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Congress To Make eBay A Rat

Sites required to conduct secret investigations

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Taken together, three bills in Congress would require online marketplaces and auction sites to secretly police affiliates suspected of selling stolen goods. In addition to requiring extensive record keeping on sellers using the site and turning over that information to authorities upon request, the legislation prohibits resale sites—like eBay or craigslist—from informing suspected sellers they are being investigated.

>> Article Updated 09/29/08

None of the bills, two in the House of Representatives and one in the Senate, is expected to come to a vote before the Congressional recess—they’ve got bigger fish to fry in Bailout Brand oil at the moment—but the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security held a hearing on the subject recently.

The purpose of the legislation is to target organized retail crime, or bands of shoplifters and hustlers hocking ill-gotten goods online, where the National Retail Federation, which has come out aggressively in favor of the legislation, says thieves can sell goods at 70 percent value. Street corners typically only bring 30 percent of the retail value.

The problem was highlighted recently when a New York vendor was busted selling Victoria Secret brassieres on eBay for $25 a pop. They typically sold for between $40 and $80.  If you’re wondering why Homeland Security is being dragged in to this, it’s likely because of alleged past connections between organized retail crime syndicates traced to Hezbollah and Hamas.

Naturally, the Internet is to blame.

Though, NetChoice’s Steve DelBianco colorfully compared this logic to blaming the back seats of cars for teenage sex, the NRF’s vice president for loss prevention, Joseph LaRocca, has elevated the problem to the level of addiction to Class A narcotics. At the aforementioned hearing, LaRocca said:

"The Internet seems to be contributing to the creation of a brand new type of retail thief – people who have never stolen before but are lured in by the convenience and anonymity of the Internet. Thieves often tell the same disturbing story: they begin legitimately selling product on eBay and then become hooked by its addictive qualities, the anonymity it provides and the ease with which they gain exposure to millions of customers. When they run out of legitimate merchandise, they begin to steal intermittently, many times for the first time in their life, so they can continue selling online. The thefts then begin to spiral out of control and before they know it they quit their jobs, are recruiting accomplices and are crossing states lines to steal, all so they can support and perpetuate their online selling habit."

Soon you’re likely to see them on A&E’s “Intervention.” Though evidence of the above scenario is lacking, it sounds like Congress is taking this just as seriously as the NRF.

Individually, the bills are: H.R. 6713, the E-Fencing Enforcement Act of 2008, sponsored by subcommittee Chairman Bobby Scott, D-Va.; H.R. 6491, the Organized Retail Crime Act of 2008, sponsored by Representative Brad Ellsworth, D-Ind.; and S. 3434, the Combating Organized Retail Crime Act of 2008, sponsored by Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin, D-Ill.

Congressman Scott’s E-Fencing Enforcement Act mandates that online stores and resellers disclose contact information for high-volume sellers—with sales of $12,000 or more per year or sales of $5,000 or more in any single offering—“to any inquirer with standing under this section.” An “inquirer with standing” is defined as anybody who sends a copy of a signed report made to or received from law enforcement in the past year involving goods matching the description of those offered online after a theft.

The legislation requires marketplaces to store contact information for three years, and upon the retailer’s request the online marketplace would be required to investigate whether the goods sold are stolen. If so—or even if there is good reason to think so—the online marketplace provider would be required to ban the seller and remove the seller’s listings.

Congressman Ellsworth’s bill ratchets it up another notch, making both online and offline organized retail crime a federal offense. Ellsworth requires providers to act quickly to investigate and to maintain a database of all suspected shady sellers, including their name, telephone number, email, physical address, user ID, company name, and a record of all transactions for three years. Again, the provider is required to hand over that information to anybody with suspicion of a particular seller.

Senator Durbin’s bill puts the nail in the due process coffin by requiring online marketplaces presented with evidence (by any inquirer with standing, remember) that a seller is fencing stolen goods to file a report with the US Attorney General, tell the plaintiff the report has been filed, and then start looking for evidence of other illegal activity. Durbin’s legislation bars the provider from informing the seller they are being investigated.

Quick summary, if these bills pass: Anybody (retailer, competitor, etc.) who claims to suspect a seller of illegal activity can file a police report, present it to the marketplace provider and the provider must shutdown the seller. The records the provider has been required to keep for three years of all seller information and activity must be handed over to authorities and reported to the Atty. General while the provider presumes guilt and conducts a secret investigation of the seller on the government’s behalf in case there might be, could be other illegal stuff happening, and is barred from saying anything about it to the seller.

Please, someone explain to me how that’s remotely constitutional.

