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Reason Suggests DoJ Closing Porn Stars' Bank Accounts

timothy posted about 4 months ago | from the moral-crisis dept.

The Almighty Buck 548

MouseTheLuckyDog (2752443) writes "In a recent story on reason.com it was reported that the DoJ is closing down the bank accounts of porn stars. Not knowing the site I googled around and found another site, the Guardian. The story does not end there. It turns out that this is part of a larger scheme (ironically) called Operation Choke Point. Also reported in a Washington Post article that downplays the practice. According to Cryptocoin news. There are thirty industries the DoJ is now targeteting: Ammunition Sales; Cable Box De-scramblers; Coin Dealers; Credit Card Schemes; Credit Repair Services; Dating Services; Debt Consolidation Scams; Drug Paraphernalia; Escort Services; Firearms Sales; Fireworks Sales; Get Rich Products; Government Grants; Home-Based Charities; Life-Time Guarantees; Life-Time Memberships; Lottery Sales; Mailing Lists/Personal Info; Money Transfer Networks; On-line Gambling; PayDay Loans; Pharmaceutical Sales; Ponzi Schemes; Pornography; Pyramid-Type Sales; Racist Materials; Surveillance Equipment; Telemarketing; Tobacco Sales; and Travel Clubs. But more can be added. (I notice alcohol sales is not on the list)." The Reason article stops short of saying that Choke Point is proven to be the reason for the account closures, but it seems very plausible.

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Communist revolution is needed (-1, Flamebait)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | about 4 months ago | (#46904501)

Smash hypocritical patriarchal bourgeois morality and the prison of the bourgeois family! Forward to a Soviet world!

Re:Communist revolution is needed (1)

jfdavis668 (1414919) | about 4 months ago | (#46904535)

The Soviets cracked down on all these too, except the ones they ran themselves. Ammo sales were a particular no no. Credit cards? Absolutely not.

Re:Communist revolution is needed (4, Interesting)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 4 months ago | (#46904623)

Ammo sales were a particular no no.

Private gun ownership was fairly common in the Soviet Union, at about 10 guns per 100 people, and is still common in Russia today. Private citizens were limited to long guns (rifles and shotguns), and they had to register them. But they were generally available to almost anyone that wanted one. The idea that all dictatorships ban private weapons, or conversely, that an armed citizenry always prevents tyranny, is clearly false.

This is interesting (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46904693)

I had no idea that this was the case in the soviet era. Can you cite your sources please?

Re:Communist revolution is needed (3, Interesting)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 4 months ago | (#46904737)

Private citizens were limited to long guns (rifles and shotguns), and they had to register them. But they were generally available to almost anyone that wanted one. The idea that all dictatorships ban private weapons, or conversely, that an armed citizenry always prevents tyranny, is clearly false.

You don't need total confiscation. When you need to crack down on citizens, all you need is [A] that they don't own handguns (because those are primarily defensive weapons), and [B] that all other weapons are registered.

Then you're home free. When you know who has the weapons and who doesn't, you pretty much control them.

While I agree that "not all dictatorships ban private weapons", they don't have to. All they have to do is control who has them and who doesn't. Example: while it has often been denied, the Nazis did in fact grab guns... from the Jews. I recently read an article that had a picture of the original Nazi decree that Jews could not have guns or bank accounts. (!!!)

Sound familiar?

Re:Communist revolution is needed (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46904745)

The idea that ... an armed citizenry always prevents tyranny, is clearly false.

No shit. A majority of the second amendment nutters in the US are extremely pro-police state, pro-totalitarianism.

Re:Communist revolution is needed (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46904841)

No shit. The majority of the left wing nutters in the US are extremely pro-police state, pro-totalitarianism.

FTFY

Re:Communist revolution is needed (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46904571)

Someone downmod this faggot. I disagree.

Nope, just "Things Poor People Like" (1, Troll)

TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) | about 4 months ago | (#46904891)

Porn, lottery tickets, credit repair services, payday lenders.

Here is how the day for a typical poor person works:

1) Wake up, watch some porn
2) Go get a PayDay loan
3) Go buy some lottery tickets
4) Go to the credit repair service after not winning lottery
5)Sign up for some pyramid schemes
6) Watch some descrambled cable TV from neighbors cable connection
7) Party by doing some fireworks while smoking some tobacco and a bit of shooting some guns

These businesses really do prey on poor people. On one hand, you might think targeting these industries might be ineffective because people with really bad common sense are hard to stop from self-destructive activities.

