | (#42042855)

Yes, I'm sure that WikiLeaks will prevent war.

Re:Listen, Nigger (2)

TheP4st (1164315) | about 2 years ago | (#42043347)

>Oh wait.. Wikileaks has already disclosed the names and addresses of American operatives around the world. Hmmm... Well, do it again.

Did your panties also get in a bundle when the Bush Administration made the name of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame public with the kind help of Washington Post in 2003?

Re:Listen, Nigger (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42043857)

Not speaking for the AC, but as a Republican I can say yes. And I believe that Scooter Libby was rightly punished for it (even if Bush subsequently pardoned him)...

Re:Listen, Nigger (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42045219)

Hey, retarded person! Why should Wikileaks do anything that is in the interest of America? Or why should Wikileaks even consider whether something is in the interest of America or not?

Re:True dat (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 2 years ago | (#42044059)

The funny part is that you thought they ever were in the first place.

Re:True dat (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 2 years ago | (#42046635)

Journalists really are no longer in the business of letting their readers know what their government doesn't want them to know.

The old journalists have now been replaced with livejournalists.

Re:Journalism.....!? (5, Informative)

MightyYar (622222) | about 2 years ago | (#42042839)

The irony is that it was a "true journalist" that accidentally leaked the encryption key to the WikiLeaks archive with the embassy cables. WikiLeaks up to that point seemed to know their limitations and was working with established journalists to release the cables in a controlled fashion.

Re:Journalism.....!? (1)

jythie (914043) | about 2 years ago | (#42043615)

Not sure why this got modded 'troll'....

Re:Journalism.....!? (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 2 years ago | (#42044911)

The funny part is that I'm usually on the "anti-WikiLeaks" side of things (must be my closet authoritarianism), but I have to give them credit when it is due :)

No, it's win-win! (1)

u64 (1450711) | about 2 years ago | (#42048033)

Wikileaks becomes better when working with journalists. And journalism becomes better with leaks from Wikileaks.

Regulation is problematic (3, Interesting)

concealment (2447304) | about 2 years ago | (#42042141)

While I like regulation in many cases, like nuclear power plants, in my experience new regulations are like cables.

When you put all the cables on the floor, they're more likely to snag your legs, or get entangled and knotted with each other.

This is why sometimes the solution is fewer regulations, and more direct solutions. If relatively few companies control our banking or money flow, the solution may be to break up some large companies.

I think the feds are about to do this to Google for their near-total-dominance of search results and search-based advertising. Too much power in one set of hands can be destructive, unless that set of hands truly does "do no evil."

Re:Regulation is problematic (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42042197)

in my experience new regulations are like cables. When you put all the cables on the floor, they're more likely to snag your legs, or get entangled and knotted with each other.

I guess that's where the analogy starts and ends? If you have a necessity for that many cables running across your floor, just install a false floor so you can run them under the panels.

Re:Regulation is problematic (1)

Moblaster (521614) | about 2 years ago | (#42042253)

The analogy does not end there. He could buy a wireless router and totally reframe the whole analysis.

Re:Regulation is problematic (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about 2 years ago | (#42046361)

The analogy does not end there. He could buy a wireless router and totally reframe the whole analysis.

Hmm... I wonder why the supercomputer guys didn't think of it for interconnecting those thousands of cores...?

Re:Regulation is problematic (4, Insightful)

Laglorden (87845) | about 2 years ago | (#42042279)

Maybe there should be a regulation then "don't put all those cables on the ground" ;)

In my experience analogies are like fauly watches, they are seldom correct and most of the times gives a sense of undestandning something but in reality just complicates things.

Re:Regulation is problematic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42042397)

I agree, similes are much better, like cake is better than cookies.

Cables are good or bad (5, Insightful)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 2 years ago | (#42042345)

If you throw cables on the floor for any reason, or string them at random heights or intervals to please one particular person, yes - they can bring all progress to a halt.

Properly planned and distributed, however, they can take a seemingly impossible task - such as spanning a large body of water, capturing a large number of fish, jumping out of an airplane from several thousand feet up and landing safely, or climbing a very tall structure - and make it a straightforward task.

The only difference between gridlock and utility is the thought and care with which the regulations are laid.

Re:Regulation is problematic (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42042357)

This is why sometimes the solution is fewer regulations, and more direct solutions.

