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Having Your ID Stolen Leads to Job Loss, Prosecution 404

ConfusedVorlon writes "The BBC reports on the sad case of Simon Bunce. Mr. Bunce had his identity stolen, and credit cards were made to capitalize on the theft. Some of those cards were used at sites offering child pornography, and as a result Mr. Bunce was swept up in Operation Ore. The poor man was prosecuted for his 'crime', and was eventually found innocent, but in the meantime he lost his job. It took him six months to find another at a quarter of the salary. 'The police's computer technicians take several months to examine [his computers and records], and Mr Bunce could not afford to wait to repair the damage done to his reputation. "I knew there'd been a fundamental mistake made and so I had to investigate it." Recent surveys suggest that as many as one in four Britons have been affected by it. In 2007 more than 185,000 cases of identity theft were identified by Cifas, the UK's fraud prevention service, an increase of almost 8% on 2006.'"
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Having Your ID Stolen Leads to Job Loss, Prosecution

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  • and yet... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 03, 2008 @05:36PM (#22956960)
    no one will care, because thats acceptable to protect the children.

    All ongoing posts will be the back and forth on this concept.
    • All ongoing posts will be the back and forth on this concept. I think it will be two for, followed by three against.

      Seriously, the problem here isn't just the prosecution - the fact that he lost his job because he was charged for a crime he was later found innocent of gets me almost as riled up.

      • Re:I disagree... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 03, 2008 @05:47PM (#22957110)
        That's what happens when you get involved in a witch hunt, which is exactly what this bullshit is. Anyone who calls it anything else is a closet pedophile. Why else do they fight so hard "to protect the children"? They mean, to protect the children from hypocrite lying shitheads like themselves.
        • Re:I disagree... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by DaedalusHKX ( 660194 ) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @07:27PM (#22958130) Journal
          Your tax dollars hard at work... so when they demand or you hear "pay your fair share" what are you paying for, exactly. Billions are spent on policing, and finding new "prevention" methods in the criminal arena, while in medicine they are treating symptoms rather than causes. Strange how in each field, the wrong approach is taken.

          By all accounts I've read (and some old timers I've talked to) each generation expects more from the governments, pays far more and gets far less. The same is true of medicine. More toxins find their way into our food, our entertainment and such. I have old timer friends who used to be coke heads in the 50's. They tell me that clean coke (not crack and the like) made people relaxed, not hostile and seeking to kill for another fix. Strange? I get similar stories from potheads I've known in college. Strange that the police would punish nonviolent criminals, while violent rapists and murderers get acquitted? And not even acquitted on technicalities, but on mere "good behavior" or "time served" or more precisely "to make room in prison for tax cheats".

          Tax cheats?? Wtf are we getting for our "fair share" that we have been paying? Highways? There's fucking potholes in DC! Nation's capital has goddamn potholes!! I've seen private toll roads with NO POTHOLES!! I've seen private estates and gated neighborhoods, "End Municipal Maintenance Here" read the sign. Far better roads, lower crime, and my friends living there all owned weapons, and didn't ever call the cops. They had armed security, well paid armed security at the neighborhood gates. Perhaps until people stop demanding things of gods and governments, those gods and governments will have no reason to demand things of their ignorant worshipers.
          • Re:I disagree... (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Captain Splendid ( 673276 ) <<capsplendid> <at> <gmail.com>> on Thursday April 03, 2008 @07:40PM (#22958240) Homepage Journal
            Oh great, let's all move into gated communities, and do balkanization from the ground up!

            Dude, Snow Crash was a novel, not a manual.
        • Re:I disagree... (Score:4, Interesting)

          by chuckymonkey ( 1059244 ) <charles DOT d DO ... AT gmail DOT com> on Friday April 04, 2008 @03:25AM (#22960736) Journal
          I'm tired of being treated like a criminal because I have a penis. Case in point: I was at the library, my wife and I had driven seperately because I had to leave for work right after we were done there. We have children, two in fact. I had found a couple of books, checked them out and wandered over to the kids section to find my wife. She wasn't there, so I moved on to a few other areas that she might frequent. I then went back to the kids section looking for her when the librarian more or less hostily interrogated me for being there. Looked very smug when I got pissed and left, then looked embarassed when I came back with my two daughters in tow. Did I get an apology? No, because it's acceptable to harass a man when he's in the kids section. Thank you fucking Dateline, I can no longer even talk to children despite the fact that I think they are usually far more interesting and intelligent than their parents.
      • Re:I disagree... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 03, 2008 @05:48PM (#22957134)
        People these days can't even bother to wait for all the votes to be counted before having the new leader of their country announced, why in the world would they wait for someone to be found guilty before treating them as such?
        • ...

