Thursday, March 22, 2018

But Speaking of Payza ...

Apropos of this morning's post on the US regime's attempt to take the online payment service down:

I do not like the service, and do not recommend it.

Payza has been around for several years, and functions as an alternative to PayPal for many "Internet Marketing" sites, especially since PayPal pulled a weird crackdown on such sites that pay affiliate commissions (yes, I am still involved in Internet Marketing -- fortunately my latest project involves no movement of money between myself and customers).

Payza always looked cheesy to me, and I never used it until recently.

I wanted to buy something from a site, and saw that the site accepted Bitcoin. When I pressed the "buy" button, it turned out that the Bitcoin payment would be routed through Payza. No problem.

OK, well, problem.

Once I sent the Bitcoin to the specified address, I got an error message referring to network congestion and directing me to send in a help ticket, which would first require me to create a Payza account of my own. So I did.

After I created the account and sent in the help ticket, I got an email informing me that the Bitcoin transaction had gone through. Not to the merchant I was sending it to, but to my new Payza account.

I conferred with the merchant, who confirmed that he hadn't received the Bitcoin or even seen a note on the transaction. Then I went back and forth with Payza, whose rep:

1) Denied that the problem was what Payza had said it was (network congestion);

2) Suggested that the problem was with the merchant; and then

3) Switched to insisting that the problem was with me, because I had multiple Payza accounts -- the one I had just set up, and one I've never heard of, associated with an email address I've never seen before.

I finally stopped talking to them, and shortly thereafter saw something else, somewhere else, for just under the amount in my Payza account, and bought it. So I think I have 75 cents or so in Payza, and have no ambition to have any more, or to conduct any further transactions through them.

Which doesn't mean I approve of the US government abducting one of the company's principals, charging a company in Canada with violating a local District of Columbia money transfer licensing scheme, etc. All it means is that I don't like the company much.

There Really Need to be Repercussions

Per CoinDesk, "Digital payment processor Payza has been charged by the U.S. government with running an unlicensed money services business. ... The court filing lists several charges: conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business, conspiracy to launder money, and operating an unlicensed money transmitting business in the District of Columbia."

Except that Payza isn't in the District of Columbia. It's in Canada.

The authoritahs abducted one of the firm's founders while he was in Detroit (which is also not in the District of Columbia). The other remains "at large," which presumably means "at home, in Canada." The indictment actually dates from 2016, but seems to have been publicly released in conjunction with the abduction.

Not the first time the feds have pulled this kind of shit. Several times they've abducted executives of online casinos that operated from foreign countries, when those executives would happen to travel through the US, and charged them with breaking US law because some of their customers happened to be Americans.

They've also prosecuted Swiss banks for doing business in Switzerland, because some of those banks' customers may not have told the IRS everything it wanted to know about their business dealings.

Since the Canadian and Swiss regimes seem disinclined to react to this Barbary pirate style bullshit in the same way that the US reacted to, um, the Barbary Pirates, it seems to me that foreign-owned-and-operated businesses need to set up some kind of insurance pool,  under which professionals are retained for high-speed reactions to this kind of thing.

When DoJ abducts an insured business owner, US Department of Justice employees start disappearing.

When the DoJ releases the abductee, the insurer releases the DoJ employees.

Perhaps a timeliness clause, in keeping with the "tough on crime" posturings of the US regime, under which for every month the thing drags on, the head of a US Attorney shows up at 950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in a flat rate Priority Mail box or something like that.

I hate to recommend the latter even for terror kingpins like US Attorneys, but if businesses don't start getting tough with these DoJ thugs, the nonsense won't ever stop.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The NERVE of That Guy!

Calling up Vladimir Putin to congratulate him on his victory in Russia's presidential election? Who ever thought the US would have a president who would do something as low and tin-eared as that?

Oh, wait ...

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