Somebody has to be the first to mention bitcoin, so I guess it will be me...
Though it might not be the be-all-end-all at least it does solve the abuses of power that can come from governments trying to stop the flow of money between people who actually do want to send money from one person to another.

Re:Regulation is problematic (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42042631)

Agreed.

Power corrupts, etc. By the same token, that which uncontrollable and cannot be regulated is incorruptible.

We can use some incorruptible functions in our infrastructure.

Re:Regulation is problematic (1)

davecb (6526) | about 2 years ago | (#42042915)

Sure, if the incorruptible thing is a universal good (in either the economic or religious sense of "good"). An incorruptible bad would be ... er, bad!

Re:Regulation is problematic (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 2 years ago | (#42048647)

"Though it might not be the be-all-end-all at least it does solve the abuses of power that can come from governments trying to stop the flow of money between people who actually do want to send money from one person to another."

This is precisely why cash must be preserved at all costs. If money transfer ever becomes exclusively electronic, you will be owned.

Re:Regulation is problematic (2, Interesting)

Dan667 (564390) | about 2 years ago | (#42042415)

regulation is a necessary evil. The financial meltdown under bush/cheney was mostly a result of conservatives removing banking regulations and banks gambling with money they use to not be able to. Even Alan Greenspan commented he thought banks would show some restraint out of self preservation, but he was wrong.

Re:Regulation is problematic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42042429)

Where is it written that a company can't be too big?

Oh yeah, the regulations....

What is your point?

Re:Regulation is problematic (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42043161)

His point is that history shows that companies who concentrate lots of power tend to abuse it.

Re:Regulation is problematic (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42042637)

While I like regulation in many cases, like nuclear power plants, in my experience new regulations are like cables.

When you put all the cables on the floor, they're more likely to snag your legs, or get entangled and knotted with each other.

This is why sometimes the solution is fewer regulations, and more direct solutions. [...]

Listen. To me. Your. Guy. Lost. The. Election. Already.

Re:Regulation is problematic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42042795)

How is the breakup of companies a conservative position? Also, how does losing an election (even assuming he did) equate to not being allowed to voice opinions?

Why would they want to hinder the NSA??? (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | about 2 years ago | (#42042685)

i would like to see how many Google Employees have popped up on the NSA payroll.

Re:Regulation is problematic (3, Interesting)

suutar (1860506) | about 2 years ago | (#42042779)

I like this, personally; I feel that 'too big to (be allowed to) fail' equates directly to 'too big to be left as a time bomb' and getting bailed out should include getting broken up. But then again I feel that one of the great periods in consumer choice on the internet was when those who owned the wires were forced to allow anyone to use the wires who wanted to (at a reasonable rate), and that it would be lovely to go back to that. (Or better yet, just break up into a wire-owning company, a content-generation company, and a data-shovelling company.)

Re:Regulation is problematic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42042987)

... Too much power in one set of hands can be destructive...

That describes government in general.

Re:Regulation is problematic (1)

Sique (173459) | about 2 years ago | (#42045495)

That's why we have mechanisms in place designed to hand over the power in the government as painlessly as possible on a regular basis. It's called democracy. A good measure of democracy is the inverse of the amount of force needed to replace the persons in power. Democracy is stronger, if the force needed is less.

Yes, there tends to be little physical force... (1)

Ellis D. Tripp (755736) | about 2 years ago | (#42046517)

involved in the US electoral process. But I wouldn't say that fact indicates that we have a "strong democracy" here.

Brute force has been replaced with the strategic application of cubic shitloads of MONEY. If anything, such a situation is a hell of a lot LESS democratic than mob rule would be. Just about anybody could scrape together some guns and enough people to try to take out undesirable politicians by force if that's the way they want to go about it, but only elite moneyed interests are able to mount a realistic electoral challenge through our political system.

A system where the vast majority of the people have no practical ability to influence the behavior of a politician short of an assassination attempt is NOT a "strong democracy" in my book...

Re:Regulation is problematic (1)

jythie (914043) | about 2 years ago | (#42043653)

I am not even sure we could break up a transnational like Visa or Mastercard. Who has authority over them? The best a country can do is say 'if you want to do business in our borders, you must follow XYZ rules'.

Re:Regulation is problematic (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 2 years ago | (#42048715)

"I am not even sure we could break up a transnational like Visa or Mastercard. Who has authority over them? The best a country can do is say 'if you want to do business in our borders, you must follow XYZ rules'."

Easy. Designate them as banks. Then they can be regulated.