It’s all not without its hypocrisy, of course. Democrats have railed for some time (before caving in other instances, like with FISA legislation) about the Administration’s continuous erosions of rights and liberties, and here we have three Dems constructing further erosions. The NRF, too, looks a bit ridiculous in this, not just for their comparison to addiction, but also since retailers have refused to accept eBay’s offer to help police for stolen goods because they didn’t want to give up any control of the process. Clearly, government control is better then, huh?

 
 

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  • http://www.nitecore.co.uk Nitecore

    If these people are addicted to selling on ebay and run out of things to sell, they could always try buying from suppliers instead of stealing.

    To lay the blame with ebay and the internet is ridiculous.

     

    • Icenine

      The world is full of devices and methods capable of destroying, theiving from and harming people. One cannot question a table fork because it can kill, but the motive of the person (or in this case "ebay addict"…) using it or we would be eating meat with spoons.

      It would be nice to know that any retail based business would, of their own free will, aid in stopping any illegal activities performed within their bounds and if not then, we, the consumer should take caution in using them… if your neighbor offers you a new car for $1000 and you buy it then you have broken the law as well as him. The internet is a wonderful tool full of everything anyone could want and the last thing anyone needs is some high mighty person or organization to dictate what is available based on their perception of what’s good or bad or what’s "tempting" me to do wrong.

    • Guest

      They are just saying it is eBays business. They are making the money and should police their investments. They get a cut of those stollen goods

  • Bill Castello

    Look, we all know that a lot of stolen goods find its way to online sites like ebay.  We all know that much of the stealing is by addicts and the money goes to drug dealers and then filters its way "up" the ladder to crooked law enforcement, mayors, etc., etc.

    So someone has a plan to try and shut down one of the ways these crooks move the merchandise they’ve stolen out of our homes and businesses and you want to stop people from "ratting" on them?

    I’d like to look into YOUR background and see just how you are going to profit by allowing thieves to do business freely.

    • Jason Lee Miller

      i’m not supporting thieves, and i agree there should be law enforcement. these bills go over the line, though and i think they are unconstitutional.

      as for my background, go ahead and check it. the only thing you’ll find is a grandpa bootlegger during prohibition…i have nothing to gain by writing against this legislation except for protection of the ideals of our Constitution and holding our government accountable when they go too far.

      Why force eBay to do the police work for the police? Since when is disallowing speech okay? This is also a privacy violation.

      • Guest

        Ebay does not protect privacy for sellers.

        Any one can do and say anything to sellers on ebay.

        They charge a big price to sell on their company and should police their company.

        Where is everyones honesty? We live in America.Home of the free.Not home of the free to steal and sell on ebay.

  • Guest

    Once again, congress is working on things they have no business working on.  Congress should be disbanded and only called to meet 1 timer per year for 60 days.  They spend far too much time regulating things which they were never intended to regulate. 

    A quick fix for this would be to move the online auction sites offshore under the proper corporate structure so they would not have to comply.

  • http://wehner.org Charles Douglas Wehner

    I know I should not be replying to this, but I cannot resist. Of course, it is addictive to reply – and before you know it things have spiralled out of control.

    WHAT A LOAD OF BALONEY. I am not friend of eBay, but even I will not hold them accountable for all the crime of the world. Nor will I accuse the Internet.

    The problems with online sales are (1) electrical signals can be tampered with (2) one does not know the directors of companies like eBay and (3) one does not know under which legal system – national, international or what – one is protected.

    eBay keeps spamming me, with warnings about a threat to my account. But I have no account. This does not seem to be a third party. The spamming seems to come from eBay itself. Perhaps from an employee.

    So I avoid online business.

    Secondly, eBay and the others are not police. It is not their job to spy on customers.

    Charles Douglas Wehner

     

  • http://cd-sunglasses.com Betty

    I think it’s  agreat idea. Get rid of the thieves and bad sellers.

  • http://www.certifiedonlineschools.com/ sandwalker

    Investigations conducted by eBay for our increasingly fascist government should be conducted publicly. Let the fencer know that they are suspected of being a thief and that they are being investigated by eBay because of complaints from (the person or organization suspecting it).  If it’s not done this way, what will stop competitors from reporting someone just to intimidate them off of eBay?   Let the rats be exposed as the rats they are to those they are reporting.  Why should the tattle-taler’s privacy be protected if they are going to put at risk someone else’s business? Privacy must be a two-way street.  Legislation is not needed imo. Just publicly list all those who file complaints and a list of all those who have received complaints.   When someone’s name or business appears multiple times in complaints by 3 or more different people or businessses, then eBay can investigate and collect more info., more than 5 and an account may be suspended.  By publishing the names of the complainers too, we can see who plays fair and who doesn’t.   Who has it in for which business or person and who doesn’t. 