Why aren't they just scanning driver's licenses as a requirement of buying lottery tickets and then compiling a list of super-habitual "blow all their money types".

These industries are organized crime, engaging in fraud/deceit and wrecking lives and run by criminals, and are run by the mafia types.

Lots of Capitals (0)

mythosaz (572040) | about 4 months ago | (#46904503)

Are all of those industries popper names or something?

I'm probably wrong. I skipped journalism school, but man, oh man, holy capital letters Batman.

Re:Lots of Capitals (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46904767)

Summary Written By Jada Pinkett Smith.

really??? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46904511)

There are thirty industries the DoJ is now targeteting: Ammunition Sales; Cable Box De-scramblers; Coin Dealers; Credit Card Schemes; Credit Repair Services; Dating Services; Debt Consolidation Scams; Drug Paraphernalia; Escort Services; Firearms Sales; Fireworks Sales; Get Rich Products; Government Grants; Home-Based Charities; Life-Time Guarantees; Life-Time Memberships; Lottery Sales; Mailing Lists/Personal Info; Money Transfer Networks; On-line Gambling; PayDay Loans; Pharmaceutical Sales; Ponzi Schemes; Pornography; Pyramid-Type Sales; Racist Materials; Surveillance Equipment; Telemarketing; Tobacco Sales; and Travel Clubs.

Because these industires are a definite threat to National Security... Fail!!!

Re:really??? (5, Insightful)

gweihir (88907) | about 4 months ago | (#46904559)

These are a threat to national purity, and if you disagree, you can go to one of the soon-to-be-opened concentration camps!

Re:really??? (1, Funny)

x0ra (1249540) | about 4 months ago | (#46904635)

I'm down for that.. .as long as we can have fetishist orgies while drinking and masturbating with gun and ammo (a .50BMG would do a hell of an anal plug).

Re:really??? (0)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 4 months ago | (#46904749)

The idea that a liberal administration would be for shutting down porn sites when not even conservative ones go there is absurd.

This is the stupidest article ever; dont even need to read it to know why its stupid, inflamatory, and wrong.

Re:really??? (2)

x0ra (1249540) | about 4 months ago | (#46904803)

They are doing it in a way more subtle way, just as any agenda-based administration would do. A death by a thousand paper cut. Democrats have very few in common with "liberals"...

Re:really??? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46904569)

Because these industires are a definite threat to National Security

Because the Department of Justice is focused like a laser on national security, rather than, you know, justice.

Derp.

Re:really??? (2)

ButchDeLoria (2772751) | about 4 months ago | (#46904669)

Every government agency is moving to national security is their objective. It means a bigger budget.

Re:really??? (5, Insightful)

cbiltcliffe (186293) | about 4 months ago | (#46904699)

Closing the bank accounts of gainfully employed citizens just because they're work in a perfectly legal field that the government doesn't like is justice?

How the hell are you people still not realizing you're living in a situation worse than Nazi Germany? (Screw Godwin's law. This is a perfectly legitimate comparison.)

Re:really??? (4, Insightful)

mysidia (191772) | about 4 months ago | (#46904931)

they're work in a perfectly legal field that the government doesn't like is justice?

No, it's tortious interference with business relationships.

Re:really??? (5, Informative)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 4 months ago | (#46904641)

Eric Holder: "I Have 'A Vast Amount' of Discretion in Enforcing Laws"

Re:really??? (4, Interesting)

reboot246 (623534) | about 4 months ago | (#46904817)

I don't mind them going after the crooks, but many of those listed are perfectly legal activities. It seems like a huge overreach to me. The DOJ should stick to investigating criminals, even the ones in the current administration.

Right to a Bank Account (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46904515)

Nowhere in the Constitution are you guaranteed a bank account.

That the Constitution has zero mention of the power of the federal government to forbid you a bank account will be lost on the anti-drug "goddamn piece of paper" Republicans and liberals.

Re:Right to a Bank Account (3, Informative)

gweihir (88907) | about 4 months ago | (#46904579)

And that is a problem. It makes sure people do not climb out of poverty, or at least makes it a lot harder. After all, cannot have people participating in normal society that the government deems "undesirables". Next steps: forbid them to work, then concentration camps, then gas chambers. National purity must be maintained at all cost!

