1996-12-30 - Re: Internal Passports

Header Data

From: “Timothy C. May” <tcmay@got.net>
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: a155ee0eaa30ad342e8d795a6aaadd1780167493753f7f45df20c5d5dd75a8a3
Message ID: <v03007800aeecc1d485c7@[]>
Reply To: <v03007801aeecab7271cd@[]>
UTC Datetime: 1996-12-30 00:57:08 UTC
Raw Date: Sun, 29 Dec 1996 16:57:08 -0800 (PST)

Raw message

From: "Timothy C. May" <tcmay@got.net>
Date: Sun, 29 Dec 1996 16:57:08 -0800 (PST)
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: Re: Internal Passports
In-Reply-To: <v03007801aeecab7271cd@[]>
Message-ID: <v03007800aeecc1d485c7@[]>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

At 4:48 PM -0800 12/29/96, sameer wrote:
>> I've never once, in 29 years, been asked to show my little ragged card, and
>> I only have it because I kept it stored with my passport. (No employer ever
>> asked to see it; I haven't been employed for more than 10 years, so I can't
>> say anything about recent policies in the wake of the "immigration crisis.")
>	These days you can show a passport in leui of a social
>security card. (I showed my"current employer" my SS card because I
>kept forgetting to bring my poassport in to work. What an odd concept,
>proving to my employer that I had a right to wrk in the
>US... apparently the law is that you have a $10k fine if you *dont
>have the paperwork* -- it doen't matter if all your employees are

Indeed, the similarities with the "structuring" example (of financial
deposits, even one's own money!!!) are frightening. If prosecutors wanted
to "make an example" of someone, they could.

(This is part of a much larger issue: the vast array of laws, which nearly
all of us violate in various ways on various days. When there are so many
laws that one is almost inevitably a felon is, to me, the very definition
of a "terror state.")

Brian Davis, our former federal prosecutor, seems a reasonable enough
fellow, and I'm fairly certain that he would not have sought an indictment
for a "small fry" who failed to ask for the proper SS card, but it's
sobering to think that a business could be shut down or massively fined for
such a thing. (I was advised in a local newsgroup that asking
Hispanic-looking job applicants more questions about their U.S. status than
one asks of Aryan-looking job applicants is ipso facto a serious, serious
crime. So, what does the white applicant who has no "proof" of his U.S.
residency--no passport, no birth certificate, no official card, just his
"whiteness" and his flawless English--do when confronted with such a
question? Just supplying an SS number is apparently not enough.

By the way, a question for Brian (if he happens to see this): Suppose I
take $27,000 I've had stuffed under my mattress...already taxed, blah blah
blah. In other words, no chance of it being "illicit" or "unreported." That
is, a situation like our gambler friend (he reported the income), except
even more clearly a case where the money is outright owned (by traditional
Western notions of ownership, i.e., cash sitting in a safe deposit box, or
under a mattress, etc.

So, I go to three banks and deposit $9,000 in each, for whatever reasons.

Do I face forfeiture of my money?

If so, I'll joing Jim Bell in his advocacy of solving this problem in a
more drastic way.

(Question: How many "small fry" have faced this kind of forfeiture for
committing the "crime" of making two or more deposits, thus appearing to
fit the "structuring profile"?)

On the forfeiture issue, I'm more and more convinced "deal making" is a
basic evil in our judicial system. While the argument is valid that it
reduces courtroom crowding (and maybe prison crowding), it also makes
things too easy for the government side to file serious charges and then
"bargain" for a compromise. "Civil forfeiture" is a Damoclean sword hanging
over the heads of citizens.

--Tim May

Just say "No" to "Big Brother Inside"
We got computers, we're tapping phone lines, I know that that ain't allowed.
Timothy C. May              | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money,
tcmay@got.net  408-728-0152 | anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero
W.A.S.T.E.: Corralitos, CA  | knowledge, reputations, information markets,
Higher Power: 2^1398269     | black markets, collapse of governments.
"National borders aren't even speed bumps on the information superhighway."