Choking risks

It must be great to be a government. They get to make the laws. They get to enforce the laws. You’d think they had their bases covered. Think again.

Recently the US Department of Justice (DOJ) decided it wanted to shut down access to payment methods and bank accounts of businesses they didn’t like. They aren’t illegal businesses. So, what did they do? Make the businesses illegal and enforce the law? That seems like a reasonable thing to do…since, you know, they can.

Instead the DOJ is using NSA-style tactics to do things that it can’t do legally. Its pressuring payment method providers and banks to exclude certain businesses from the economy. It’s called “Operation Choke Point” and its really happening. There are reports of accounts closed atChase and Paypal and the Amazon Wish Lists payment method appearsto have buckled, too. Who wouldn’t? It’s the Federal freakin’ government after all.

At the same time US Attorney General Eric Holder is encouraging banks and payment methods to open up to newly legal marijuana businesses in Colorado and Washington. The reason: legal businesses should have access to the payments infrastructure of the above ground economy.

What if you have a recurring business and the payment method decides to stop processing your rebills? You are out of luck. Is that a risk you can afford to take? Of all the risks associated with payments, Operation Choke Point suddenly closing your account is a new and highly dangerous one.

Only a collective uproar will stop it. The victims are defenseless on their own. Tweet your congressman if you have one. If you don’t have a congressman of your own you can export some democracy to the US by tweeting any of them. Be a hero and save someone from choking today.

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