Re:Right to a Bank Account (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46904625)

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Imagine your live without a bank account or the ability to drive or travel by air.

Re:Right to a Bank Account (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46904663)

If you don't want to have your basic rights violated by government thugs, traveling by air is already restricted. Then there's also the no fly list.

Re:Right to a Bank Account (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46904863)

I gave up my car long ago. The ability to drive is overrated.

Re:Right to a Bank Account (4, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | about 4 months ago | (#46904645)

Go read the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution and get back to us with why you feel it doesn't apply to a bank account.

Re:Right to a Bank Account (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46904881)

Go vote Republican then, they will make sure to uphold the Constitution unless it's for something they don't like.

Re:Right to a Bank Account (5, Interesting)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 4 months ago | (#46904905)

Because the DoJ isnt actually closing bank accounts?

If you had read the article you would see that it is speculating that a handful of porn star's bank account closures are maybe due to DoJ pressure. Theyre making this leap because of a vice.com article which speculates that the closures are because they are porn stars. Vice makes this gigantic leap because of a WSJ article (conveniently paywalled) which speculates that Operation Chokepoint is targetting porn.

Thats a whole bunch of speculation on a ridiculous assertion. A liberal administration isnt going to crack down on porn; it would alienate huge parts of their base. The idea is stupid, the speculation is stupid, and Reason/Vice are remarkably stupid websites. Slashdot is even worse for being dumb enough to link to the flamebait.

Re:Right to a Bank Account (3, Interesting)

x0ra (1249540) | about 4 months ago | (#46904647)

No, but pornography is a first amendment rights, and screw you if it is at the opposite of your morality.

Re:Right to a Bank Account (1)

x0ra (1249540) | about 4 months ago | (#46904687)

It might be argue that subpoena and affidavit constitute an unreasonable search, and thus protected by the 4th Amendment.

Re:Right to a Bank Account (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 4 months ago | (#46904705)

It really depends on what you can find in origins of US law about the tools of your legal trade/profession been blocked/confiscated. US color of law efforts without a warrant or access to court is not legally good and would be challenged by skilled US legal teams.
The great aspect to the US legal system is it was shaped to protect from extrajudicial punishment and protects free speech, assembly, press, privacy and much more.
Generational color of law changes are difficult.

Re:Right to a Bank Account (5, Informative)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 4 months ago | (#46904773)

The great aspect to the US legal system is it was shaped to protect from extrajudicial punishment and protects free speech, assembly, press, privacy and much more.

Or at least, it's supposed to. The foundation is there.

Check out 18 U.S.C. 242: "Deprivation of Rights Under the Color of Law".

While many people think this is "just" a discrimination statute, a careful reading of the law shows that it applies to ALL Constitutional and natural rights.

And government employees are not immune. Not even the President. (In fact, this statute was specifically intended to prevent government abuse.) The maximum penalty is life in prison.

Re:Right to a Bank Account (2)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 4 months ago | (#46904807)

I should add: conviction rates for violations of 18 USC 242, once charges are brought, are exceptionally high: somewhere in the 90% range.

Re:Right to a Bank Account (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46904765)

Ninth Amendment guarantees you a bank account.

Re:Right to a Bank Account (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46904871)

Where in the constitution does it PERMIT the federal government to deny someone a bank account? The constitution is an enumeration of PRIVILEGES to the government.

Don't you hate it when THEY track you? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46904519)

img src=3D"https://pixel=2Einbox=2Eexacttarget=2Ecom/pixel=2Egif?r=xxxxxxx=
dxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx&c=3D1404NewsletterCustomerNokia520&wpid=
=3D1404NewsletterCustomerNokia520" width=3D"1" height=3D"1" />

Is what MS sends me as its "Insider" bulletin. The above was at the bottom. plain as day.

Right to a Bank Account (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46904539)

You won't find a right to a bank account in the Constitution.

That you won't find the power to stop you from having a Bank Account in the Constitution is a fact that will be lost on the anti-drug "Goddamned Piece of Paper" Republicans and liberals.

Re:Right to a Bank Account (3, Informative)

The Snowman (116231) | about 4 months ago | (#46904947)

You won't find a right to a bank account in the Constitution.