     

    Congress needs to mind its own business. Like the first poster mentioned, Congress (both state and Federal) seems to have too much time on its hands and it would be better to limit their time in session to 60 days a year. Good idea!

     

    sandwalker

     

  • Richard Bogath

    The simplest solution to this problem would be to requre anyone selling on ebay or craigslist to have a Federal Tax ID number like any "real" business out there. Having to justify your expenses along with your profits will easily curtail 90% of the defacto theives out there from their activities.

    The problem with this solution? No one will sell on Ebay anymore.

    • thevetteheads.com

      Let’s go one better!! Instead of a federal tax number, All sellers should be required to have an eBay tax ID. All tax monies are collected by a trusty eBay Treasury Department. This money is then invested in "offshore" oil companies, etc. The profits are then distributed to other eBay Departments, so on and so on until we no longer need to rely on the U.S. Government!

  • F.P. Sherrick

    This has got to be a joke!  Congress couldn’t even keep the major money markets from stealing their customers blind.  And it wants webmasters to apprehend petty thieves – LOLOLOLOL!!!!! 

  • http://www.no-bs-seo.com Michael Murdock

    Watching over sales on eBay for stolen goods is a good thing. Having personally been faced with issues where someone sent me a fake check trying to purchase my laptop, I think this is cool.

    Of course those folks that tried that were stupid enough to send me their exact address so when the FBI, CIA, SECRET SERVICE showed up at their warehouse they were a bit surprised.

    And…they’re still in jail in in major hurt due to the amount of money they owe.

    So…the lesson is don’t do it! And yes get the government to oversee it in some form.

    Too many losers out there taking advantage of others.

    Mike

  • Guest

    And you thinbk this is a bad thing?  I suppose you’ve never been burned before by an ebayer.

     

     

  • nobody

    I don’t know why everyone makes such a big deal about American laws. Simply move the business out of America! Then it is not subject.

    • Guest

      To the person who had suggested that we just move the business outside of the country so that we won’t be subjected to American laws, the only thing that you are really saying is that you have no sense of morality.

      It’s this kind of thinking that has caused this world to become so corrupt!  That is, it’s the kind of thinking which says, do whatever you can to avoid the law, and don;t worry about how many toes you have to step on to get what you want!

      That is just pathetic! 

      • Guest

        It seems to me that congress has enough to worry about without trying to be the ebay police. If you sell on ebay, you already know that there are a lot of safeguards already in place. Just look at the list of things not allowed to be sold. Then, if your stupid enough to sell stolen products, then you probably wouldn’t take care of business. Thus, your seller ratings would be bad and you would get banned from ebay.   I sell on ebay, however, I manufacture the item I sell. Unfortunately, with all the fees and being a new seller, I lost money this last month.  It is my right to succeed or fail. Government, needs to stay out of business. When the Goverment gets involved in your business, you have socialism. We don’t need that.

  • Guest

    If you have nothing to hide whats the worry, can they not do the same with isp that allow pedos to run free?

  • Peter Brown

    I think this is a fantastic step in the right direction. Having worked for retail investigations myself, I can see no bad coming of this law IF followed correctly.

    Of course there will be people who abuse or are curious. Who knows, maybe when Oprah Winfrey’s secret ebay user id is found, curious police officers will "tap" into ebay to view her account activities. That aside, this law is a fantastic way to fight organized retail crime, which costs us millions of dollars a year.

    Bravo!

  • http://www.footballforlovers.com bobandkaye

    As we see it, the Internet is the Last Frontier: the only place left where the ‘little guy’ can still be competitive.  We have long feared that corporations would try to take even this opportunity away from us, and we see any move in that direction (such as the eBay issue mentioned in the article) as a threat to the poor and middle class majority who, here in the USA, have already had their lives severely compromised by corporate greed and governmental corruption.

    • ahoosier

      Just another ploy for our government to be in the "police" business. The Internet is the "last  and final frontier" of freedom! Let’s keep it that way!!