          Okay, yeah, I've got nothing to say to that. I think I'm just going to go sit in my corner & cry about the state of the world.

        • Re:I disagree... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Brave Guy ( 457657 ) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @08:34PM (#22958700)

          Maybe they'd wait if, I dunno, we didn't advertise the details of suspects publicly on the basis of some random allegation that has yet to be proven in court?

          Getting back to this specific case, I'm not sure what's more disturbing:

          1. the fact that the guy lost his reputation and his livelihood on the basis of a tenuous link that wrongly affects thousands of people every year, or
          2. the fact that he could build a solid case to refute the charge using only a fairly simple FOI request and matching up the time and place of the criminal use of the card with records proving he was on the other side of the planet at the time, yet the authorities managed to take his computer equipment and such away for several months and take the system took several years to exhonerate him.

          And on an unrelated note, what gives with the weird styling on Slashdot since earlier this evening? Loads of HTML formatting, such as the list above, is completely broken. :-(

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by cayenne8 ( 626475 )
            "yet the authorities managed to take his computer equipment and such away for several months and take the system took several years to exhonerate him."

            It keeps getting worse in this respect in the US.....they'll confiscate most any and ALL property if you're suspected of a number of crimes. It started out as a way to battle the 'drug lords'...but, now, if they catch you with a roach, they'll impound your car and whatever else they think is connected to your drug money. Now.this spills over into many more

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 03, 2008 @07:13PM (#22957982)
        Child pornography is one of a few accusations where a person is presumed guilty until proven innocent... and even after he's proven innocent.
    • This one is not. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by khasim ( 1285 ) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Thursday April 03, 2008 @05:49PM (#22957144)
      If you can solve the "identity theft" problem, you won't have to worry about this in the future. Whether kiddie porn is involved or not.

      And we've been over, often enough, the various means of solving "identity theft". The problem is that the burden is on the victim, not the bank issuing the cards. Despite the bank having far more information and resources than the victim.

      If we would just validate the transaction instead of the "identity" of the purchaser, we'd be able to eliminate this fraud.
      • Now thats a really good point. I wonder how many will read your post as opposed to the other emotionally charged comments we're sure to see.
      • by WaltBusterkeys ( 1156557 ) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @06:06PM (#22957300)
        Banks aren't the only problems. All of the giant database companies (like ChoicePoint) have giant bullseyes on their databases for hackers. They can implement all of the security measures in the world, but the data will still leak out [reputation...erblog.com] with all of the negative consequences.

        Each data broker intentionally has all of the information that's required to open any kind of loan account, from a credit card to a car loan to a marker at a casino. And so all it takes is one clever hacker to get that data out for a few thousand (or a few tens of thousands) of customers and *poof* he's able to create tens of thousands of fake loans by impersonating the customers whose information he just stole.

        Until we see some legislation regulating security for data brokers we'll never see the end of identity theft.
        • by khasim ( 1285 ) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Thursday April 03, 2008 @06:16PM (#22957406)
          Scenario: Build a database with every possible social security number.

          Next, start gathering whatever information you can and entering it in that database. By theft or purchase or whatever.

          How long will it be before you can, digitally, "prove" that you are any person in that database?

          The attacks you are talking about are just the tip of the iceberg. It would be possible to perform such fraud on a nation-wide basis. Against just about any person in the nation.

          And our system is NOT equipped to deal with such.
          • by Original Replica ( 908688 ) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @07:03PM (#22957866) Journal
            The attacks you are talking about are just the tip of the iceberg. It would be possible to perform such fraud on a nation-wide basis. Against just about any person in the nation.And our system is NOT equipped to deal with such.

            This kind of database problem was pointed out back in 1967 in a fascinating article in Atlantic magazine.