Which is fine: the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. [wikipedia.org]

That you won't find the power to stop you from having a Bank Account in the Constitution is a fact that will be lost on the anti-drug "Goddamned Piece of Paper" Republicans and liberals.

"General welfare" clause. It is the Silly Putty [wikipedia.org] of the Constitution: it can morph into any shape and justify any law or government action, even if other parts of the Constitution are at odds with it.

Pretty chilling honestly (5, Insightful)

bigmario (3487697) | about 4 months ago | (#46904545)

Using DoJ resources to force the closure of accounts belonging to "legal but subjectively undesirable business ventures"? There's no way in hell that can be legal. This is a slippery slope situation and should get folks on both sides of the aisle riled up

Re:Pretty chilling honestly (4, Insightful)

gweihir (88907) | about 4 months ago | (#46904587)

It is the way to fascism. Just look at historic precedents. Very, very alarming.

It also means the DoJ is not concerned with "the law" anymore, but just does what those in power want. Not that "the law" was worth a lot before.

Re:Pretty chilling honestly (4, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 4 months ago | (#46904631)

It is the way to fascism. Just look at historic precedents. Very, very alarming.

It also means the DoJ is not concerned with "the law" anymore, but just does what those in power want. Not that "the law" was worth a lot before.

Time to leave.

Re:Pretty chilling honestly (2)

CheezburgerBrown . (3417019) | about 4 months ago | (#46904729)

Like tears in rain

Re:Pretty chilling honestly (2)

Opportunist (166417) | about 4 months ago | (#46904861)

I agree. But where to?

Re:Pretty chilling honestly (0, Flamebait)

TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) | about 4 months ago | (#46904897)

Uh? No.

Those industries are run by organized crime and the mafia as "legitimate businesses" and engage in fraud, deceit and other felonies.

Re:Pretty chilling honestly (1, Insightful)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 4 months ago | (#46904925)

What it means is that literally noone here read the article, so theyre getting their panties in a bunch over a summary which twists already highly spun nonsense.

Re:Pretty chilling honestly (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46904603)

Doesn't matter if it is legal or not the banks already have denied people I know in the cam girl business new bank accounts, that they started looking for after the original bank (and it was more then one bank) sent them notices that after the first week of May they will not longer have accounts with them

Re:Pretty chilling honestly (1, Interesting)

phantomfive (622387) | about 4 months ago | (#46904651)

Congress makes laws, what congress says, is legal. Don't confuse 'legal' with 'ethical.' I can totally believe this is legal, since bank accounts are not protected by the constitution.

My question is, what is wrong with a Travel Club? I can't figure out who hates those.

Re:Pretty chilling honestly (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46904701)

The constitution is a whitelist of powers the government has, not a blacklist of powers it doesn't. Where in the constitution does it say that the government can arbitrarily seize bank accounts for little to no reason, or seize bank accounts because the person has an occupation that they simply don't like?

Re:Pretty chilling honestly (4, Interesting)

jedidiah (1196) | about 4 months ago | (#46904751)

This is something that needs repeated frequently.

A lot of people think that the Bill of Rights is a white list. That's actually as wrong as you could possibly be. It is the Constitution in general as it relates to the powers of the federal government that is the whitelist.

This is why the Obamacare mandate is illegal and your state's care insurance mandate is not.

The Bill of Rights is just the short list of rights that should not be infringed by government. It's the really important ones much like the 10 Commandments.

Re:Pretty chilling honestly (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 4 months ago | (#46904893)

The constitution gives the interpretation to the supreme court. So, while it's totally allowed to disagree with them, but the courts will uphold what the SCOTUS says, not what you say. And that is constitutional.

Re:Pretty chilling honestly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46904771)

I can totally believe this is legal, since bank accounts are not protected by the constitution.

Even blatantly unconstitutional stuff, like PRISM is "legal", which is impossible because unconstitutional laws are void and can not, under any circumstance, be legal. Every law that skirts around or directly circumvents the constitution proves more and more that our government went rogue a long time ago.

Re:Pretty chilling honestly (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46904655)

Using DoJ resources to force the closure of accounts belonging to "legal but subjectively undesirable business ventures"? There's no way in hell that can be legal. This is a slippery slope situation and should get folks on both sides of the aisle riled up

*Yawn* Is this anything like the report I saw recently that DoJ was planning on using predator drones to bomb Cliven Bundy's ranch to masscre everyone on it? If I recall correctly, it was supposed to have happened by last Monday, at the latest. Come back when you have actual credible evidence of this happening. (No, sorry, Sean Hannity doesn't count.)

