Is Protecting The Prepaid Cell Phone Business A Matter Of National Security?

from the everyone's-guilty,-potentially dept

The recent case of three Palestinian-Americans being accused of terrorism, and then later of fraud, for buying 1,000 prepaid cell phones, has brought attention to the practice of buying such cell phones for resale at a profit elsewhere. Companies like Tracfone sell these handsets at a loss in anticipation of selling many minutes to the user at a profit. But if the cell phones are used elsewhere, or on another network, it's just a loss for the prepaid operators. Of course, they want this practice stopped, and are resorting to absurd arguments, like claiming that the proceeds from this practice could go to finance terrorism. But the proceeds from any business could, in theory, finance terrorism. What the prepaid operators really want is legal protection of a business model. We've seen this over and over and over again, as companies look to the government to help them avoid making changes. And with the government often eager to comply, saying such action is part of the battle against terrorism is a nice excuse.
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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Sep 2006 @ 9:18am

    Sigh...

    Yeah, that is all.

    Sigh...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Sanguine Dream, 11 Sep 2006 @ 9:29am

    Such a shame...

    Everytime I see one of these articles about someone claiming to protect us from terrorists it makes my head hurt. These are probably the same people that have that, "We aren't afraid of terrorists!" attitude. Don't people understand that one of the main points of terrorism to is to strike fear in your target? Considering that we see all these new measures, laws, and changes being proposed in order to "stop terrorists" I think its safe to say that their objective was at least partially satisfied.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Yo ho ho..., 11 Sep 2006 @ 9:42am

    Let's not forget

    If they are right about this, that means that the real pipeline of financing for terrorists is....

    E-BAY!!!!

    Damn resellers of used goods -- I knew they were behind all those sneaky attacks

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Sep 2006 @ 11:29am

    A while back there was coupon fraud, store owners would collect coupon's and send them in for payment from the company.

    That was actually proven to be funding some terrorist.

    Thing is, criminal activity does lead into funding things that are not all that nice.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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