            A committee of the Bureau of the Budget has proposed that the federal government set up a National Data Center to compile statistical information on various facets of our society. Certainly the computer can help us simplify record-keeping by assigning everyone a "birth" number that will identify him for tax returns, banking, education, social security, the draft, and other purposes....But such a Data Center poses a grave threat to individual freedom and privacy. With its insatiable appetite for information, its inability to forget anything that has been put into it, a central computer might become the heart of a government surveillance system that would lay bare our finances, our associations, or our mental and physical health to government inquisitors or even to casual observers. Computer technology is moving so rapidly that a sharp line between statistical and intelligence systems is bound to be obliterated....As information accumulates, the contents of an individual's computerized dossier will appear more and more impressive and will impart a heightened sense of reliability to the user, which, coupled with the myth of computer infallibility, will make it less likely that the user will try to verify the recorded data. This will be true despite the "softness" or "imprecision" of much of the data. Our success or failure in life ultimately may turn on what other people decide to put into our files and on the programmer's ability, or inability, to evaluate, process, and interrelate information....Eventually, these bureaus will make a network of their computers, creating a ready source of detailed information about an individual's finances. The accuracy of these records will become increasingly crucial; an honest dispute between a consumer and a retailer over a bill may produce an unexplained and unexpungeable "no pay" evaluation in the computer and result in considerable damage to the buyer's credit rating. link worth reading [modernmechanix.com]
            • by DaedalusHKX ( 660194 ) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @07:42PM (#22958248) Journal
              Actually I had such a dispute. Damaged my credit pretty badly at the time. I still refused to pay. To make a long story short, a man's word is not worth gold anymore, a man's word is worth not a penny, while other men's words about that man are worth more than gold.

              Makes you wonder why so few people are responsible nowadays... perhaps because all they have to do is be robots at work, and vege at night. Had they had to live up to what it was they said, life might be a bit different... for all of us.

              The question that must be asked is... "what makes a bunch of bankers and liars for a living, make their word more worthwhile in people's eyes than the word of a man who actually produces something tangible and sells it for a living and therefore has at least some chance that he isn't just a liar for a living?"
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Dzonatas ( 984964 )
            That is not how social security numbers work. It is not a one-to-one relationship between a name and a number. The SSN acts as a numeric name. It is added in the system to tell the difference between Joe Schmoe 12345 and Joe Schmoe 54321. There could also be Jane Schmoe 12345 and Jane Schmoe 54321. It's a number that has rolled over a couple times now. Any program that uses SSN as a single ID is wrong and should be trashed. Such buggy programs have only added to the problem of 'identity theft' in a differ
          • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @07:17PM (#22958026)
            And now imagine you have this information because you're allowed to have it, because you're some sort of federal agency. Ain't ever been easier to get rid of whoever you want. Forget hitmen, they leave a mess (and some nosey reporters might even poke into it since you can't easily turn off free press). Identity poisoning is the way of the political assassin of the future.
    • by JohnnyGTO ( 102952 ) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @06:09PM (#22957318) Homepage
      I have 4 children and I can bloody well protect them myself. And for the love of GOD don't let my wife catch you, I'd only kill you.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 03, 2008 @06:41PM (#22957672)
      A little background. Landslide was the company that sold the AVS and KEYZ age verification codes for access to adult sites. Despite the fact that they had thousands of sites, and their lawyers assured them they were not responsible for content, the government shut them down and prosecuted them over a couple of dodgy offshore sites, claiming the owners were "madams of a child porn bordello," and sent them to prison for life.

      Not content with this, they then took Landslide's entire customer list, sorted it by country, and sent it out to foreign law enforcement organizations demanding they raid everyone on it. They couldn't prove anyone on it had even visited an alleged child porn site, or what they had looked at if they did, but they could use the list for "probable cause" to search the victims computers, and if they found illegal porn while doing do, they could prosecute them for that.

      Most countries ignored the US demands, except for those conducting their own child abuse moral panics like the UK. The UK ran with the list, and called its version "Operation Ore."

      So they ran around raiding everyone in the UK who had purchased an age verification code from Landslide, and managed to find porn on a few computers, and sometimes were able to terrorize people on the list into making incriminating admissions. Of course, everyone so targeted was featured in the UK press as "a person who had paid for access to child porn."

      The problem here is not identity theft. The problem here is a fishing expedition into the lives of mostly innocent people based on something which no reasonable person would consider probable cause.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by flerchin ( 179012 )
        And that's why it's never wise to pay for porn.
        • by schon ( 31600 )

          And that's why it's never wise to pay for porn.
          Sorry, but how could paying or not paying for porn possibly have changed the output for this guy?

          The fact that he didn't pay for porn, but had his life ruined anyway kinda disproves your point, dontchathink?
    • Re:and yet... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Marful ( 861873 ) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @07:12PM (#22957966)
      "They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin

      "The only way Governments can induce citizens to surrender their rights is convincing them that by doing so, they will gain a measure of safety in exchange." - Thomas Jefferson

      "Necessity is the plea for every infringement of Human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves." - William Pitt
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by compro01 ( 777531 )
        "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed and hence clamorous to be led to safety by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary." -H. L. Mencken
  • by zappepcs ( 820751 ) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @05:45PM (#22957086) Journal
    How society prosecutes child pornography... like a lynch mob: guilty until proven innocent and no recompense for those poor souls that did not deserve to be labeled and treated like some monster.