Re:Pretty chilling honestly (4, Insightful)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 4 months ago | (#46904717)

Chilling if true. I can't see evidence that this is happening except for this web site which merely asserts it is happening. Even the guardian article isn't saying accounts are being closed, only that they're sending regulators after businesses that are flagged by the banks. Maybe banks themselves are denying accounts to some people but the connection to DOJ is slippery.

Re:Pretty chilling honestly (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 4 months ago | (#46904775)

Re "legal but subjectively undesirable business ventures"
Take it to a vote and then they can unleash the fully funded power for the domestic surveillance network of entrapment, police raids with military surplus, creating new informants, reports to fusion centers and enjoy great overtime funding.
That would then be "legal", fill the private prison system for longer, extra police funding and be great news for political class of prosecutors.
This method of "legal but subjectively undesirable business ventures" will result in many legally unsound convictions with very busy legal teams.

Re:Pretty chilling honestly (3, Informative)

artor3 (1344997) | about 4 months ago | (#46904791)

As with most stories on Slashdot these days, it's bullshit meant to make you scared and angry.

prosecutors are investigating whether third-party processors that route payments for merchants through banks are ignoring signs of fraud to rake in fees from transactions.

They're not trying to shut down porn -- what possible motive could they even have for that? They're trying to stop disreputable businesses from effectively robbing people a few nickels at a time. If innocent companies are getting caught in the crossfire, then the DOJ needs to do its job better. But quit hyperventilating. This is not some evil government plot to wipe out all of the fireworks stores and dating services in the country.

Re:Pretty chilling honestly (3, Insightful)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 4 months ago | (#46904915)

Theyre not. The speculation is that banks are doing it voluntarily at the encouragement of the DoJ, but even that is a huge leap based on hysterical speculation by Reason based on hysterical speculation by vice which is based on a "maybe...?" article on WSJ.

Noone knows, we only have a handful of pornstars who have lost bank accounts, and some guessing about what "operation chokepoint is".

This is stupid trollbait, and everyone here is falling for it.

Don't Misunderstand Me... (5, Informative)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 4 months ago | (#46904555)

I'm not making any claims, I'm just making an observation:

Some of the things on DoJ's "Laundry List" of so-called "high financial risk" businesses are historically not high-risk AT ALL.

Like ammunition and firearms. Far from being "high-risk": manufacturers and retailers have historically been both large and long-lived. There is an ammunition manufacturer not all that far from here and they have been in business for 60 years. And the vast majority of ammunition is sold through major sporting-goods franchises, not mom-and-pop shops. Same with firearms.

Further, where people DO engage in small-scale ammunition or firearms sales or manufacturing, it is often a perfectly legitimate, specialty product. I know somebody who made and sold custom cartridges, and I have also met a guy who makes firearms. All perfectly legit and legal.

So pardon me for saying so, and I don't want to be misunderstood as being some kind of right-wing nut or anything, but it kind of looks like some things on this list are in fact Obama agenda items. Which is illegal.

Re:Don't Misunderstand Me... (0, Flamebait)

Mashiki (184564) | about 4 months ago | (#46904689)

You sound almost shocked. Considering the things that Obama and company have done in the last 6 years, this is "operation" is right out of the fascist playbook. Attack what you don't control, and shut down private industry by choking off the funds.

Re:Don't Misunderstand Me... (4, Insightful)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | about 4 months ago | (#46904743)

I'd believe you if you had just removed "Obama and company". The push towards greater fascism has been a bipartisan effort in our new millenium.

Re:Don't Misunderstand Me... (5, Interesting)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 4 months ago | (#46904851)

That's why we should vote both parties out.

Ron Paul was a good candidate, and would have been a good no-BS leader. Not perfect, but good.

Gary Johnson was a fiscal and popular success in New Mexico. Hell, he was even liked by Democrats. He was a good candidate too.

What will it take before people realize that a third party vote is not a "wasted vote"? On the contrary, it's one of the few viable answers we have left.

Re:Don't Misunderstand Me... (0)

Mashiki (184564) | about 4 months ago | (#46904939)

I'd believe you if you had just removed "Obama and company". The push towards greater fascism has been a bipartisan effort in our new millenium.