  • Bob

    any website is required to pass any personal info to the feds…

     

    requiring extensive record keeping on sellers using the site and turning over that information to authorities upon request,

    A Warrant issued and signed by a judge need to be required prior to website turning over any personal records. Congress cannot re-write the Constitution here…

  • http://www.asklizryan.com Liz Ryan

    The "any authorized person"  bit should be upgraded to law enforcement agencies. Apart from that, I don’t see the problem. Organized retail crime is a huge problem that raises prices for everyone (did you see the article in last week’s New Yorker on the topic)? How is it bad for law enforcement agencies to ask marketplaces like eBay – and by the way, off-line marketplaces like flea markets, as well – to crack down on people selling toothpaste stolen right off the racks at Target? I don’t see the constitutional difficulty. It’s one thing to expect a bookstore to tell the FBI which books you purchased last year. That’s creepy, and it’s harassment. But to make sure that marketplaces take some responsibility for enabling (and profiting from) the sale of stolen goods doesn’t sound like a bad thing. I’d like to see the bar for inquiries raised. Then, I’d like to see a crackdown on eBay and other online markets’ passive support for the new-millennium Mafia.

  • Guest

    It’s a sad day when it’s Democrats proposing such secret police type tactics.  And that description of how people go from legit sellers to thieves on the lam was the most preposterous thing I’ve read in a while.  Hopefully the Democrats will do what they’ve managed to do so well for so long–nothing.

    • They are not just Democrats-They’re AMERICANS!

      I know that according to current polls, 78% of Americans are very unhappy with the current Congress and 42% unhappy  with Bush.  I don’t know what the numbers are this week.

      But remember, like this election, we are Americans first and foremost.  We are Americans before we are Democrats or Republicians.  Can’t we at least applaude the so called labeled "do nothing Congress" for trying to do something on stopping funding for Terrorists via Net crimes? That’s doing something, isn’t it? I don’t vote a party …I vote a person. 

      And although most of Congress is Democrats I see them first as Americans trying to work for all of us. I am not voting for NoBama because he had 132 times to do something with his vote and he only voted "Present". Like most lawyers, he was trained to never takes sides, never answer plainly, but if you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything.  He never took a stand on anything, so it’s easy for the "do nothing person" to knock the one (McCain) who has really done some things, many times over. So I am breaking party ties this time.

      So please stop your senseless criticisms of Democrats for trying to work on this, or else step up to the plate, run for office and do a better job yourself.

      The people elected them based upon their promises, which most of them have never kept thus far. but that doesn’t mean it can never happen.

      The Congressional "do nothings" CAN do something but we have to LET them do something. But the Presidency is not a social experiment to award that office to someone that had 142 days of experience before running for Pres.  Biden is right, "There is no on the job training for the Presidency," Especially for someone who couldn’t make a decision 132 times on anything.

      That’s taking "do nothing" to a new level, don’t you think?

      WE CAN’T AFFORD TO TAKE THE RISK OF PUTTING SOMEONE WHO IS THAT INDECISIVE IN OFFICE, ESPECIALLY NOW.

  • Anonymous

    Blame it on EBay sellers. Hamas, bin Laden – anyone else the "Powers-that-Be" don’t like, EBay sellers are to blame. We support terrorism. WHAT CRAP!!!!!

    I am Canadian, run a legitimate business, have a Tax Number….. Already EBay makes it hard enough for me to make ANY reasonable profit. Do the congressional bone heads really think we get 70% of retail pricing for our products?? I wish that were even close to true – I’d be filthy stinking rich by now. Here’s what we sellers face – gallery photo fees, listing fees (based on starting asking price), final value fees (based on final selling price), user fees, PayPal fees to transfer my money from their records to my bank account (God help you if you need it converted from one currency to another). If I sell a pair of Ladies pants which retail for 89.00, I might get 14.99. Take off my overhead and the fees from EBay and PayPal, my profit is a whopping 5.00 – MAYBE – if I’m lucky — AND that is if the item sells the first time it is listed. If the item doesn’t sell, I have to re-list. OH YEAH!!! We are getting rich and overthrowing governments world wide.

    GET A LIFE, bureaucrat. It seems obvious that your mother dropped you on your head. She scrambled your brains.  I’m all for National Security. I support the police and military efforts to combat crime and terrorism. I’m ex-military myself. BUT!!! This insanity must stop before the bureaucrats legislate society into a straight jacket.

  • Guest

     That is just crazy!! what next  GPS us while were takinga shower to make sure we got washed under our arms…!! MY god control has really gotten past us hasnt it, we just hand everything over to the bass turds.

    Whats to stop some jackas on ebay to report some other jakas just because his shipping as late or something like that. You see some of the feedback these people leave…it’s like they are gonna have a kaniption over such a small issue. What to stop that same momo from saying "oh i’ll get this guy good" and turn him in as suspect? CHrist you would have to have a whole agency just for the screening.