    There is way too much leniency given to law enforcement in the process of stopping child pornography. WAY TOO MUCH.

    I'm not saying that child pornography is good or even just 'not bad'... I'm saying that lynch mob mentality in prosecuting anyone suspected of it is absolutely the wrong thing to do.

    Sex crime laws and their enforcement (at least in the US) are criminal in themselves. They are, at best, mostly subjective in nature and enforced with the tact of a nuclear weapon.

    Victims are stigmatized, penalized, emotionally brutalized, and then forever branded as someone that people can't trust.

    Laws are good to have. Not all laws are good laws. A law set by a community that cannot be amended or repealed is not a law, it's a dogma. These laws need some changes, big ones.
    • by SerpentMage ( 13390 ) <ChristianHGross@ y a h o o.ca> on Thursday April 03, 2008 @05:57PM (#22957206)
      Oh you are not kidding here.

      My wife and I have over the children from our in-laws. And they sleep in the bed with my wife. Just like kids do.

      Though when that happens I on purpose stay away and sleep in the guest bedroom or what have you. The first time I did this my wife looked funny at me. I said, "think about it, think really hard about it."

      It took her a moment or two and then she realized that I as a male cannot easily show emotion to children... There is a barrier that I have to erect, as I don't want people to ever think the wrong thing. Why? Because of the reason you said, Guilty first, innocent later.

      And often it depresses me...

      • by nwf ( 25607 ) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @06:03PM (#22957256)
        And that's why when I've talked with folks they say they won't even get involved if a child seems to be in trouble in public except by calling the police. The laws implicitly state, "don't get involved with kids." Discipline is abuse, too, so let 'em do whatever. No wonder they end up as screwed up teenagers.
        • Yeah society has become funny. Not to say before it was better.

          But in Germany it seems to be sport to throw rocks off the bridge. Remember this is the autobahn and several people have been killed.

          And in each of the cases, teenagers... My question WTF goes through their minds...
          • by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @07:18PM (#22958038) Homepage
            It is not really society. Mass media at work, fear sells lots of copies, hence mass media will push stories like terrorism, child abuse and other crime stories. Sell more media and, you sell more advertising. Politicians then feed off the media blitz and blindly follow what is nothing more in reality than a mass media beat up. So typical modern corporate thinking of profits before any thought of the harm caused to society, besides it is a little persons problem, the nobodies who can't afford lawyers on call.
      • by baldass_newbie ( 136609 ) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @06:18PM (#22957434) Homepage Journal

        There is a barrier that I have to erect

        <VOICE TYPE="BEAVIS">Heh, heh...you said 'erect'.</VOICE>
      • by gnuman99 ( 746007 ) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @06:20PM (#22957456)

        It took her a moment or two and then she realized that I as a male cannot easily show emotion to children... There is a barrier that I have to erect, as I don't want people to ever think the wrong thing. Why? Because of the reason you said, Guilty first, innocent later.


        Automated System Note: put SerpentMage on the watchlist.
      • by elucido ( 870205 )

        Oh you are not kidding here. My wife and I have over the children from our in-laws. And they sleep in the bed with my wife. Just like kids do. Though when that happens I on purpose stay away and sleep in the guest bedroom or what have you. The first time I did this my wife looked funny at me. I said, "think about it, think really hard about it." It took her a moment or two and then she realized that I as a male cannot easily show emotion to children... There is a barrier that I have to erect, as I don't want people to ever think the wrong thing. Why? Because of the reason you said, Guilty first, innocent later. And often it depresses me...

        See, this is what I was afraid of. The lawmakers in these cases have absolutely no expertise or even basic knowledge about how the online community, or how computers work, yet they make laws which govern something they know little to nothing about. Why don't they ask people who know the internet how to best govern it? Some of the laws are the sorta laws which by design will create situations just like this one.

      • by QuantumRiff ( 120817 ) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @06:29PM (#22957546)
        There was a guy running for a local office a few years ago in Oregon. On his web site, under hobbies, he listed "watching boys play". MY GOD he got hammered left and right.. He meant it coming from the fact that he coached 3 kids sports, but everyone assumed (there's that word)he was a pedo. Couldn't have been a more stand up guy, coach, active in church, always kept his word, etc.
        • thats mob mentality for you: disregard all rational thought and proceed with great vigour to whatever end seems like a suitable one at the time.

          sometimes i hate humans. really.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by WCLPeter ( 202497 )

        There is a barrier that I have to erect, as I don't want people to ever think the wrong thing. Why? Because of the reason you said, Guilty first, innocent later.