I'm sure you'd believe that, except that Obama and company have actually been the ones walking the walk, and talking the talk on it. While I'd agree that there has been something in terms of bipartisanship on it, the last 6 years have been something special in terms of "going after ones enemies and things that don't fit the desired narrative."

And a useful tip for anyone that thinks I'm a republican or something. I'm not, and I don't even live in the US. Rather I pay attention to US politics, living in Canada and all that. And what your media "says" and what we actually "hear" outside of US media are two fully different stories. Especially when you figure that nearly every news agency in the US has someone who's got a brother/married/sister/brother/etc in the whitehouse while in controlling interest of *insert media company.*

Re:Don't Misunderstand Me... (4, Insightful)

artor3 (1344997) | about 4 months ago | (#46904821)

The question is "high risk of what?"

The answer is credit card fraud. That's what the DOJ is trying to go after here. If you google online ammo suppliers, you get a bunch of sites that look like they haven't been updated since '98. I have no doubt that the companies are perfectly reputable. But they might not have the tightest security when it comes to detecting fraudulent transactions.

No one is saying that they're engaged in anything illegal. No one is saying they're unstable, fly-by-night businesses. What the DOJ seems to think is that the payment processing companies they do business with might be turning a blind eye to fraud in order to make more money.

The Truth about Obama + Cable Descramblers (2, Funny)

TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) | about 4 months ago | (#46904913)

Yes, Obama clearly was pro-cable box descramblers and pro-fireworks when he ran for office.

Just one more way he didn't keep his promises!

Well Played, DOJ... (5, Insightful)

IonOtter (629215) | about 4 months ago | (#46904563)

Pepper the list with plenty of "industries" that the vast majority of people would dearly love to see destroyed, such as pyramid schemes, racist trash and payday loans, but shut down plenty of useful-but-intimidating-to-those-in-power businesses as well.

Re:Well Played, DOJ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46904735)

The only ones being "played" here are gullible, hyper-emotional partisans of various political stripe. Move along, nothing to see here....

Re:Well Played, DOJ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46904835)

Targeting scams is one thing, but some of the other categories don't seem to fit. "Racist Materials"? What does that include? Are the people selling it actually scamming people? As unpopular as it may seem, I don't think they should target people for selling pamphlets/books/whatever.

I also don't think they should be going after bong sellers. (The actual drugs in question are one thing, but I don't think they should target "weed culture" people.)

Same with coin dealers. Unless those are counterfeit coins, there's no reason to target them.

Re:Well Played, DOJ... (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 4 months ago | (#46904845)

I've been told that this is known as a 'shit sandwich'.

good, good, good, bad, good, good, bad, good, good.

try to lose the 'bad' in the apparent majority of 'good' things on a list.

and so, this has its own name, a shit sandwich.

Legal (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46904573)

Not sure why merely doing business in the Ammunition Sales; Coin Dealers; Credit Repair Services; Dating Services; Firearms Sales; Fireworks Sales; Home-Based Charities; Life-Time Guarantees; Life-Time Memberships; Mailing Lists/Personal Info; Money Transfer Networks; On-line Gambling; PayDay Loans; Pharmaceutical Sales; Pornography; Racist Materials; Surveillance Equipment; Telemarketing; Tobacco Sales and Travel Clubs industries or combination thereof should automatically flag ones activies as "questionable". What happened to innocent until proven guilty??

Re:Legal (4, Insightful)

ultranova (717540) | about 4 months ago | (#46904781)

What happened to innocent until proven guilty??

Nothing. You're still innocent before the law. It's just that the law no longer rules.

Re:Legal (1)

x0ra (1249540) | about 4 months ago | (#46904813)

"Innocent until proven guilt" has no place in a socialist, precaution principle-based, system.

If it was just the banks that would be one thing (3, Insightful)

sideslash (1865434) | about 4 months ago | (#46904575)

...but I can't stand the thought of government deciding that some people (who aren't doing anything illegal) shouldn't be able to have a bank account.

I reject the excuse that it's all optional on the part of the banks. Having Big Brother breathing down your neck and Strongly Suggesting that you do something is absolutely inappropriate, and I'd love to see Washington, DC held accountable for this in some way.