    How bout pass a bill for something usefull…..waste, stupid typical

  • Ken Brahmer

    If thieves sell my stolen television back to me via the internet, at least it only costs me %70 to replace it. I buy the same television from a storefront it costs %100 to replace it and a percentage of that cost goes to the government in taxes for protection. Making an internet retailer do a lot of stuff, costs the retailer and that cost is passed on to the consumer. At best, the government is just getting a percentage of  the crime. So you are actually paying for this “enhanced” law enforcement monetarily and with loss of some of your privacy. This would be a second or third payment with no assurance that your new television won’t be stolen as well with the same results to your pocketbook.
    Legislation and government offices do not deter crime…they penalize the victim first and on occasion penalize the perpetrator later which does nothing for the victim.

    On a much larger scale:  the Federal Government provides funds to selected banking concerns to loan to other banks so they can loan it to me to buy my house. The banks get some of that as profit, the government gets a percentage in taxes on the sale. I then pay more taxes to the government to protect my house, some of which goes to law enforcement agencies. The banking system loses money because of poor business practices to such a degree they might fail. So to assure me that I will have an ability to borrow money, I bail out the banks. Taxes go to the Federal Reserve to protect the public from banking practices which might cause them to fail. My money is thus devalued and everything costs me more. AGAIN! Legislation and government offices do not deter crime…they penalize the victim first and on occasion penalize the perpetrator later which does nothing for the victim. The bankers, the Federal Reserve officers, and the legislators are not fired and continue to receive great salaries. I lose my home.

    The time for rebellion has come.

  • Randy J

    I totally support the iplementation of these rules to help stem crime.  If people worry about selling stolen merchandise then it could be harder to sell stolen goods and reduce the insidence of thefts.

    Giving up these kinds of "rights" is well worth the goal of reducing crime and protecting the innocent.

    I also support of a national DNA and fingerprint database for every person in the USA.  EVERY PERSON IN, ENTERING AND LEAVING..

    I also support monitoring cameras in all public areas.  What a great way to stop criminal behavior in its tracks.

    If you are not doing something illegal, then you have no worry.

    The innocent and victims WIN !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Deal with it and support the victims…

     

     

     

     

    • Michael Kennedy

      This is a tremendous mistake that is often made by the weak and timid. Fearful people are so willing to give up all of their rights in hope that some benevolent powerful entity will protect them from the bad things in the world.

      Time and time again this has played out in history only to leave these misguided individuals slaves of the totalitarian establishment they once trusted. In the end the weak and the timid end up victims anyways.

      Repeat after me: Government is not my mommy, Government is not my mommy, Government is not my mommy……………………………………………………………………………..

  • http://www.diamondonnet.com/ Diamonds

    These guys just dont have anything better to do.  There is just no more privacy on the internet anymore.  I agree with the previous poster, what would stop some unsatisfied customer from reporting a seller.  The government has been trying to have google open their database of user information, hopefully that won’t happen or is already on the works?

  • http://lamegame.name Daniel Vincent Kelley

    This is Hitler’s dream fascist state, a nation of rats and agents.  I’m guessing battling petty theft is a concocted excuse to go this route.  It seems to me this is a way to establish a push within a bureaucracy to develop connections within corporations.  Connections with people who will be more easily pliable to reporting whatever the government decides criminalize.  This week it’s certain select agricultural products and not owning health insurance (seriously against the law in Massachusetts) next week it’s having thoughts of dissolving tyranny, then the round up and mass deportation happens, oh wait that’s already underway with 1 out of every 100 Americans being literally IN JAIL, RIGHT NOW.

    I mean cuh mon, addicted to auctioning stuff on ebay?  Really?

    If they really wanted to find this suspicous activity they could do it on their on by datamining the already publically available information, having a computer crunching the numbers comparing prices of new items with retail value.

    Recruit some rat administrators in corporate offices instead… 

    I forsee a time when all people of Irish descent in the U.S. must wear a 4 leaf clover on their chest while walking the streets.  Your papers sir, your papers!  I will need to see your papers.

  • harryb

    fine idea to cach the crooks however create legislation to fund the r & d to create technoligy to provide law enforcement with the needed evidence. putting the retailer / wholesaler in the middle is just another usless bandaid

    • http://lamegame.name Daniel Vincent Kelley

      It’s not a bandaid, it’s a scam.  Worse, it’s a power scam by mass murderers.  Since when does Power Grab by Mass Murderers=Bandaid

      Welcome to the 3rd Reich numnuts.  You’re sure going love this little crime stopping spree when your city melts for it.

  • http://lamegame.name Daniel Vincent Kelley

    The enforcement already exists.  It’s by way of mall security, the extensive video camera’s in stores.  The alarm tags on the $40 brassiers…

    How are you going to proove a person stole a bunch of bra’s they’re trying to sell on ebay cheap?