        I know exactly what you're talking about. In high school I wanted to be a grade school teacher.

        Unfortunately, people automatically assume the worst when a man wants to work with kids; I was strongly advised by my teachers and guidance counsellors to change my mind. I did.

        Looking back on it I'm still somewhat sad about it, but at the same time I'm glad about it to. With the current climate I would have lived in constant fear of the kid who got a bad grade, couldn't take it, and them making a false accusa

    • I was thinking this was someone in the U.S. and was eventually found innocent until I read on. Unlike you, IMHO it is OK to brutalize innocent US citizens if the they are connected to the gov, or cherch, and the laws are of the "bs morality gone wild" stuff getting dumped on the US. It is really sad to hear brits have no freedom anymore either.
    • by Bitsy Boffin ( 110334 ) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @06:04PM (#22957274) Homepage
      Paedofinder General sums it up... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jaUkt59vY1Q [youtube.com]
    • I get a kick out of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit (a regular running TV series devoted to sex crimes). It features Ice-T [wikipedia.org] as a regular "good guy". He's the same Ice-T who starred in Pimps up, Hos Down [ew.com] and who wrote a song about killing cops. I don't have a problem with Ice-T, but featuring him as a prominent character in a show about sexual mistreatment? War is peace, freedom is slavery.
  • Simon Tuttle? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by memorycardfull ( 1187485 ) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @05:48PM (#22957118)
    Or Simon Buttle?
  • It's terrible (Score:5, Insightful)

    by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @05:48PM (#22957132) Homepage
    with few exceptions, 'justice' leans in particular ways. Where children and child support are concerned, it's children first and anything else is a secondary consideration such as whether or not a man is the ACTUAL father of the children.

    In a case such as this, at least in the US, a person might at least be able to sue the government for malicious prosecution and collect damages specifying that since the accusation ruined his life, that the government should therefore pay for it for a long, long time.

    I have personally experienced what an accusation can do to one's employability... not even a conviction, just an arrest or an accusation. Is this an acceptable part of the justice system? I don't think so. While it's important to 'care for the victims' it's EQUALLY important to protect the rights of the accused until there is enough evidence to prove something is wrong.

    In the particular case under discussion, they should never have arrested him based on credit card transactions. That is not proof of identity or of anything other than a transaction was made. And if no other evidence of a crime was present, the most they should have done is attempt to verify whether or not it was actually he that made the transaction or someone else. They could do much of that without even bothering the poor guy.

    The reality is that this man is a victim of a crime... not necessarily a crime that is actually described in law, but still a violation of his life. I can't see that as acceptable. I think England is one of the last places I'd want to live... but then so is the U.S... and that's where I am now.
    • Re:It's terrible (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 03, 2008 @05:57PM (#22957208)

      I have personally experienced what an accusation can do to one's employability... not even a conviction, just an arrest or an accusation. Is this an acceptable part of the justice system? I don't think so. While it's important to 'care for the victims' it's EQUALLY important to protect the rights of the accused until there is enough evidence to prove something is wrong.


      I was accused of aggravated battery and for 6 months I was unemployable. Though the charges were thrown out my life was ruined, my family's future and security was in question, my wife left me (wow I should write a country song) and I was treated like a leper. Thanks a lot over ambitious prosecutor, especially since I have no recourse over what you did to me for nothing.

      I'm doing fine now & on top of the world career-wise. I have my pride though & those employers who were happy to hire me once the that portion of my life was over got a thanks but no thanks letter from me- I see their true colors and how they would treat someone based on a rumor and nothing more. I wont forget.
    • It does make me wonder if he has any recourse vs. having his life turned completely upside down.

      My guess is no.
    • Re:It's terrible (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ZorinLynx ( 31751 ) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @07:10PM (#22957946) Homepage
      I've always wondered this as well.

      Why can't they investigate these cases *discretely*, so that if the investigated party is innocent, his life isn't ruined? Do it in a way that neighbors, friends, and employers won't find out. It should be between the accused and the government until the person is proven guilty. This way, if they are found innocent, they can continue with their lives as if nothing happened.

      Unfortunately, law enforcement and the government likes to make a big show of things. Breaking down doors at 6AM, multiple police cars, so much attention that it attracts news media. The result? The person's life is ruined before it's even known if he's guilty or not.

