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Re: Anonymous payment scheme
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On Mon, 2 Jan 1995, Hal wrote:
> . . .
> There are a couple of issues here. One is whether you could get a
> debit card with another name printed on it than your own. Sandy
> Sandfort and some others have suggested here that this would be legal
> and possible already as long as you don't do it with the intention to
> commit fraud. You can open a secured account by mail and give a false
Opening an account in the US without ID is very difficult
> I'm not sure what you do in this situation if they ask to see some ID
> when you try to use the card. This would be rather embarrassing, it
> seems to me. Sorry, I guess I left my drivers license in my other
> pants... Or, never mind, try this card. That other one was from before I
> changed my name...
> The other issue is whether you could set up a payment system which did
> not require social security numbers from the participants. I think
> this is much more questionable. Although the phone cards and some
> other restricted usage systems are apparently legal, bank accounts seem
> to have many more restrictions. Barter and scrip systems are also
> heavily regulated. All these laws involving reporting requirements,
> etc., were passed to help the government track the flow of money.
> There is no way the government is going to make an exception at this
> point. In fact, I suspect that if the limited systems expanded to
> where they were used for general payments, the government would crack
> down. I recall reading that just such a crackdown occured in Las Vegas
> when casino chips started to be accepted for non-gambling payments.
> So, you may be able to have a form of anonymity from the person you are
> transacting with, but I don't think you can be anonymous from the bank
> and from the government. And personally, I am more concerned about the
> bank and gov't tracking my spending patterns than whether the guy I buy
> gas from knowing my name. The bank has a lot more information about me
> which is much more threatening to my privacy. A nom de guerre VISA or
> debit card does not seem to help this problem.
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