That should have been done to PayPal long ago, and already has been done in Europe.

Re:Regulation is problematic (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42043701)

Oh Americans... will you ever realize, that regulation is when you get to say "No! Stop it! We won't have it like this! Now it's my rules!"

Which is your only damn defense against those 20-page terms & conditions contracts.

Why the hell you would complain about such regulation, that does you good, and instead choose to defend the companies, that get to do way too much already, so they can do even more evil shit, is a riddle to us non-Americans.

It's like a rape victim complaining that his savior should not tell his rapist what to do so much.

Then again, in North Korea, they really believe that if you touch an American flag, your hands will rot off. As if that would really actually happen...

So I guess people can be brainwashed into almost any delusion... even that their rapist would be the one that needs "more freedom"... and protecting your own rights would be "harming the free market".

Re:Regulation is problematic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42045429)

Well it certainly appears too many people believe the average US citizen really gives a shit what people in other countries do or think. There's been too much acrimony foist upon the "Americans" that nobody really cares about cooperation. international or otherwise.

Re:Regulation is problematic (4, Insightful)

TheRealGrogan (1660825) | about 2 years ago | (#42045767)

They are conditioned to believe this shit at early ages... "If you want to be rich some day, you have to think this way and support Free Market Capitalism. Anything else is just bad, and you don't need to know any more about it. Let's just call it all Socialism. It kind of rhymes with Satan, well, it starts with the same letter, at least."

This is why you have stupid people, who haven't a pot to piss in, that lobby against things that are in their own interests, in favour of the corporate greed.

Ordinary workers, living from paycheck to paycheck, getting in debt, saying that at least under (Insert Republican candidate they've been conditioned to support) they get to "keep what they have". No sir, they don't want anything like subsidized health care, they'd rather go into mortal debt for an emergency appendectomy. At least they are living the American Dream and doing it on their own, because government handouts are Socialism, which is the same as Communism (See, the old U.S.S.R. had the word "Socialist" in the title)

Now these big companies, whose "freedom" they worship, are wanting to claw back their meager wages and benefits while execs get bonuses. Damn those unions for interfering with the God Given Rights of the corporations.

Of course not all Americans are this obtuse, it's just that they are also taught to be very vocal when others don't agree with their beliefs, or criticize their country.

Re:Regulation is problematic (1)

V for Vendetta (1204898) | about 2 years ago | (#42044115)

This is why sometimes the solution is fewer regulations, and more direct solutions. If relatively few companies control our banking or money flow, the solution may be to break up some large companies.

I don't see how "break up some large" is anthing other than a reworded "regulation".

Re:Regulation is problematic (1)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | about 2 years ago | (#42044151)

The analogy is problematic but promising. You like regulations in some cases (power plants) but presumably not others. However you are stating the problem is with the number of regulations, rather than how and where they are applied. If your analogy shifted to "rather than all the cables in an unorganized mess on the floor, you organize them so people don't trip". Essentially, you make it simple to follow the rules and comply for anyone within their domain of expertise, and not such a horrible mess you need to hire a professional to help you navigate the regulations. (This might also apply to taxes).

Re:Regulation is problematic (1)

s73v3r (963317) | about 2 years ago | (#42044169)

If relatively few companies control our banking or money flow, the solution may be to break up some large companies

Wouldn't that be even more regulation?

Re:Regulation is problematic (1)

ryzvonusef (1151717) | about 2 years ago | (#42044743)

HEAVENS NO!

That's a horrible analogy. Your solution would imply we should remove all the *cables*(hindrances) from the floor, but that would deprive us of the benefit those *cables*(resources) were to provide! (see the paradox?)

A better analogy would be deceleration mechanisms on roads; improperly designed and placed speed bumps are a *major* annoyance, but the solution is NOT to eliminate them all together; since they are also what stop a speeding car from killing a silly kid crossing the road.

What we need are better made and placed speed-breakers etc.

The opposite of bad regulations/red-tapeism is NOT de-regularization or out-right elimination of relevant regulations. It's actually making the *effort*, for *proper* regulations.

Now that is something to think about... (3, Insightful)

3seas (184403) | about 2 years ago | (#42042207)

...how it is that banks can control the abstract tool used for easing trade ......

So I want to trade you for something you have but I don't have what you want so we used this abstract tool to allow you to then get what you want from some one else.
But we cannot even do that because some bank which originated in the support of the basic idea of this abstract tool decides they don;t want to?