      Discretion. Is it really that hard?
      • Re:It's terrible (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Culture20 ( 968837 ) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @09:10PM (#22958898)

        Why can't they investigate these cases *discretely*, so that if the investigated party is innocent, his life isn't ruined?
        Because it's one step away from discretely disappearing someone. I'd rather have everything nice and public, but have a government "insurance" fund that pays out huge sums to the wrongly-accused, even without them having to file suit for malicious prosecution.
  • by gillbates ( 106458 ) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @05:49PM (#22957138) Homepage Journal

    This man's problems were caused not by ID theft, but by suspicion of crime. It would be no different if someone seeking revenge reported him on an "anonymous tipline".

    The real problem, as I see it, is that even though one may legally be innocent until proven guilty, when it comes to dealing with the public at large, the accused is presumed guilty until proven innocent, and sometimes even afterward.

    Mr. Bruce's problems were caused by the society in which he lives, not the ID theft.

    • by Lumpy ( 12016 )
      It's not only that, but that there should be a legal liability to any employer that fires an employee over this. his employer should either give him his job back with a 25% increase and a written apology or simply a lifetime in wages.

      A lifetime in wages is probably cheaper than the CEO's bonus this year.

      In any light, anyone and everyone that wrongs a person based on suspicion should be liable and forced to pay restitution to those harmed by their actions.

      but that will never happen.
      • by Kenrod ( 188428 )
        There's no legal solution to this problem. Sure, you could force an employer to keep an employee, but who would want to work with an accused child molester? It's not fair, but humans will behave like humans and not always give someone the benefit of a doubt. How effective can an employee be with this kind of cloud hanging over their head? Is the employer just supposed to have the accused employee sit in a room by himself until the trial is over?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by cdrguru ( 88047 )
      You misunderstand the legal system. First off, in UK there is no presumption of innocence.

      Next, while the court system in the US has a presumption of innocence, the police do not. If they think they have cause to think you might be guilty, they are going to arrest you. It is then up to the prosecutor to decide if they think you can be convicted or not. Then, finally, you get to court where there is this presumption of innocence.
      • by nuzak ( 959558 ) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @06:31PM (#22957574) Journal
        > First off, in UK there is no presumption of innocence.

        "Innocent until proven guilty" isn't even found in the US Constitution, it's simply assumed as a part of the Common Law, otherwise known as English Common Law. It is, however, explicitly in the EU Constitution.

        But of course, the word "children" has been the magic word to dispel it.
    • Quote: "This man's problems were caused not by ID theft, but by suspicion of crime."

      So many things have been happening like that, I wonder if there is an intent to overthrow the U.S. and U.K. governments. For example, former Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura said yesterday [youtube.com] that he thinks the attack on the World Trade Center was a controlled demolition [minnpost.com].

      The U.S. Senate voted against Habeus Corpus [crooksandliars.com], which provides legal protection from unlawful detention [wikipedia.org].

      The U.S. government has been building prisons [alternet.org].
    • The laws, much like the new set of laws to arrest people for clicking on illegal hyperlinks, is by design set up to create an environment where even being suspected of, or attempting to view childporn is enough to get raided. Even if you have no child porn on your computer, you still get arrested and treated as a pedophile, and thats the problem with these sorts of laws. These sorts of laws cast such a wide net that it doesnt matter who is guilty or whos innocent, the purpose of the laws is simply to arr
  • Hmmm.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Otter ( 3800 ) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @05:49PM (#22957146) Journal
    And it's not like it's far-fetched to think that the people purchasing child porn might use stolen or misappropriated credit cards to do so...
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by -Tango21- ( 703195 )
      Great point. Unfortunately, I have had my credit card stolen before and I can only imagine what charges the thief might have been able to incur just given more time. It is a sickening feeling as it is knowing that someone is running around physically or virtually with your ID.

      I work in the finance industry and I know that for many employers reputation is everything. If an employee messes up, even on his/her own time, it could be grounds for dismissal. I've said a friendly goodbye to a co-worker one day on

  • by CheshireCatCO ( 185193 ) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @05:51PM (#22957158) Homepage
    I think other posters have missed the point a bit by focusing on the fact that this case was about child pornography. Yes, that's a particularly egregiously aggressively policed crime, but it's hardly the only time cops will use credit cards to track who they think committed a crime. (Nominal) ownership of the credit card used should *never* be considered sufficient evidence to charge someone with *any* crime. It's probable cause to investigate, sure, but not to charge. It's only about one step more reasonable than charging someone because their real name matched the screen name used.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Bryansix ( 761547 )
      Exactly. You hit the nail on the head. Police forces need to do more investigation in today's day in age to actually make sure that the evidence is saying what they think it is saying. I've said it before but Credit Card companies don't use a strong authentication system to sign people up. This is THE CAUSE of the whole Identity Theft scheme being run nowadays.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      This is more to do with the very poor quality of the data provided to the UK by the US police who obtained the 7000+ credit card records that were used in Operation Ore.