    Totally ridiculous.

    Zeig Heil

  • http://officialsafetyandsecurity.com Debbie Morgan

    Thanks, Jason, for a great article and for giving us a heads-up on this issue. Thieves selling on eBay or other reseller sites hurts the legitimate sellers on the internet and I for one would like to see them stopped.

    As a web site owner of safety and security products, I’m all for getting to the truth and catching the bad guys. I agree that, although this may be the intention of Congress, they do step over the line sometimes.

    That’s where we come in. As citizens, online merchants and consumers, we need to let our senators and representatives know how we feel about the issues they are dealing with in Washington.

    Talking to them takes time and effort but it’s much more effective then complaining about it to anyone who will listen.

  • Guest

    IMO, I think this is something Ebay has been pushing for in the past anway.  It is all just coming out into the open now for the general public.  Ebay has kicked thousands of sellers off the site in the past year, with their own tactics. This is nothing new.

    http://www.green-zen.com

    http://www.laser-beauty.net

    http://www.katiepriceworld.com

     

  • Guest

    There were two organizations that tried to control everything once-upon-a-time.

    1. The Nazi party.

    2. The Communist party.

    BIG BOTHER WANTS  TO WATCH YOU!!

    Guard against real criminals and terrorists. How do you propose to "target" these viscious EBay cyber criminals? It is easy to focus on electronics like T.V.’s and such (serial number). Cars? (Vehicle I.D. number). Toothpast? (expiration date?) Can’t sell booze or smokes on EBay. Rolling Stones T-shirt? Jaws DVD? The Who CD?

    There are already checks in the EBay system. If you get crap from a buyer (pirate DVD/CD etc) you ask for your money back, or you report them to EBay. If that doesn’t work go to the police with your evidence and paper trail, they have people to investigate this stuff. Problem  is already solved. Why do we need special legislation?

    Politicians really need to get a real job.

  • James

    Zieg Heil!

    The police state approaches ever closer…

    While I disagree with turning marketplaces into snicthes, I do think that they have a responsibility to keep stolen goods off their sites and eliminate the profit from crime. If they won’t do it themselves and it requires state intervention to accomplish that, then perhaps that’s the only way to get it done.

    Where can I get one of those sharp looking black uniforms? You know… the ones with tall black boots and clicking heels!…

  • http://www.hawaiiobserver.com Guest

    Over the course of history, no government ever cared to eradicate crime, only to preserve its own monopoly of crime. A government is still the organized crime gang it always was, even if it renamed its racket "taxes" and "wars" in a lame PR attempt. Expecting the government to stop crime is like expecting the Pope to stop religion.

    The only way government will stop poverty and crime (the second being a byproduct of the first) is to stop causing both.  The Internet has no more to do with crime than a hammer has to do with aggravated assault. Will they pass laws against hammer sales as well, then?

     

  • Guest

     GOD BLESSED AMERICA, GOD DAMN THE UNITED STATES.

    THIS IS NO LONGER THE COUNTRY I LOVED. THE "TERRORISTS" WON. I HOPE A REBELLION IS COMING.

    • coonass

      I just came yesterday from a memorial for my son who died for his country in Iraq and all the others with families in my adopted state who died for their country.

      You say "God damn the United States" where I can reach you and my fists will be rebelling against your face, you slimy mistake.

  • Guest Who

    Many Americans refuse to accept responsibility for their own actions. Thus retail theives blame the existence of e-Bay and craigslist for their inability to resist shoplifting. I have heard of other criminals who blame drugs for their crimes and I have heard politicians blame easy money for their lack of integrity. It’s such a shame that all of those temptations exist. We would be a world full of saints if the temptations weren’t there wouldn’t we?

  • J Prater

     Slow steps towards reducing fear leading to false security traded for freedom.  Next step… implanted chips that make life oh so easy and safe.  Just because it can be done doesn’t mean it should be done.

  • http://www.stuffdone.com Paul Kruger

    Congress is asking private business to spend it’s own money to track crime.  This amounts to an unfunded mandate of the kind that is also killing other programs around the states.  Programs that tie grant money to compliance. Problem is states are wising up to the fact that often the grant money they lose by refusing to participate is actually far less than the cost of compliance.

    Perhaps this is really a scam by Congress to cut down of grants to the states.

    In any case, who has the resouces to even know if these goods are stolen our not? Are these retailers supposed to include a check box when you list something that says "CHECK HERE IF THIS IS STOLEN PROPERTY"

    This is totally stupid and unworkable and un funded. I say ignore this law and let them prove that …

    (a) a particular item was stolen and

    (b) the online auction had knowledge of this fact and

    (c) the online auction had any means available to even know it might be stolen.

