Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Your credit is good but...you are on a terrorist list?

On the heels of the earlier article I posted about on the TIDE program and some of the problems they were having comes this troubling article from the Washington Post. It appears a list of possible terrorists is being used in a manner that a group called the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area is taking issue with:

The lawyers' committee has documented at least a dozen cases in which U.S. customers have had transactions denied or delayed because their names were a partial match with a name on the list, which runs more than 250 pages and includes 3,300 groups and individuals. No more than a handful of people on the list, available online, are U.S. citizens.

Yet anyone who does business with a person or group on the list risks penalties of up to $10 million and 10 to 30 years in prison, a powerful incentive for businesses to comply. The law's scope is so broad and guidance so limited that some businesses would rather deny a transaction than risk criminal penalties, the report finds.

Realistically I can't blame a business person for deciding it's just not worth it to take the risk which again points out the critical need for these lists to be more accurate...It also points out the need if you read the complete article for people not to over-react and assume that a person wanting to buy a treadmill as one of the examples given, is delayed because their first name is Hussein....

1 comment:

Hooda Thunkit said...

So, if one were to resort to legally changing their name to avoid the hassles, would they be permitted to?

Or, would the judge deny the change for the very same reasons?

What if I wanted my name to Hussein, would I be permitted to?

Kinda highlights the utter stupidity of it all, doesn't it?