Re:If it was just the banks that would be one thin (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 4 months ago | (#46904601)

I reject the excuse that it's all optional on the part of the banks. Having Big Brother breathing down your neck and Strongly Suggesting that you do something is absolutely inappropriate, and I'd love to see Washington, DC held accountable for this in some way.

It seems to me, too, that even though many banks are "local" institutions, if they accept FDIC regulation I think they are supposed to play by Federal anti-discrimination and fair business rules. Which would prohibit Government from shutting down legal businesses just because they are "unwanted" by somebody in said government..

Re:If it was just the banks that would be one thin (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46904615)

This is feminism in action. Pornstars are the living embodiment of their imaginary patriarchy.

Re:If it was just the banks that would be one thin (2, Interesting)

sideslash (1865434) | about 4 months ago | (#46904677)

Maybe that's part of it. I think this is Big Government nanny state in action. They want to control everything they see, whether or not there's a law authorizing them to do so. It's this kind of arrogance that makes the IRS audit political opponents of the Obama administration for no other reason than to intimidate them and "make them go away". Making people go away in one form or another is a common theme with dysfunctional governments.

Re:If it was just the banks that would be one thin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46904883)

No, this is feminism. FTSU.

Re:If it was just the banks that would be one thin (2)

Dynedain (141758) | about 4 months ago | (#46904921)

I personally know people who got audited because of contributions to the IRS watch list. And they love to claim that it was a coordinated political attack against the right wing.

It wasn't.

When "non profit" groups form that are closely aligned with or have explicit anti-government agendas (particularly against the IRS, tax code, and the claimed illegality of personal income tax) then it's a no brainer place to look for those skirting the law.

No one was intimidated, their tax reporting was just flagged for the extra-scrutiny pile.

Re:If it was just the banks that would be one thin (3, Insightful)

lpevey (115393) | about 4 months ago | (#46904727)

Agreed, it is clearly not optional on the part of the banks. This has a very chilling effect on activities where the regs can't actually prosecute for wrongdoing. If they could, they would, and they wouldn't be going this route. This sort of tactic is contrary to the principles of a free society. Banks will "choose" to decline to do business with certain people and companies if they feel they will get sued or have to spend a fortune on a governmental investigation. If there is truly evidence of illegal activities, authorities should go after the people allegedly engaged in those activities, not the banks. But in these cases, often times the activities are not really illegal, even if they are activities not loved by everyone in society. Because the government can't prosecute, should it be allowed to strong-arm banks into doing the dirty work? What does that sort of logic lead to, especially when things like banking are akin to breathing in modern society.

There are plenty of nefarious behaviors going on at banks that regulators would be wise to oversee, but this is a case of overstepping IMO. Regulators are forcing discrimination. Is it okay for banks to be choosy based on certain parameters (I don't like your business because it's porn and I think porn is ruining our society) and not others (I don't like your business because it supports, say, charter schools, and I the bank president happen to think charter schools are ruining our society)? That's discrimination. At the very same time, regulators would bring proceedings against these very same banks for refusing to do business with certain people/organizations just because they choose to.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/... [bloomberg.com]

"PNC Financial Services Group Inc. (PNC) received a subpoena regarding the return rate for its payment-processor clients from the U.S. Department of Justice. The department’s consumer protection unit is seeking information “for certain merchant and payment processor customers with whom PNC has a depository relationship,” the Pittsburgh-based bank said today in a regulatory filing. “We believe that the subpoena is intended to determine whether, and to what extent, PNC may have facilitated fraud committed by third-parties against consumers.” "

Re:If it was just the banks that would be one thin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46904839)

washington held accountable? it's an interesting concept but no one on government are for the people more than they are for their own asses.

BTC (5, Insightful)

Z34107 (925136) | about 4 months ago | (#46904593)

For all the Ponzi-this, tulips-that that gets posted every time Bitcoin makes the news, this is one of the problems they're trying to solve. A prude at Chase or the DoJ can't close your bank accounts if you have no need of a bank in the first place.

Re:BTC (-1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 4 months ago | (#46904671)

For all the Ponzi-this, tulips-that that gets posted every time Bitcoin makes the news, this is one of the problems they're trying to solve. A prude at Chase or the DoJ can't close your bank accounts if you have no need of a bank in the first place.

That's a good point. And so is "trying to solve" as opposed to "solved".

