Why should the merchant be liable for not agreeing to do that and telling the customer "I don't trust you. Go settle this with your bank, and if you do and your bank offers me credit I will be happy to take it"?
Because that's not what the merchant does in this case. In this case, the bank has offered the credit and the merchant refuses to process it on the grounds that they don't trust the customer. But that's exactly the decision merchants are prohibited from making. They don't get to decide whether to trust the customer or not, that's the bank's decision. Once the merchant makes a request, if the bank has decided to extend the credit, the merchant has to process it. "Our system isn't set up to do that" is not going to cut it.
If the bank says "process the transaction", the merchant can't stick their hands in their ears and say "lalalalala, I am not listening, I don't trust this customer".
You don't legally have to accept any form of credit. However, you cannot selectively refuse to accept credit if the bank accepts the transaction. *You* aren't issuing the credit, so there is nothing for you to accept or refuse. If you run the transaction, you are agreeing to accept it if the bank does. You can't say, "well, the bank agreed to accept credit, but nevertheless, I won't accept it." You used to be able to, but this was horribly abused by businesses who would reject credit cards from young people, people who looked poor, and so on.
I'm not sure the fact that the bank initially rejected the transaction would help here. If the bank accepted the transaction, you then have a legal obligation to do so. "We have no way to do that" doesn't seem like a reasonable argument unless you actually do have no way. But here you clearly could run the transaction again. So it seems, at least to me, like this policy doesn't comply with the law and creates exactly the situation the law was trying to prevent -- people who have credit transactions accepted by their bank still have them refused by businesses that have no legal authority to accept or decline the offer of credit.
I doubt that system complies with Federal law. It's unlikely that you had the legal authority to reject an offer of credit if it was approved by the issuing institution. (Unless this was a long time ago before this was heavily abused and the laws were tightened.)
Bitcoin has nothing to do with holding other people's money. If holding other people's money requires regulation, that requirement should be independent of what form the money takes -- bitcoins, gold, dollars, whatever.
I don't follow your logic. Nothing backs gold. Does that mean it's not a store of value?
"Connecting directly to the destination network is typically free
Exactly. When the costs naturally split fairly evenly, there's no reason for anyone to pay anyone else. If both networks do their fair share, and we presume the traffic benefits both parties roughly equally, there's no reason for anyone to pay anyone else. Any argument that X should pay Y equally argues that Y should pay X. Senders pay to send, recipients pay to receive. This is a pretty typical case, and it's the justification for settlement-free peering.
So why don't you get access to their entire network? Because for some parts of the network, bringing the traffic to the destination network is *not* anywhere close to half the work. When the work doesn't naturally divide equally, settlement-based peering is used. This is how it's been for decades.
In the case of traffic from someone like YouTube or Netflix to a customer of an ISP like AT&T or Comcast, the costs don't naturally divide evenly. YouTube and Netflix use a small number of sources located wherever the cost is least. AT&T and Comcast have a large number of destinations located wherever they happen to be. This is a direct and inevitable result of the business model companies like Netflix and YouTube have chosen. We presume the traffic benefits both sides equally and so each side should pay half the cost.
In the vast majority of cases, the sender should bear roughly half the cost of delivering their traffic and the recipient should bear half. The result of this kind of imbalance has always been settlement-based peering.
It's a lot easier to mock an argument than to address it.
It has been the norm on the Internet for decades to use settlement-based peering when the costs fall unequally on the parties. It is much cheaper for Netflix to generate high-volumes of traffic from a small number of sources placed specifically where the costs are lowest than it is for Comcast to deliver high-volumes of traffic to a large number of sources placed in their customers' homes. The argument that it's fair for Comcast's customers to pay much more than half the cost of delivering Netflix's traffic to them is the one that should be mocked.
Perhaps you're imagining some alternate universe with an alternate Internet that works some other way. But in this world, for decades, settlement-based peering has been used when costs fall unequally on the parties.
Are you arguing that everyone should be able to run a line to the nearest IXP, pay only that IXP, and have Internet access to everyone and everything? Are you aware of the many, many reasons that can't possibly work? Who would pay to carry traffic across the Atlantic?
That's stupid and inefficient. Why should I pay X to pay Y when I can just pay Y directly?
That's actually what Netflix used to do, paying Level3 to reach Comcast. This was awful for everyone. Netflix paid more than they needed to. Comcast's customers had to go over Level3's network to reach Netflix. Level3's peering to Comcast was overloaded. And Level3 and Comcast had to deal with the lopsided data flow that was Netflix's fault. The solution was obvious and simple -- Netflix should just pay Comcast directly, and cut out the middleman. Now Level3's customers have connections to Comcast that aren't overloaded and Comcast customers don't have to use Level3 to reach Netflix.
You are imagining some hypothetical Internet that is nothing like the Internet we actually have. You are correct that ISP's have to deliver data to their customers. But only from sources that do their fair share of the work. If I place a computer in Antarctica, Comcast doesn't have to run a line to Antarctica at no charge to me just because one of their customers wants to reach that machine.
The Internet we actually have grew organically by organizations each doing their part to interconnect with others for mutual benefit. When the costs divide evenly and fairly, settlement-free peering is used and nobody pays anything to anybody else. When the costs don't naturally divide evenly, settlements are used. It has been this way for decades.
Each network pays for half of the costs of transferring the bits. The ISP charges its customers for its half. The data source pays part of its half to the customer's network because they do more than half the work.
Businesses like Netflix and YouTube necessarily emit large amounts of information from a small number of sources to a large number of destinations. This is always going to be much cheaper than delivering traffic to a very large number of destinations, like ISPs have to do. We assume the traffic benefits both networks evenly, so each side should pay half the costs. If not to the ISP, who should Netflix or YouTube pay the costs to? They don't bear them directly, because the traffic is necessarily much cheaper for them to carry than it is for the ISP.
"Note that he claims he built a nuclear reactor when he was 14.."
Which he did. Nobody seriously disputes this claim. He held the record for the youngest person to build a fusion device until Jamie Edwards did so at 13.
Nothing special. The prosecution just gives you "production immunity", agreeing not to use the contents of the password itself in court.
"Boy am I glad my client talked to the police!" exclaimed no lawyer ever.