     

  • JeffSatin
  • Sotiropoulos

    To be honest I need to read the entire bill to properly evaluate the pros and cons.  It is not prudent for me to express views merely on the words and  opinions of others……. Would appreciate it, if you could put the bill on your site so that we may all have a chance to read it. 

    Thanks,

    John

     

     

    • Jason Lee Miller

      The article above has links to all three bills in their entirety

  • Guest Who

    Cowardly folks who are willing to give up their rights and freedom to gain security and live a life without risk should realize that what they are asking is to lock everyone in a prison of DNA databases, GPS trackers, embedded RFID chips, draconian laws requiring compliance and government monitoring. Sure they will be safe. In that sort of world only the criminals will be free.

    The question, "If you have nothing to hide, what do you fear?" is answered by "What I fear is someone finding out how fickle our love of freedom is and what cowards we have become."

    Our founding fathers would be ashamed.

  • http://www.surreywebdevelopment.org.uk/ Surrey Development

    Mr La Rocca may be in need of a little medication himself, the assertion is not rational, although the opportunity has been presented to him.

    Ebay may be making offers now but have had ample opportunity to put their house in order and declined. I was the subject of attempted fraud involving Ebay staff, a good while back. Guess how much they wanted to listen, after many emails there was no successful conclusion.

    Equally, anyone regularly looking at an Ebay section can see the problems, the vendors who are selling their Sister’s Playstation, for the 72nd time, or the issues with missing packaging/guarantees etc.

    We have had numerous complaints about Ebay and they all boil to not accepting responsibilty to the slightest degree. Now we will pay the price for their attitude.

  • Nikki

    Congress should try to create bills that actually work!  Like perhaps, require merchants to have their sellers "register" with a government agency that monitors internet theft and makes merchants responsible for the crime (if they don’t).  This ensures merchants will do their part. 

    A "government" agency should be responsible for "policing" (since they have no interest in NOT policing, unlike these businesses that earn a percentage off of every sale or that are set up by theives themselves).

    This government agency should require all sellers to have a physical address and a verifiable bank account so they can be pursued legally if needed.  This agency should also verify the "applicant info" (to ensure it’s not a person whose stolen someone else’s identity).  This limits anonymous sellers.

    This agency should warn "new applicants" that if they are "acting on behalf" of any other entity, they should be CAUTIONED!  Many theives prey on others to set up these accounts by claiming their company needs someone to handle their books or to give their business a local presence.  Government should inform them, "YOU will serve the jail time and be held accountable for any and all financial losses of the company you represent so to protect yourself, require the entity you represent to register, you can still act on their behalf once they’re verified.  If they fail to do so, be leary of them."  

    Finally, merchants should add to their policies (when a claim is filed) an email be sent to the claimant that recommends they fill out a form (possibly provide a link to the form as well as the government agency in which the form will be sent to).  Fields like "sellers name", "seller’s score", etc.  Who better to contact government facilities than the actual victim of the crime.  This allows the government to track potential theives and build a case against them.    

    Government could also require a $25 registration fee to help offset the costs of running such an agency. 

      

  • http://Survivorsareus.com Halimah bint David

    I think they need to spend mor time looking at supposed "wholesalers’ through sites like trade key.  My husband had several thousands stolen when attempting to do business with some companies in China.  I think it would be wise to stay away from China and Nigeria when trying to do business.  These ywo countries have a ridicuolous amount of internet crime.  These are where the police should be investigating.  On Ebay the most prominant crime is done by fake buyers whom are trying to scam the sellers through various methods.  As usual the government is backwards as to where it should be concerned and what it should be doing.

    Alcohol is the leading cause of more death, car crashes and domestic violence and yet it is legal. 

    Halimah bint David

    • Guest

      Quote: “My husband had several thousands stolen when attempting to do business with some companies in China.  I think it would be wise to stay away from China and Nigeria when trying to do business.  These ywo countries have a ridicuolous amount of internet crime.”

       

      – You are an idiot! I have been doing business with many companies outside the US (and especially in China) and have not had anything “stolen.” Do your homework and use some common sense when you’re going to spend “several thousands” anywhere. Don’t blame your misery on any group of people because of your own stupidity and greed. There’re crooks everywhere and they can operate from any country.  Lastly, where did you see that there’s a “ridicuolous amount of internet crime” in China?

      • coonass

        That was sure an extreme reaction.  How do you know she’s either stupid or greedy? 

