Sci-Fi Writer Threat To National Security ?

    November 7, 2006

Apparently Paypal has frozen the assets of science fiction fantasy writer George R.R. Martin. For some unknown reason his name appears on the United States Department of The Treasury in the Office of Foreign Assets Control.

The mission statement for the OFCA from the US Treasury Department website reads: “The Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) of the US Department of the Treasury administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions based on US foreign policy and national security goals against targeted foreign countries, terrorists, international narcotics traffickers, and those engaged in activities related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

“OFAC acts under Presidential wartime and national emergency powers, as well as authority granted by specific legislation, to impose controls on transactions and freeze foreign assets under US jurisdiction. Many of the sanctions are based on United Nations and other international mandates, are multilateral in scope, and involve close cooperation with allied governments.”

The total dollar amount that has been frozen by Paypal is around fifty dollars according to Mr. Martin’s blog post. Mr. Martin said “There have been times in the past when I’ve had as much as thousand bucks floating in my PayPal account. Believe me, if you think I’m honked off now, imagine how pissed I’d be if they were robbing me of a thousand bucks instead of fifty.”

I am not exactly sure what kinds of weapons of mass destruction one could purchase with fifty bucks? To unlock his Paypal account Mr. Martin said “All I have to do is furnish PayPal with several different proofs of my identity. They already have a credit card number and a bank account number, mind you, but that’s not sufficient, now they want copies of my passport, my birth certificate, and a utility bill.”

What about a pint of blood? We have all heard of these kinds of things happening before. From someone you know who is on a no fly list to something like what has happened to Mr. Martin.

Security is an important issue but it becomes absurd when the target becomes an award-winning author with no ties to any dangerous organization or criminal background.

Does this make anyone feel safer?

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Mike is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest ebusiness news.