They are contradicting the purpose of the abstract tool of money. They are contradicting their own original objective.

Re:Now that is something to think about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42042401)

They are contradicting the purpose of the abstract tool of money.

No they're not. Noone is stopping you from using your money to buy something from another person. You can take your money out of the bank and bring it to that person for one. The banks introduced new ways of paying for stuff that are generally a lot more efficient for this day and age (online purchases are a good example), but they just don't offer it for every conceivable scenario.

Re:Now that is something to think about... (3, Insightful)

s73v3r (963317) | about 2 years ago | (#42044235)

Noone is stopping you from using your money to buy something from another person

This argument is complete and utter horseshit. If I cannot transfer money, they are in fact stopping me from doing it. No bank or credit card agency should be allowed to prevent me from making a lawful transfer without good reason. And "I don't like what that organization is doing" is NOT a good reason. Not when you have entrenched yourself so deeply in the global financial infrastructure.

Re:Now that is something to think about... (1)

realityimpaired (1668397) | about 2 years ago | (#42044683)

They're not preventing you from transferring funds, they're refusing to let it happen through their service.

There is absolutely nothing stopping you from taking out a bank draft or a money order, or a certified cheque, or a regular cheque, or going to Western Union, or from mailing cash, or from using any of the many other methods available to move money from one point to another. They have every right to refuse to let the transaction pass through their electronic network.

Re:Now that is something to think about... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42046399)

They have every right to refuse to let the transaction pass through their electronic network.

And the EU have every right to deny them that right.

Re:Now that is something to think about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42048427)

bullshit.

I cannot transfer funds to wikileaks.

the banks certainly SHOULD NOT have the right to tell me who I can give my money to - whether I am 'using their service' or not - their service is to transfer money to whom *I* deem fit - not who *THEY* deem fit.

You'd have to be pretty bloody dim not to realize that when the service providers get together and start choosing who you're allowed to give money to, they can negatively impact the people they don't want you to give the money to.

OTHERWISE why the hell would they bother? Understand?

catch-22 (4, Insightful)

doug141 (863552) | about 2 years ago | (#42042243)

What will finance companies do when one government's laws make it illegal to do business with some entities, while another government's laws mandate it?

Money (4, Insightful)

Frankie70 (803801) | about 2 years ago | (#42042277)

Donate money to one or both the governments and get the laws fixed. Next Question.

Re:Money (5, Interesting)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | about 2 years ago | (#42043571)

No, we already know what happens in this situation. US law takes precedence. Example: Danish company wires $26k to a German bank and the payment is seized by the USA [b.dk] because it was a payment for Cuban cigars.

The EU has a terrible track record when it comes to stuff like this. SWIFT was the only major payment network that was a European company and the US Treasury completely compromised it by seizing their US datacenter. So they built another datacenter in Europe so they could have multi-homed operations without exposure to the USA and whilst construction was being done, the US put huge pressure on the bureaucrats who then rolled over and said, sure, you can have all the data you want from SWIFT. So if the EU parliament really wants payment networks to stop doing things because the US wouldn't like it, the first step is to cut off the US Treasuries unilateral access to SWIFT data. But they won't.

Re:Money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42043841)

Translation for non-Americans:

Bribe one or both governments and get the laws to serve the company, at your expense. Next Question.

It's sad, how bribery got from a a thing that got you in prison for 10 years for treason, and was only done in secret, to something done completely in the open, as if it was normal, and called "donation".

I'm not saying my country is better. I'm saying in a real democracy, every single person involved in giving anything (even a single cent, or a stock tip, or a statue) to a government/party member, would end up in prison for the better part of his life, or be thrown out of the country as a traitor and an enemy of the state.
And they better not call companies "people" or the whole damn company will be shut down for a decade, and be told to go fuck itself.

Re:Money (1)

demoncleaner925 (2718229) | about 2 years ago | (#42047187)

next question? your solution seems oversimplified. good luck answering the next world problem!

Re:catch-22 (1)

tilante (2547392) | about 2 years ago | (#42042281)

Have to make a decision about which government they want to anger the least, of course.

Re:catch-22 (1)

Khashishi (775369) | about 2 years ago | (#42042315)

That's what happens when you are a multinational corporation. The solution is probably to spawn semi-autonomous business units in each country.

Re:catch-22 (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 2 years ago | (#42042359)

Follow the jurisdiction you're in: For example, you can't do business from the US with Wikileaks, but have to allow business from the Ecuador with Wikileaks, that sort of thing.