        As far as the ridiculous amount of Internet crime in China, every time someone with a PDA or a laptop visits China, some scumbag with a Bluetooth or wi-fi connection seems to hack their system.  That sounds like a "ridiculous amount of Internet crime" to me.   When our senior government officials and diplomats who have to travel there complain about the problem, it’s serious.

        And when this level of hacking exists in a police state, it’s a safe bet that the government tolerates it in exchange for access to the hacked systems.

        No, I think Halimah bint David has a point here; however, doing business with other people unsecured by financial documents or enforceable contracts IS risky.  You just shouldn’t have to count on being ripped off when you do business – I sympathize with the lady.

  • http://www.premiernetclicks.com CSSteve

    Turning in crooks and criminals is a good thing. And, it is up good citizens to do so when they see fit. However, making laws that violate our privacy is a completely unneccessary and unexceptable proposal.

    Politicians have found a favorite tactic in creating unneccessary laws in order to pat themselves on the back. We are supposed to cheer for them taking away our rights in the name of public safety and the elimination of crime. All the while they fail miserably at the most basic functions of their office.

    Get real Washington! And, get back to work on some real financial market oversight and infrastructure legislation. Some of us are not so easily fooled.

  • Guest

    It will end up like everything else the government dose it will only efect and tax the honest people. they try to scare you by saying its because of thiefs when in fact they are not getting their cut. And do not confuse the IRS or the federal reserve with are federal government. These are a band of rich pricks who realy run this country and forever indebted and stole this country from the people. Talk is over if you want freedom back you better grab a gun before they take that and forever inslave us to their thoughts and ways where only the rich have rights. so take it back or shut up and take the shit they are selling.

  • http://karlkevilus.com Karl K

    Organized Retail Crime is killing our country. 

    Criminals used to fence there stolen merchandise for 30 cents on the dollar, now with ebay they’re getting 70 cents on the dollar.

    It’s costs retailers between 40 and 100 billion dollars last year.  Thats the real tax on our country. 

    They’re not asking for anything that Pawn Shops aren’t supposed to do already.

  • Fed Up

    Every retailer would gladly give up any customer list of who bought and sold what. That is as long as it doesn’t have their personal information or habits on it. Its always been there for the asking. Why make a law? Because its a loophole for lawyers to get you off because of illegal search and seizure without a warrant. Plain and simple.

  • http://www.poormanwindowcleaning.com Brian

    What happened to self accountability. This is coming from the top of our nation all the way down. You cant hold people accountable for their own errors, no one can succeed past another there are no winner, we are all special…come on people wake up

  • http://www.youngsebooks.com Jim Young

    All I have to say is, when will it stop?  Is the United States turning into a police state?  Worse yet, a socialist police state.  History has shown that these two basic government functions end in disaster.  We’re all human and should be treated that way.  Are we eBay sellers suppose to now live in fear wondering if some dumb government agent is going to think that what we are selling is stolen, even though it’s not?  EBay corporate officials and their new police polices are bad enough.  If there is one thing this great free enterprise callrd the United States will do, and that is to make a change.  Look out eBay!

    Jim Young

  • Guest

    There is something odd about the U.S. which is demostrated marvelously by the statement from the NRF vice president. In the UK we are used to being fed plenty of bull but I can’t imagine anybody having the shear brass neck to spout such an obvious pile of crap as this guy. I get the feeling that in the states he will be seen as having done a good job whereas in the U.K. his credibility would be in tatters and his career at an end.

  • Guest

    This will create a huge labor cost for Ebay who will have to pass that cost onto the public. Congress is turning Ebay into a police department for which neither the congress or ebay has the authority to do. I might add that you will be guilty until proven inisent and the right of the people will surely be trampled. And pawn shops are not required to police their customers other than turn over their tickets every month. The police are required to check the property against their stolen list. Ebay would be forced to do it all and we will pay the bill for it. Congress needs to go home and just stay there.

  • Guest

    It’s just the usual paranoid narcissistic political elite using distracting measures to distract ordinary people from there own misdemeanours and real crime, just like the so called credit crunch. 95% of total world money is only numbers inside machines, pretending money to sustain the big lie. White-collar crime far outweighs all other crime but they would be putting themselves and their friends in jail if they investigated that one wouldn’t they?   

     

  • Pam

    We’re quickly watching all of our freedoms going down the drain, in the name of protection from terrorism. If someone is doing something illegal, for crying out loud let the police, their neighbors, etc. deal with it. There are so many limitations on everything now that I’m not sure that I still live in the United States. Of course crime needs to be deterred in all facets from child porn and breaking into other peoples email. But sometimes government goes too far.

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