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United States Government Privacy Politics Your Rights Online

Another Anti-Terror List Impacting Businesses, Customers 237

Posted by Zonk
from the how-dare-you-be-named-that dept.
HangingChad writes "MSNBC is running a story about yet another government database designed to thwart terrorists and drug dealers that is having impact on people with similar names. Like a no-fly list for businesses, the Office of Foreign Asset Control's list of 'specially designated nationals' has been used in the past by banks and other financial institutions to block financial transactions of drug dealers and other criminals. Use of the list was expanded after 9-11 and now includes almost any financial transaction. Moreover, there is no minimum amount of money attached to penalties for selling to someone on the list: selling a sandwich to a 'specially designated national' can have a fine for up to '$10 million and 10 to 30 years in prison.' The article goes on: 'Businesses have used it to screen applicants for home and car loans, apartments and even exercise equipment, according to interviews and a report by the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay area to be issued today.'"
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Another Anti-Terror List Impacting Businesses, Customers

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  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @08:35AM (#18500409)
    I hear Pablo Escobar of Flushing, NY hasn't been able to get a car loan since 9-11.

    But seriously, what really sucks about this list is that it has never been widely publicized. A would venture to guess that the VAST majority of businesses in the U.S. have never even heard of it, yet could find themselves doing business with someone on it, even in a minor capacity (and facing jail time as a result).

    At the other, equally disturbing, end of the spectrum, we have even tiny businesses facing the possibility of just having to completely block out anyone on it (since they don't have the time or resources to verify if this is *THE* Hassad Al-Gurandi), locking many innocent people out of even the most basic business transaction. The law puts the burden of verification almost completely on businesses themselves, leaving them little alternative. The Treasury Department, when asked about this, ducks out of it with a lame "Hey, call the guys who made the screening software, not us."

    The Treasury Dept. needs to either own up to this or abolish it. If they're going to have this, they need to provide an easy, quick way to both verify someone on it and and equally easy way to get off it, if you are wrongly included.

    Right now it sounds like yet another law the government can threaten businesses with, even if they've never even heard of it. Ignorance of the law may be no excuse. But when the government is knowingly hiding the laws, it should be.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by faloi (738831)
      Even an English surname won't save you. There are lots of names on the list, including Congresspeople. The odd thing is that, apparently, a spending bill was passed to clear up the list [govexec.com], wonder if that'll help at all.
      • by mpe (36238) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @08:48AM (#18500561)
        Even an English surname won't save you. There are lots of names on the list, including Congresspeople.

        Those might be legitimatly on there though :)
        • by mikael (484) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @09:23AM (#18501021)
          Britain had a similar privately maintained list for companies and people - it was the just about the only database that was stored on paper (a legal loophole allowed databases stored on paper to be exempt from data protection laws). The only problem was that Conservative company directors kept putting their business rivals on the list. One tabloid newspaper highlighted this by attending an annual conference and giving business owners their database details for ten pounds (then watching the resulting chain-reaction).
      • by elrous0 (869638) *
        I wonder how many Ramirez Rodriguez's alone there are out there. Must be thousands of them. Hell, I went to college with one.

        -Eric

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by dattaway (3088)
          I wonder how many Ramirez Rodriguez's alone there are out there.....Hell, I went to college with one.

          Expect an interview shortly.
      • by morgan_greywolf (835522) * on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @09:16AM (#18500935) Homepage Journal
        Most, if not all of the names on the list [treas.gov] are non-English surnames. And I couldn't find a single U.S. Congresscritter on the list, though there were plenty of Congress/MPs/Presidents/Dictators/etc. from other countries, most of them in Bush's 'Axis of Evil'.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by arth1 (260657)

          Most, if not all of the names on the list [treas.gov] are non-English surnames.

          Like Charles Taylor, Agnes Taylor, Karen Matthew, Charles Bright and Donovan Marshall, you mean?

          Never mind that there's plenty of citizens born and raised in this country that have names like Abu Ahmed, Shu Chen and Antonio Romero (all of which are on the list) -- are they less worthy of protection than Joe Smith?

          Also worth noting is that many of the names on the list are not linked to terrorism in any way, but are either affilia

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by rthille (8526)
        I'm going to change my name to:
        11001010111111101011101010111110 11011110101011011011111011101111
        Pronounced: CAFEBABE DEADBEEF

        I hope that's unique enough. At least when signing up for some stupid web-service I shouldn't have to add a random 3-5 digit number to the end...
    • by PIPBoy3000 (619296) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @08:51AM (#18500607)
      What will be interesting is when this list comes into contact with established anti-discrimination laws. Looking at the list [treas.gov], they're all rather "foreign sounding". I'm guessing some folks think to themselves "Abdul? Well, there's another Abdul on the list, so I better not loan money to this guy."