Re:business from the US with Wikileaks (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42042687)

http://www.wikileaks.org/Banking-Blockade.html

According to WikiLeaks own site (link above), my United States government has no law against giving them money. Some US-based banks are acting on their own.

European finance should not depend on US privates companies, i.e. banks, to provide electronic payments. Where are the French and German based credit card companies? Surely, Switzerland can manage to create one.

Re:business from the US with Wikileaks (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42043193)

US-based banks are acting on their own.

Joke of the decade. It's in banks' interests to process as many transactions as possible. They'd refuse service only if (a) the service will cause them harm or (b) someone is forcing their hand. I don't see how revealing government's secret deals harms banks.

Re:business from the US with Wikileaks (1)

s73v3r (963317) | about 2 years ago | (#42044259)

Because they were also threatening to reveal secrets from the bankers.

Re:catch-22 (4, Informative)

fredprado (2569351) | about 2 years ago | (#42042387)

What they always do. Deny service to those people with credit cards from the countries that want to forbid and allow service to those people with credit cards from the countries that mandate it.

Zombies (3, Informative)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 2 years ago | (#42042419)

You can just clone a corporation by cutting it into two independent pieces. Like a zombie, but eating money instead of brains. And regenerating all the missing parts instantly after cutting it in two. With the right shell structure, you can usually avoid those problems long enough to get new laws written - like waiting around for the food and ammo to run out on your human victims. With enough lawyers, corporations can just hang out until the conditions are right for consolidation of resources. And a feast of brains.

Re:Zombies (1)

somersault (912633) | about 2 years ago | (#42042577)

And a feast of brains.

After which there will be no more brains left to feast on. They'd be better off making sure that the humans have a sustainable supply of food and ammo.

Then again it's not immortal zombies running these businesses, it's mortals. So they probably don't care what happens after the feast.

Re:catch-22 (1)

jythie (914043) | about 2 years ago | (#42043709)

Shell companies. This is already common practice for getting around conflicting (or simply inconvenient) laws for transnationals.

Re:catch-22 (1)

s73v3r (963317) | about 2 years ago | (#42044247)

I really don't care how bad the finance companies feel they've got it. They did this to themselves.

Where is the capitalism? (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 2 years ago | (#42042541)

I'd love it if RSM offered a FSF credit card, with a gnu on it.
If the status quo is evil, where is the free alternative?

Re:Where is the capitalism? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42043429)

So you are proposing letting a Jewish pedophile to handle your money? How is that different from the current Jewish bankers?

Re:Where is the capitalism? (1)

s73v3r (963317) | about 2 years ago | (#42044333)

It takes an absolute fuckload of money to start up a credit card company/bank.

What could possibly go wrong? (1, Interesting)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 2 years ago | (#42042645)

Just government arrogating onto itself more power, in this case, it wants to be the only entity that can cut off CC service to disfavored groups.

This is going in the wrong direction. Learn some history.

Re:What could possibly go wrong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42042747)

If anyone should have the power to cut payment services to anyone, I'd prefer it to be the courts rather than some random dude on the board of a private corporation.

Re:What could possibly go wrong? (1)

s73v3r (963317) | about 2 years ago | (#42044351)

Nope. Not what's happening at all. They're simply saying that a credit card company cannot deny your transaction just because they don't like who the money is going to.

I don't give a flying fuck how "private" the banks/CCs are. They have deeply entrenched themselves in our financial infrastructure. Doing so means they have obligated themselves certain responsibilities. There is absolutely no valid reason whatsoever that Visa should be able to tell me who I can and cannot transfer money to. Even if it is using their service.

Not "American fundamentalist moralism" (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42042717)

The MEP, Christian Engström", who instigated this is being disengenous when he claims the problem he is fighting is "American fundamentalist moralism". If you RTFA you find out that it was Swedish banks denying purchases of "horror movies, movies with nudity, or sex toys" and trying to shove blame off on "vague rules from Visa and Mastercard". Mastercard, Visa, and PayPal allow purchases of these items every day the world over. He should instead be blaming Swedish fundamentalist moralism. This strikes me as nothing more than another European statist power grab against an American company. If the Europeans want in on the payment processing business then they should create a competing company, not use big government to attempt to seize power over American companies.