      In most cases, absolutely no forensic work was undertaken, arrests were simply made without assessing the evidence. In some case people with sufficient technical nous have been able to prove that their cards were used fraudulently, but many people have accepted cautions that will remain on the records for ever, and a significant number of pe
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by QCompson ( 675963 )

      I think other posters have missed the point a bit by focusing on the fact that this case was about child pornography.

      But what other crime could be committed using a credit card that carries even half the societal scorn as child pornography? With other crimes you face financial ruin and possible jail time; with a child pornography arrest you get the financial ruin, the jail time (lengthier than most other crimes you could commit with a CC), and there is the added bonus of being transformed into a living monster who nearly all of society wishes to punish over and over again.

  • by KarmaOverDogma ( 681451 ) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @05:55PM (#22957190) Homepage Journal
    From the Democratic Underground:
    http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=389x3100544 [democratic...ground.com]

    "You're fired!"

    Those are the words that millions of Americans could hear if Congress passes the SAVE Act.

    The SAVE Act would require every employer in the U.S. to use so-called "electronic employment verification," cross-checking all current and potential employees' citizenship status against databases that the government itself knows are filled with errors and inaccuracies.

    And what if the Social Security Administration (SSA) or Department of Homeland Security (DHS) get it wrong and can't verify a person's citizenship or right to work using their buggy database? Tough luck. That person is out of a job, with no right to appeal. And you don't even need to have your identity stolen to be so unlucky.

    Does this idea bother you?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by QuantumRiff ( 120817 )
      I've seen the errors and crap that go into a very small database, holding records on a few thousand people. I would be scared to death to entrust anything to a much larger one. The thing that really scares me is the "private" databases. I can do a FOIA request against the federal databases to make sure my info is correct, I can get a copy of my credit report if I am denied credit because of my report, but what the hell recourse do I have if I am denied employment because the HR person ran me through a "
  • Damn lies (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nicklott ( 533496 ) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @06:11PM (#22957346)

    Recent surveys suggest that as many as one in four Britons have been affected by [ID fraud]. In 2007 more than 185,000 cases of identity theft were identified by Cifas, the UK's fraud prevention service

    WTF? One in four? are you insane? that would be 15 million people. Does that really seem likely? Anecdotally I know substantialy more than four people and *none* of them have had their identity stolen. They are still the same people I used to know (although with ID theft the way it is who can tell?).

    OK, Cifas (whoever they are) pursued 185k cases last year. There are 65M people in the uk. 65,000,000 - 185,000 = 65,000,000 (rounded up). That is not 25%, more like 0.025%. If they can only identify 0.1% of the fraud what are they actually doing? I know the gubment wastes money, but that is crazy.

    • The keywords here are "as many as." That pretty much gives the researcher the ability say anything they want. Sure, 1 in 4 have been affected,* just like 1 in 3 have AIDS.*

      (*In the specific areas chosen just to give a scary result.)
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by modemboy ( 233342 )
      They are probably getting creative with the phrase "have been affected by". For example, if you take the posted article, at a minimum your could say this one instance of ID theft affected 3 people, Simon, his wife, and his father. You could even extend that to the rest of his family as they cut off contact with him.
      Even if you limit it to financially affected, significant others and children of someone who suffers from identity theft are all affected directly.
      So basically it is a useless made up number... ;
    • Well, there's some more to this fuzzy math... (ok, maths since we are referring to the UK)

      The statement doesn't include any kind of time period for the 1 in 4 stat. Also, they do not define "been affected by".

      So, 1 in 4 may have been affected by ID theft in their lifetime. Is this a surprise? Think about how many ways people can be affected by identity theft... one of which being bearing the cost of ID theft when purchasing goods, another one is needing to jump through hoops in order to complete a simp
  • by BoberFett ( 127537 ) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @06:35PM (#22957620)
    He had nothing to hide because he was innocent, so everything worked out in the end, right?
  • Another one here (Score:3, Informative)

    by terrymr ( 316118 ) <terrymr&gmail,com> on Thursday April 03, 2008 @06:40PM (#22957664)
    The same thing happened to a guy here : http://www.krem.com/topstories/stories/krem2_040208_chismcomputers.26cb2f44.html [krem.com] although they've yet to drag him through the courts.
  • by HuskyDog ( 143220 ) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @06:47PM (#22957734) Homepage

    My reading of the story may be wrong, but I can't find anywhere in it where it says that he was prosecuted. Perhaps this is a transatlantic definition problem. Here in the UK, there are basically four stages to a criminal prosecution (yes, I have simplified).