      On a brighter note, it looks like Slobodan Milosevic won't be getting a car loan here in the states any time soon:

      MILOSEVIC, Slobodan; DOB 20 Aug 1941; POB Pozarevac, Serbia and Montenegro; ex-FRY President; ICTY indictee in custody (individual) [BALKANS]
      • by ray-auch (454705)
        On a brighter note, it looks like Slobodan Milosevic won't be getting a car loan here in the states any time soon:

        Since he's _dead_, getting a loan in his name would come under another entirely different statue (ie. fraud).
      • On a brighter note, it looks like Slobodan Milosevic won't be getting a car loan here in the states any time soon

        yeah, but he did get a heck of a deal on his car insurance...

      • SIMMA DOWN NOW! YA HERE?
      • What will be interesting is when this list comes into contact with established anti-discrimination laws.

        What anti-discrimination laws would apply to this? Seriously, at the federal level, are there any anti-discrimination statutes on the books that prevent the federal government from using nationality and/or race as a factor in determining who gets on this list? I couldn't find a single one.

        And it's worth noting that for each of the people on the list (in theory if not in fact), the US government has spe

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      And if he pays cash for a car and someone hits him he won't be able to collect from either insurance company. According to my insurance excec girlfriend they have to scan the list (or some similar list) for their payee's name before sending out checks.
      • ...by preventing a terrorist from getting any money to repair his car, then of course I'm all for it.

        What if we let him fix his car and then he drives it into a skyscraper?
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by LilGuy (150110)
        Yeah like I'm going to believe that post you troll.

        Girlfriend? Please. Woman insurance exec? Tell me another one.

        I'm going to talk with my supermodel slashdot employee girlfriend about getting you chained underneath that bridge. :P
        • GP post:

          According to my insurance excec girlfriend

          Parent post:

          Woman insurance exec? Tell me another one.

          You misread his post. He specifically stated "excec" not "exec" -- we must forgive him for forgetting to use all-caps, but CEC is the standard abbreviation for Chuck E. Cheese's.

          He is obviously dating an insurance-company employee (could be any position, really) who used to work at Chuck E. Cheese's. We all know that CEC is a cover operation for NSA operations in the US (what, you didn't know where N

    • by CodeBuster (516420) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @10:57AM (#18502247)
      This whole issue touches on a problem that I and others have long perceived with our current legal system and that is the presence of thousands of laws, most of which the average citizen is completely unaware of, that proscribe strict penalties for activities that well meaning and good intentioned citizens engage in on a regular basis (i.e. selling the sandwich to the personal on the "no fly list"). The unwritten rule, of course, is that these laws are invoked only as part of a larger prosecution when the state wants to, "throw the book", at someone, but there is always the threat that they *could* suddenly become arbitrarily enforced on otherwise law abiding citizens to which the authorities only offer the rather weak assurance of, "Trust us, we wouldn't do that to you. This law only applies to criminals." However, recent experience has given even the honest among us pause when that assurance is offered. The other problem inherent to these types of laws is that they engender a lesser respect for the law in general among the population due to the perceived arbitrary nature of the enforcement and that is a very dangerous road to go down for the sake of catching a few more criminals and, "throwing the book at them". The irony here is that through our continued attempts to "get tough on crime" we are increasingly sanctioning ourselves for living normal law abiding lives.
      • by elrous0 (869638) *
        Didn't Ayn Rand once say something to this effect--if you could set up and country where it was impossible to follow every law, then everyone could be labeled a criminal (and hence, locked up at any time)?
    • <tongue in cheek/>You know, this wonderful country was founded by thieves, murderers, zeolets, hores, losers, and dumb asses. And you questioning this logic? Makes perfect sense to me. It looks like one of them got in charge, again.

      "Is this a great country, or what?" - movie Night Shift
    • This is nothing new. Government regulation has become so complex that no one can understand it or adhere to it, even if they are trying. The tax law is a perfect example, but there are far more pervasive and hidden laws that will trip you up only when your political enemies, or someone with a grudge, decides to point them out.

