Why Doesn't The Justice Department Want An Identity Thief To Tell His Story To Congress?

from the doesn't-make-much-sense dept

In what world would it make sense for politicians determining policy on a scam to be barred from speaking to an expert on that exact scam? Apparently, the world known as Washington DC. The Senate Finance Committee is holding hearings on identity theft, and asked a convicted identity thief to testify about his crimes. That certainly seems like one good way to learn about what's going on in the identity theft world -- but the Justice Department tried to stop it, claiming that allowing him to testify would violate laws that don't allow prisoners to have "elevated status" and also that it could pose a security risk. Apparently the Justice Department believes that if no one can talk about identity theft, maybe it won't happen. The good news, though, is that a judge has ruled against the DOJ, allowing the guy to testify before the Senate Committee. Identity theft is a serious problem, and hiding those who can best educate people about the problem doesn't help solve it.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    teknosapien, Apr 12th, 2007 @ 6:12pm

    ok How

    Screwed up is this now

     

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  2.  
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    Sanguine Dream, Apr 12th, 2007 @ 8:35pm

    Ignorance

    That is all.

     

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  3.  
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    johndm, Apr 12th, 2007 @ 8:39pm

    I think that it would depend on several things. The criminal being interviewed could throw off the scent by fabricating a story to replace the reality, or withhold information without them knowing, thus creating a possible loophole or unaccounted for methods in the law created using his information. I think that there is no reason for alarm in having him speak, but the Senate should take his information with little weight in how it affects the final law. Ideally they probably will do this, but realistically, every word he will speak will be taken into consideration by the Senate members. Sort of like a witness saying something on the stand, and the jury being told to disregard the comment - you know the jury is tainted now! Likewise, even if they never admit it, whatever this criminal tells them, they will secretly or subconsciously let it have an effect on the laws generated.

     

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  4.  
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    Joe, Apr 12th, 2007 @ 9:18pm

    Wha?

    claiming that allowing him to testify would violate laws that don't allow prisoners to have "elevated status"

    I didn't know there were such laws.

     

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  5.  
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    InkChemist, Apr 12th, 2007 @ 9:43pm

    Re: Wha?

    I don't know if those laws exist or not, but wouldn't testifying before congress be considered a form of punishment rather than providing elevated status?

     

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  6.  
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    Joshua Herzig-Marx, Apr 12th, 2007 @ 9:59pm

    Protecting themselves?

    I wonder if it's really about this guy's testimony, or if someone at Justice is concerned that convicted lobbyists or administration staffers could be called to testify. Perhaps it's just the White House being proactive?

     

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  7.  
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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Apr 12th, 2007 @ 10:40pm

    Trade secrets...

    I get this feeling sometimes that cops/spooks/whatever don't like certain secrets being spilled to the public, even when the bad guys already know them. I mean, such knowledge is already being exploited for nefarious ends; how much worse could it be?

     

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  8.  
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    Artemis Vindictus, Apr 12th, 2007 @ 10:49pm

    You're all missing the point

    Testimonies like this poke holes in the big brotheresque initiatives for national ids, and other wheel spinning shenanigans propagated via Patiot Act or various other Constitution shredding programs.

    The more holes poked into this false credit eco-system we live in, the better.

     

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  9.  
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    just me, Apr 13th, 2007 @ 5:39am

    signing a disclaimer

    They should have the person testifying sign a disclaimer stating he wont make money off of his testimony, or seek fame. Book deals or movies are out. Jobs also. Then put a limit on how long the disclaimer will be in effect. I say give it 10 years, by the time the 10 years is over everyone wont remember the persons name.

    They should also make his testimony not public record, in order to protect the public from other wannabe Identity Thieves.

     

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  10.  
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    WarOtter, Apr 13th, 2007 @ 5:43am

    Please

    So I just bought a new car... could someone pull a Tyler Durden and erase the debt record?

     

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  11.  
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    Ed, Apr 13th, 2007 @ 6:30am

    No competition...

    The DoJ simply doesn't want criminal competition. They're in the top crime family now and feel they get to decide who gets all the publicity.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 13th, 2007 @ 6:33am

    Re:

    I agree that they should weigh his testimony carefully but to try and keep him from speaking is almost silly. Cops face the this choice whenever they listen to a snitch, informant, or captured crook. They don't blindly go on their word but they won't totally disregard what they say without at least thinking about it. Misinformation from that crook could cause the cops to walk into an ambush or the info could be legit and lead to a major bust.

     

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  13.  
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    AnyMouse, Apr 13th, 2007 @ 10:22am

    Senate too much credit

    I think you guys are giving the senate too much credit, assuming that they would actually listen and understand anything other than what they have been bribed, I mean 'lobbied' to vote for.

     

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  14.  
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    James, Apr 13th, 2007 @ 11:13am

    Why...

    ....does the govt do anything idiotic?? Because its run by idiots.

     

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  15.  
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    wl, Apr 14th, 2007 @ 5:51am

    Re: Wha?

    maybe the (super) "patriot" act has given the fbi, homeland security, cia, and justice the power to just make up a law to fit their shenanagins whenever they need to. and how about those guys browbeating your library into telling them what you been reading. was in my local library yesterday, there were signs posted all over the place saying something to the effect that the library , under pain of presecution, could not tell you that the "law (?) and order" guys had put you on one of their many lists

     

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  16.  
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    Paul, Apr 25th, 2007 @ 5:33pm

    Identity thief to Congress ?

    What ? Give them the "how-to" instructions ?
    OUR CONGRESS ?

     

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