For all the promise of Bitcoin, the exchanges have corrupted it by insisting on knowing ownership, charging for transactions, etc. Both of these problems have to be addressed before it will be "solved".

With a properly-designed system, there should be very little need for formal exchanges.

Re:BTC (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46904917)

Once you no longer need to "cash out" your bitcoins there will be no need for exchanges...that will be when bitcoin hits critical mass and the government can go pound sand.

Happy to be living in Canada (1)

Hamsterdan (815291) | about 4 months ago | (#46904595)

Oh wait... Harper's in power

Re:Happy to be living in Canada (0)

Mashiki (184564) | about 4 months ago | (#46904653)

Oh wait... Harper's in power

And I'll bet you think that Kim Dong Wynn's budget in Ontario was the greatest thing since sliced bread too. Well it was so bad, that not even the ultra-liberal NDP wanted anything to do with it. And people wonder why Ontario went from the economic engine of the country to a have-not-province in 10 years.

according to cryptocoin news? (1)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | about 4 months ago | (#46904607)

Come on guys.

Given Wells Fargo is currently accepting these people as customers, I think you need to produce a higher standard of proof before this conspiracy becomes believable.

Re:according to cryptocoin news? (1)

pkinetics (549289) | about 4 months ago | (#46904715)

Define accounts. A bank savings account is one thing. The money in your account is loaned back out, so banks have a desire to get as much cash.

Payment processing is a whole different issue. Small merchants don't always use the big banks' processor because the cost can be significantly higher.

A merchant might shop around, find a processor that matches their needs.

Welp what happens when the processor is instructed to not take payments for this merchant? Merchant scrambles to find another, and so forth.

see any of the industry boards, where victims (4, Interesting)

raymorris (2726007) | about 4 months ago | (#46904849)

If you want more confirmation, see any of the message boards dedicated to the affected industries. There you'll find the victims discussing what to do.

In some of these industries, like porn, one closure affects many, many people. All those free porn sites are financed by the ads they run for a comparatively small number of large pay site networks. Many of them don't expect to get paid this month because their sponsor's account has been shut down in the last few days. The affect is similar to, but not as big, as shutting down PayPal's accounts - it affects not only PayPal, but anyone who relies on PayPal for their business. There are also hosting companies and other service providers who make their living providing services to all the smaller sites. When the sponsor can't pay the small sites, the small sites can't pay their hosting bill. Anything that affects a couple of the large sponsors ripples through the industry.

Cash (2)

RJFerret (1279530) | about 4 months ago | (#46904609)

Wait, so they want more of these industries to be cash based and perhaps un/under-report income tax??? I know plenty of people who have been moving more toward cash in the past several years, but it seems counter-intuitive the government would want to track less.

But seriously, how will this decrease fraud?

inevitable parody (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46904613)

Operation Choke Point, starring Keifer Burns as "Point"

Moron idea... (2)

Hamsterdan (815291) | about 4 months ago | (#46904639)

Drive porn to the black market... That will probably work as well as the war against drugs...

I guess it's time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46904649)

To do a few more money shots

Porn stars and not investment firms (4, Insightful)

joe_frisch (1366229) | about 4 months ago | (#46904659)

Considering that investment firms cost the government HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS in bailouts, can they really argue that porn stars are "risky"?

Re:Porn stars and not investment firms (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46904797)

Sorry, the vast majority of money used to "bail out" Wall Street was paid back, with interest, very quickly. Check your facts. The one big loser that the Government has stomached was General Motors.

Missing "3D Printer" on that card, but on this-- (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46904709)

BINGO!

So, uhh, DOJ guys (4, Insightful)

russotto (537200) | about 4 months ago | (#46904713)

Do you WANT to create a shadow banking system? Because this is how you do it.

Oh, Let's not talk about the investment firms... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46904747)

What they've done is pornographic in financial circles...

beta (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46904753)

Kill the beta.

Welcome to the United Socialist Republic (-1)

BoRegardless (721219) | about 4 months ago | (#46904857)

Socialism, Marxism, whatever you want to call it, Obama has told us he wants to fundamentally transform the USA. Fact is, he is DOING IT.

does anyone know ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46904911)

if the new version of flamingfaggotfox will kill my download if i lock the screen in windows? i think it did in the last version and since they basically only update it to make it worse i'm going to assume my download is going to be fucking ruined if i lock the screen in version 29 too?

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