      I heard many years ago that a cop could, for any vehicle that hasn't just pulled out of the dealer lot, pretty much find an infraction at will. While I believe the vast majority of
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by GiMP (10923)
        For many states, not wearing a seatbelt is a crime. If a cop pulls you over for this, can you really prove otherwise? Judges tend to the cop's side.

        A cop *can* pull you over for driving out of a dealer's lot.
  • online services (Score:5, Interesting)

    by aalu.paneer (872021) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @08:35AM (#18500417)
    Does this mean that {free} online services based out of US, like gmail.com, youtube.com, slashdot.org too have to screen users requesting an account soon?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      If you can explain how those companies are selling them a product, then yeah. Since they are not, I don't see why this is modded Score: 5, Interesting.
    • I would assume that unless there is a financial transaction involved, it isn't likely. This list only involves enteties who have trade restrictions against them.
  • by Bloke down the pub (861787) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @08:37AM (#18500439)

    Businesses have used it to screen applicants for home and car loans, apartments and even exercise equipment, according to interviews and a report by the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay area to be issued today.
    A spokesperson for the organisation later added "er, please don't put us on it".
  • The list (Score:5, Informative)

    by Harmonious Botch (921977) * on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @08:37AM (#18500447) Homepage Journal
    • by dave420 (699308)
      Now available in arctic-fresh XML! [treas.gov]
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Well, not funny to the people who are caught by it.

      The "current" list has a modification date of "3/7/2007", but it still has Saddam Hussein on the list. Yes, that Saddam Hussein. The one who was hung last year. He is listed as being president of Iraq since 1979.

      So, if Saddam Hussein comes out of the grave as an undead zombie and visits the United States he will need to use a new alias if he wants to get a mortgage.

      That makes me feel much safer.
      • by TykeClone (668449)
        He's still on there because the estate hasn't closed yet.
      • The "current" list has a modification date of "3/7/2007", but it still has Saddam Hussein on the list. Yes, that Saddam Hussein.
        And the ultimate irony here is that Saddam Hussein never had any connection to terrorism.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by arth1 (260657)

          And the ultimate irony here is that Saddam Hussein never had any connection to terrorism.

          He used to have strong links to the CIA.

          Regards,
          --
          *Art
    • Here are the Census Bureau's lists of the most common first and last names [census.gov].

      It's fun to do the math. Remember when a "David Nelson"- one criminal of concern- was on the No Fly List (Perhaps he still is)? His being there put all the 5,000 other David Nelsons on the list [aclu.org]. Assuming that each David Nelson flies just twice a year, then well over a year's worth of person-hours were wasted- each time they flew, over and over again- on confirming that the 5,000 weren't the one guy. Time lost to security, and time l
    • How long till that list gets hacked and the whole House of Representatives gets added to it? ;)
      • by arivanov (12034)
        Well...
        They already have half of Macedonia on it. There is an individual named Milan Ivanovic. That is almost like adding John Doe or John Smith to it.
    • Check out page #8, middle section: AHMED THE EGYPTIAN and AHMED THE TALL.

      "Oh my god run! It's a tall Egyptian and his name is Ahmed!

      -Grey [wellingtongrey.net]
    • Let's Slashdot the server! It would be like DDOS attack on the airline industry - we'll bring air transportation to a halt.

      Oh, wait, they don't need any help. Sorry. Nevermind.

  • Good (Score:5, Funny)

    by solevita (967690) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @08:39AM (#18500459)

    Businesses have used it to screen applicants for home and car loans, apartments and even exercise equipment
    Thank the lord. This should keep the bodies of criminal masterminds weak and undeveloped; the last thing we need is some super-villain of unimaginable upper body strength. Well done law makers, keep up the good work.
  • by MalleusEBHC (597600) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @08:46AM (#18500529)
    I bought a car about 6 months ago, and I ran into this. Even though I was paying straight cash, they demanded my SSN so they could run a credit report. They said that they needed to run a credit report to see if I was on this list. I argued with them that I was paying cash, they didn't needed my SSN, etc., but it was late and I eventually relented just to keep the process moving. I had never heard of the list before, so I wasn't very prepared to put up a good argument. Later when I got home I found that the list was online. That made me even more angry, both at the dealership and at myself for not knowing better.

    Don't give up your SSN to people who don't need it!
    • by Billosaur (927319) * <.ten.enilnotpo. .ta. .rehtorgw.> on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @08:57AM (#18500675) Journal

      Your experience points up the reason for the list in the first place: to block transactions that might be used by drug dealers, et. al. A cash transaction is exactly the kind of thing that could be labeled as suspicious, since drug dealers and their ilk often use legitimate purchases as a method of laundering money. And they don't do it in large amounts; a few thousand here and there is often good enough. So even though you were paying cash, that could still be construed as suspicious.