Re:Not "American fundamentalist moralism" (4, Informative)

mrbester (200927) | about 2 years ago | (#42042935)

There's also the issue that you can donate to the KKK using Visa but can't donate to Wikileaks because Visa have arbitrarily deemed them "guilty" of some crime, most likely at the behest of US Govt.

Re:Not "American fundamentalist moralism" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42043151)

While it is true that Visa blocked donations to Wikileaks and I agree that it was likely done at the request of the U.S. government I do not think the answer is more government. If people are afraid that the blocking of Wikileaks is just the tip of the iceberg then it provides a market opportunity for another card processing company to form outside of the U.S. I would prefer to see that happen than the Europeans decide that they can tell a private sector business that they must provide service. One reason for this is that it can create an impossible situation for companies. If the U.S. government says "you may not process Wikileaks donations or we'll shut you down" and the Europeans say "you must process Wikileaks donations or we'll shut you down", where does that leave a company? They are damned if they do and damned if they don't. The better solution is more, diverse options in the payment processing marketplace.

Re:Not "American fundamentalist moralism" (1)

s73v3r (963317) | about 2 years ago | (#42044413)

While it is true that Visa blocked donations to Wikileaks and I agree that it was likely done at the request of the U.S. government I do not think the answer is more government.

That's too bad, as there are no other viable alternatives.

If people are afraid that the blocking of Wikileaks is just the tip of the iceberg then it provides a market opportunity for another card processing company to form outside of the U.S.

You people keep saying that, and yet it NEVER FUCKING HAPPENS. Besides, I don't want to have to worry about which payment processor will accept which payments. They should not have the right to deny me the service.

I would prefer to see that happen than the Europeans decide that they can tell a private sector business that they must provide service

And I would far, far, far rather see it happen that a company can entrench itself in the global financial infrastructure and make it obscenely difficult to do business without them cannot arbitrarily decide what they will and will not allow on the channels that they themselves have taken over.

One reason for this is that it can create an impossible situation for companies.

No, it doesn't.

If the U.S. government says "you may not process Wikileaks donations or we'll shut you down" and the Europeans say "you must process Wikileaks donations or we'll shut you down", where does that leave a company?

Process Wikileaks transactions.

The better solution is more, diverse options in the payment processing marketplace.

Which have not fucking materialized, and would take far too long to do so. I have no interest in waiting for someone to try to start up a new payment processor.

Re:Not "American fundamentalist moralism" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42045735)

While it is true that Visa blocked donations to Wikileaks and I agree that it was likely done at the request of the U.S. government I do not think the answer is more government.

That's too bad, as there are no other viable alternatives.

[..]

Process Wikileaks transactions.

In this context, the credit card payment processors are in a similar position to SWIFT (the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication), who process most international wire transfers. SWIFT is a company based in Belgium, and because of sanctions imposed by the EU, is unable to process transactions involving most Iranian banks.(Since this ban, Turkey has been buying Iranian oil with physical gold.)

SWIFT saying "The EU told us not to do deal with Iran" is the same as Visa saying "The US told us not to deal with Wikileaks".

Re:Not "American fundamentalist moralism" (3, Insightful)

davecb (6526) | about 2 years ago | (#42043065)

If you RTFA you find out that it was Swedish banks denying purchases of "horror movies, movies with nudity, or sex toys" and trying to shove blame off on "vague rules from Visa and Mastercard".

Oddly enough, contemporary Swedish fundamentalist moralism doesn't seem to include problems with "horror movies, movies with nudity, or sex toys". It may have a real problem with wikileaks, though, comparable to the problem the U.S. (and UK, and, and ...) governments have with wikileaks.

Visa and Mastercard have a significant problem with displeasing governments: if you don't forbid them acting in concert to please their home governments, your country gets whatever the U.S wants (as discussed in several other threads in this discussion).

--dave

Re:Not "American fundamentalist moralism" (4, Informative)

Christian Engstrom (633834) | about 2 years ago | (#42043427)

No, it was the payment service providers Visa, MasterCard and PayPal who took the decisions to block, not the Swedish banks.

Re:Not "American fundamentalist moralism" (1)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | about 2 years ago | (#42043727)

Can you back that up with something more substantial? I found this in depth article [wordpress.com] and it paints a very muddy picture. PayPal suspended their account and then re-activated it again, but that sort of thing is par for the course with them. The banks that were interviewed all seemed to say either, "decisions are made by local branches, we don't control it" or "VISA and Mastercard forbid businesses selling obscene things" (ok) but also that the banks have ethical policies and may "refuse to engage if it would damage the brand".

