Steve Schear wrote:


In real life, following the money is just as important as following
the man. It's time for the system to be rebalanced.

In fact, I believe, it is even more important because it is the snail trail that connects the people involved. Significant sized anti-social activities are very rarely one-man bands.

Given this, rather than requiring proof of identity to open bank accounts, etc, we should encourage transactions through the normal channels in order to better follow the money, if we are truly after criminals. All the extra controls do is force ordinary people who can't, for whatever reason, meet the proof of identity standards to create covert channels to transact their business. These then become the means the real crooks then use to commit whatever it is they do.

The best parallels I can think of are Prohibition and the War on Drugs. Look at the total chaos brought on by Prohibition. Fortunately we were wise enough to put a stop to that relatively, for social controls, quickly. The War on Drugs; however, we have not been as smart about, and now, just over 100 years later we are spending multi-billions to bring forth an occasional mouse displayed in screaming headlines.

Both Prohibition and the War on Drugs responded to each new general control by creating covert channels for transacting business. The $10,000 alert system created smurfing where deposits were always less. Now that they have instituted controls on transfers of $5,000 or more, guess what? I think you can see the trend. In addition by imposing general controls what they do is spread the work around. The crooks have to hire more people to do the work which creates a mindset in a larger number of people that laws oppress and that you are better off living outside the law.

To bring it back to encryption, what are the goals we are trying to achieve by using encryption? Are they goals whereby we create barriers between people? Or are the goals to assist people in creating connections that are secure and enhance trust? The tools themselves are neutral.



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