      Mind you, I'm not defending the practice. I frankly think no drug dealer or terrorist in their right mind would use their name or the name of any of their known associates to move money around. far easier to get faceless minions to do it, whom they can disavow easily. It only seems to be a trap for law-abiding citizens who have the unfortunate problem of having a name similar to their local drug kingpin or international terrorist.

      • by WindBourne (631190) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @09:08AM (#18500829) Journal
        Funny thing is that no known terrorists who comes to America uses their real name. They use a different one. Without a pix, this lists has only 1 use; the ability to harass and jail others. And even then, the pix can be easily fooled (add or lose weight; fake implants in the cheek; die hair; grow or lose a mustache; cosmetic surgery; etc).
      • by elrous0 (869638) *
        Wouldn't a REAL terrorist or criminal just use a fake ID?
        • My guess is that the feds would argue that this is a plus, because then they could go after them for having & using a fake ID. It's kind of like how they ended up going after Capone for tax evasion. But that's just a hunch. That and $1 will get you a Coke.
        • by solevita (967690)
          The 911 hijackers used their real names and valid ID. Sure, most ended up invalidating their visas, but only because of factors such as letting it expire or not enrolling for college despite having a student visa. That's not the point however, the point is that a lot of bad things can be done without fake ID. The same thing applied in the recent London bombings as well.

          Believe it or not, but name checks and ID aren't the way to counter terrorism.
    • by zoney_ie (740061)
      I'm glad that as yet, I can buy goods in my country without having any special number.
    • Perhaps, but more likely they wanted to pull your credit score so they could push financing, which typically is more profitable for dealers.

      Ron
    • by TykeClone (668449)
      They don't need your SSN to compare you to the list - just your name.

      But if you were paying more than $10,000 cash for a vehicle, that might trigger a CTR (not sure if that's a requirement for car dealers though), in which case they do need your SSN.
  • Obligatory Quote (Score:5, Insightful)

    by C3ntaur (642283) <centaur@n[ ]agic.net ['etm' in gap]> on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @08:48AM (#18500553) Journal
    "Did you really think we want those laws observed?" said Dr. Ferris. "We want them to be broken. You'd better get it straight that it's not a bunch of boy scouts you're up against... We're after power and we mean it... There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted - and you create a nation of law-breakers - and then you cash in on guilt. Now that's the system, Mr. Reardon, that's the game, and once you understand it, you'll be much easier to deal with." ('Atlas Shrugged' 1957)
    • Rand? Seriously? Shittiest self-styled philosopher and author ever to put pen to page. This passage is about as deep and insightful as "a is a," and about as well written as "My Pet Goat."

      You want a good "Atlas Shrugged" quote? here's my favorite: "the band on the wrist of her naked arm gave her the most feminine of all aspects: the look of being chained." Yeah, Ayn had some serious sexual issues. Not that there's anything wrong with BDSM, heck, I like slapping around a willing playmate now and then, but Ay
  • by YouTalkinToMe (559217) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @08:52AM (#18500625)

    What I love about articles like this is the attempt at "balance". Notice that there are three or four examples of people who are wrongly denied services (of the how many thousand cases that have transpired?). And to "balance" this, they give what was probably the only case in history where such a check might have been relevant (at the end of the article). And even in that case, denying him a car wouldn't have changed anything. It isn't as if he couldn't take the bus to the airport.

    Although this article isn't as bad as some (for example, most articles on global warming or evolution), it is a typical example of how trying to provide "balance" gives people the wrong impression of how likely different events are (i.e., in the article 4 false positives to one real hit, in reality probably many thousands of false positives to one real hit).

    • And even in that case, denying him a car wouldn't have changed anything. It isn't as if he couldn't take the bus to the airport.

      just wait until they make bus drivers check intending passengers against the list when they want a ticket at the bus-stop... after all it is a financial transaction...

      • and just you wait... when this malarkey has been in place for a few months and people are really, really mad at the queues... they'll introduce this nice smart handy RFID implant that allows you to breeze through the checks by just presenting the implant in the back of your right hand...
  • "Molly Millerwise, a Treasury Department spokeswomen, acknowledged that there are "challenges" in complying with the rules but said that the department has extensive guidance on compliance, both on the OFAC Web site and in workshops with industry representatives. She also said most businesses can root out "false positives" on their own. If not, OFAC suggests contacting the firm that provided the screening software or calling an OFAC hotline."