Re:Not "American fundamentalist moralism" (1)

Troed (102527) | about 2 years ago | (#42048089)

Here you go:

När Kulturnyheterna talar med Jan-Olof Brunila på Swedbank säger han att det är kortföretag som Visa och Master Card som bestämt om de avtal som Swedbank följer.

http://www.svt.se/kultur/banker-stoppar-kop-av-skrackfilm [www.svt.se]

Re:Not "American fundamentalist moralism" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42048567)

He's correct.

Senator for Joseph Lieberman (I)srael made some calls to the banks and had wikileaks shut down.

Re:Not "American fundamentalist moralism" (2)

TheP4st (1164315) | about 2 years ago | (#42043581)

Mastercard, Visa, and PayPal allow purchases of these items every day the world over.

FYI PayPal recently closed a Swedish online retailers account for selling titles that contain words like sex and violence.

Source (Swedish): http://www.gp.se/ekonomi/1.1128282-betalforetag-censurerar-sex-och-skrack [www.gp.se]

Re:Not "American fundamentalist moralism" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42045603)

, not use big government to attempt to seize power over American companies.

The motivation behind this legislation is the claim that the payment processors operate a complex monopoly, and the regulation of monopolies is very much the purview of governments. And it's a reasonable motivation - we live in a more-or-less cashless society, where the ability to process credit/debit card payments is completely fundamental to any form of trade, which makes Visa/MC almost into a de facto public utility.

The details will be horrible, though. The processors charge businesses varying rates for their services, depending on amongst other things the rate of chargebacks at that business (or at similar kinds of business). Without looking at any data, it seems likely that pornographers and olnline sex toy vendors might experience a higher chargeback rate than average, and so should expect to pay higher fees. Will the legislation mandate a particular fee, or can a processor tell Sex Toys, Inc. that they can have an account, but there'll be a 30% fee.

Re:Not "American fundamentalist moralism" (1)

ultranova (717540) | about 2 years ago | (#42046427)

If the Europeans want in on the payment processing business then they should create a competing company, not use big government to attempt to seize power over American companies.

Europeans can't seize power over American companies due to not having physical capacity to do so. On the other hand, Europeans can seize power over the portions of international corporations that operate within EU. And why shouldn't they? "Big government" is not a boogeyman in Europe, so appeals to it are not a sufficient reason.

Why on Earth should any country avoid seizing power over its own territory and the companies that operate there? Do you think companies are sovereigns?

Journalism? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42042949)

Let's be frank; Wikileaks is not journalism. Journalistic ethics requires people to hide their sources, which Wikileaks is clearly incapable of doing, as well as doing an extraordinarily poor job of redaction. Also, I seriously doubt the definition of journalism is "grab a bunch of documents and post them online like a firehose, and let the people sort it out", which is what Wikileaks does. Wikileaks makes no effort to put it into context, to weed out what's irrelevant, etc. etc., which is what journalism is supposed to do.

I know there's a reflexive defensiveness regarding Wikileaks on Slashdot; some of what they do is acceptable and some if it is not. But calling them journalists is going a bit too far in the Wikileaks love.

Re:Journalism? (1)

lattyware (934246) | about 2 years ago | (#42043093)

I think you are confusing 'journalism' with 'good journalism'. Journalism is the investigation into, and reporting of, events. Wikileaks fits into that definition.

BIIIIIITTTTCOOOOIIINNNSSS!!! (2)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 2 years ago | (#42043705)

Just saying, this is THE reason they were invented. You can get money to anyone in the world in approx 10 minutes without any oversight of blocking or interception or BS like Paypal and the big CCs try to pull.

Re:BIIIIIITTTTCOOOOIIINNNSSS!!! (5, Insightful)

SirGarlon (845873) | about 2 years ago | (#42043829)

You can get money to anyone in the world in approx 10 minutes

Sure, if you have an extraordinarily loose definition of "money."

Fuck them (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42044173)

Good, how about nationalizing them, or simply providing free government infrastructure for payments?

As far as I can tell Visa/Mastercard are just parasites who offer no value at all and only survive due to inertia/network effects.

This Article doesn't say much (1)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 2 years ago | (#42044177)

It says that a member of European Parliament is gonna write a bill. That is not particularly surprising. It is, after all, his job to write bills.

It doesn't say anything about how the other MEPs will vote on the bill, or whether European regulations would supersede national regulations in this case.

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