    That's great, unless you live in a place like I do in Southeast

    • by danpsmith (922127)

      That's great, unless you live in a place like I do in Southeast Texas (or probably most of the small towns in the south). People here are always making comments like "you never know, they could be a terrorist" or using what they call 'racial profiling' as an excuse to promote their prejudiced ways. Note: They call it racial profiling, (not political groups, but the rednecks I hear this from) so as not to sound racist. I call that a failure and a coverup. Their actions and statements reinforce their true bel

  • All you need to circumvent these lists is a fake ID.
  • "It's a world much like our own, yet much unlike it. A twisted mirror of reality, in which a man can find himself cast out, made invisible by public acclamation, belonging no longer to society, but only to the gray reaches... of the Twilight Zone."

    The Twilight Zone (1985): "To See the Invisible Man" [tv.com]
  • by eosp (885380) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @09:12AM (#18500873) Homepage
    This note is legal tender for ALL debts, public and private. (emphasis mine) -- US $1 Bill
    • Well, the list prevents people from incurring debt in the first place, so use of money then becomes moot.
  • If someone receive a NSL, he needs to shut up because of the security risk if the investigated person knows (I can undersqtand to a certain extend), but a federal agency is publically giving away a plaintext list of a lot of people they are monitoring. Am I the only one who finds that weird?
  • Back of bus (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Fuzzums (250400) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @09:16AM (#18500927) Homepage
    One day the 'specially designated nationals' will have to sit in the back of the bus.

    My apologies to the people who I may offend now, but these measures are getting more and more ridiculous by the day (just like it was rediculious that people based on skin color had to sit in the back of the bus), and nobody is doing anything about it (yet).
  • by dpilot (134227) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @09:26AM (#18501045) Homepage Journal
    There's the old line:
    Since I'm a law-abiding citizen, I see no problem with government surveillance, wiretaps-without-warrants, etc. They NEED these things to fight TERRORISM!!!

    Are you SURE you're a law-abiding citizen? Do you know about this "Anti-Terror List?" How about the other Anti-Terror List, and that other one, over there? Do you KNOW for sure that everyone you've ever done any sort of business with is not on one of these lists, especially the secret ones that you're not allowed to see?

    Then maybe you're not really a law-abiding citizen, you just don't and can't know it, at least not until WE want to tell you.

    By the way, have you ever had sex using any technique other than missionary position? If so, depending on which state you live in, you may have committed a crime!
    • by dave420 (699308)
      You seem to have an issue with ridiculous laws, as opposed to laws themselves, which is sensible :) Clearly the old addage of law-abiding citizens not having anything to worry about is bullshit, as laws ARE needed to protect people. It's when laws are made that don't protect folks that there's a problem. Clearly we need to outlaw murder and rape, as those things are not nice for anyone involved. Straight-up deep-ballin' shouldn't be illegal, no matter how insanely pornorific one's moves are.
      • by dpilot (134227)
        To be perfectly honest, I can't give you a concrete example, even based on hearsay, about where non-missionary is illegal. But I do remember several years back hearing some sort of appeals court (Don't know if it was state or federal.) upholding a ruling against "sex toys," essentially stating that the State was permitted to forbid you to have them in the privacy of your own home.

        That's just plain silly. Consenting adults, privacy, and all of that.

        But then I think most drug laws are misdirected, too. Not th
        • by terrymr (316118)
          To be perfectly honest, I can't give you a concrete example, even based on hearsay, about where non-missionary is illegal

          The military according to my former MP friend.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by djasbestos (1035410)
      How about I change my name to John Micheal Dave Smith and then publicly donate $1 to al-Qaeda to get into OFAC? Then I will be forever known as the man who destroyed teh economy. Pwned.
  • Terror is synonym for fear.

    "anti-terror list" makes no sense unless you are distinguishing fearful people.

    Likewise, a "war on terror" would end if less people were afraid.
    • by koreth (409849) *

      Likewise, a "war on terror" would end if less people were afraid.

      Which is probably why the proponents of the war on terror so often overhype the dangers of terrorism -- keeps everyone nice and scared.

      (I'm about 100 times more worried about dying in a traffic accident than getting even a scratch from anything remotely related to terrorism, so I guess they've failed in my case.)

  • by GiMP (10923) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @09:59AM (#18501451)
    My business was contacted over a year ago by an organization on this list, looking to purchase web hosting. They had provided a credit card and it was automatically authorized. (but funds were not captured) I recognized the website as being that of a rebellion army listed by the USA and the EU as being a terrorist organization. They were at the time being hosted with another US-based company.

    I had thought that providing services to them would be a double-edged sword. I did not have any particular interest in hosting a terrorist site, but I do not believe in censorship. Additionally, I suspected that such sites would be a good source of information for their enemies. (such as the US) On the other hand, there could be a legal danger of providing such services. Having myself worked for another hosting company that had itself hosted Al Qaeda's website during 9/11, I knew that this was no laughing matter.

    Concerned, I contacted Homeland Security and the Department of Defence, which referred me to the FBI. The FBI expressed interest in this enough to have me speak with an agent via telephone. They requested to meet me in person, but due to string of bank robberies, they didn't have the time to follow through, and finally told me (by phone) that they had no problem with my company accepting money from this organization and providing services to them.

    In the end, I thought it was too risky, only having a verbal confirmation of such, and decided to reject this customer. It was a few months afterwards, that I discovered this list, which was never mentioned to me by any of the discussed government agencies. At that time, I was happy to have rejected the business, but was angry that I was mislead into believing that I could safely conduct business with that organization.

    In this case, I had gone through all the official channels I thought were neccessary and wise, and yet, if I had followed their advice, I would have been breaking the law! Heck, just by corresponding with these people, I likely broke some law or another. I'm quite certain at this point, that by running a small-business, esspecially online, you're just asking for reasons to be put into Guantanamo. Not that they need reasons, anymore.

    At no time was I told that I shouldn't discuss this matter, so I assume that I'm free to do so, although I probably shouldn't make such assumptions.
    • At no time was I told that I shouldn't discuss this matter, so I assume that I'm free to do so, although I probably shouldn't make such assumptions.

      What the hell has happened to your country?

  • Moreover, there is no minimum amount of money attached to penalties for selling to someone on the list: selling a sandwich to a 'specially designated national' can have a fine for up to '$10 million and 10 to 30 years in prison.' Shoot, and I had this great idea to set up a chain of fast-food falafel and shwarma shops in the Afghani Highlands. Meh, I probably would have gotten sued anyway, I was going to call it "Kabul Falafel City".
  • by Experiment 626 (698257) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @10:36AM (#18501975)

    Sure, it would be sad if someone innocent was mixed up in a case of mistaken identity, but something has to be done to stop these guys... some of the entries read like a demon's resume:

    NEAL, COWBOY (a.k.a. COWBOYNEAL; a.k.a. PATER, Johnathan); DOB 30 Jul 57; POB Moscow, Soviet Russia; (individual); citizen Iran; alt. citizen Libya; arrested 1 Apr 2003; escaped 2 Apr 2003; Slashdot number 4 (United States); wanted for small arms trafficking, conspiracy to commit nuclear terrorism, attempted presidential assassination, indecency with a goat [SDT] [SDGT]

  • This list is part of the implementing mechanism of "economic sanctions", hence it is maintained by the "Office of Foreign Assets Control". How else do you think these things are done? Do you think "sanctions" magically implement themselves? If you would rather have economic sanctions as an instrument of policy instead of war, then you certainly can have no complaint here. If you think known money launderers should not be moving financial transactions through US banks, then you also should have no complaint
  • that we did not catch enough terrorists. I am pretty sure there is some James [lifesmith.com] Smith [mongabay.com], or John Johnson, or Robert Williams, or Tim McVeigh walking around ready to 'splode some buildings.

    There must be. Otherwise they will keep doing this.
  • Up to this day i have restrained myself from speaking like this, and even defended u.s. position saying that mistakes and mishaps can happen in democratic processes, however that really does it.

    considering u.s. public voted the idiots who are behind all these charades into power, the bush & co, and considering there are still a goodly number of people who are supporting the party behind these, the republicans, it can be said that a GREAT deal of americans in united states are utterly and plainly STUP
  • There appears to be no requirement to notify of the location of these people. So they are not sought and apparently allowed to be here?

    So long as they stand in one place outside and starve to death ?!?

  • How many terrorists have been detected, arrested, prosecuted and jailed because of the list?

    100, 30, 10, 3, 1, none?

    The only measure of success is terrorists captured. You can't assume that a lack of attacks is because of a measure like this; the terrorists may just be having a long vacation.
     

: is not an identifier

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