    - Arrest: The police suspect that you might have committed a crime.

    - Charging: The police decide that their suspicions were correct and ask for the case to go to trial.

    - Prosecution: The Crown Prosecution Service (a body independent from the police) decide that the case is likely to succeed and will be in the public interest. They prepare the prosecution case and go to the courts.

    - Conviction or aquital: A court decided whether or not the defendant is guilty and if guilty imposes a penalty.

    So far as I can tell, in this case Mr Bunce only passed through the first stage. The police eventually decided that he had not committed a crime and therefore didn't charge him. Now, that is not to minimise his suffering. He has clearly been very badly treated and he hope he succeeds with legal action against not only the web site, but also the police and his ex-employers. I should also point out that here in the UK police state, he will have had his finger prints and DNA taken and that these will now be retained forever (even after his death) even thought the police accept that he did nothing wrong.

  • Fraud, not theft (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CSMatt ( 1175471 ) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @07:01PM (#22957844)
    This is a case of fraud, not theft. This man's identity was not "stolen," but used fraudulently in an attempt to gain illegitimate access to goods and services under the guise of someone else. Using words like "identity theft" is no better than the RIAA calling copyright infringement "theft."
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by David Jao ( 2759 )

      This is a case of fraud, not theft. This man's identity was not "stolen," but used fraudulently in an attempt to gain illegitimate access to goods and services under the guise of someone else. Using words like "identity theft" is no better than the RIAA calling copyright infringement "theft."

      You make a good point. I would go further and say that the phrase "identity theft" is deliberately promoted by corporations and governments as a way of avoiding responsibility for the problem. Unfortunately, all indications are that it has worked spectacularly so far.

      The phrase "identity theft" implies that you are responsible for keeping your identity away from the evil thieves. Never mind that an identity cannot be kept secret, that it cannot be replaced, and that there is basically no way to prev

  • by unity100 ( 970058 ) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @07:51PM (#22958328) Homepage Journal
    morons.

    yea it is. im no psychopath, badass wannabee or anything. i just recognize stellar shit when i see it.

    this 'child pornography' scare has been made into a modern day witch hunt. its totally stupid and idiotic. no less than a medieval witch hunt - you just need to be accused by someone to be prosecuted. try it. just accuse someone, and watch their computers getting confiscated. their sensitive data, passwords, everything passing through some obscure personas in local police department.

    mankind really lacking in wisdom. higher the level of disgust/horror a crime induces, the higher they are regarding that crime.

    hundreds of thousands of people around the world are dying every year due to various atrocity related events, genocides, strifes, terrorism, repression, disease, hunger. but our current overly politically correct public is more appalled at the wake of pathetically negligible percentage of child pornography cases than hundreds of thousands of people dying. what ? when a child grows up, s/he is not important anymore ? s/he dying due to hunger whilst the world has the means to aid them is not something more horrible than a child pornography case ? if you just read this last sentence, and thought that child pornography is a more horrible and bigger crime, even if a second, you need to really straighten up yourself and get smart - because you yourself are judging the seriousness of a crime by the horror it induces, not its real merit. right to life is the foremost right on the face of the earth.

  • by Whuffo ( 1043790 ) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @08:06PM (#22958478) Homepage Journal
    In the United States, there's been a witch hunt going on for years. They want to eliminate child abuse; a good concept. But the methods are questionable at best.

    Are there people who are child molesters? Yes. Is everyone who is charged, convicted, or treated for child molestation a child molester? Nope.

    What happens with this crime and several others is they become weapons for women to use against men. It's very simple; accuse your husband / boyfriend of this crime and the police will arrest him immediately. Make that complaint Friday evening and you'll have 3 or 4 days to clean out the bank accounts, conceal assets, etc. before he can bail out.

    Does this happen? You better believe it does. More often than most people can imagine. This abuse of the legal system (and others like it) are brought to you courtesy of your elected representatives who are giving you what you ask for: crack down on child molesters, wife abusers, etc. Too many are getting away, let's make the laws a bit more general and a bit more "guilty until proven innocent". For the win, make them so that the accused is guilty until proven guilty.

    Nope, not me. But I've seen this scenario play out time and time again. I feel bad for what our country has become and cast a worried eye at England. They seem to be leading the way in the race to Fascism...

  • by Michael Woodhams ( 112247 ) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @10:53PM (#22959648) Journal
    He was not "prosecuted for his 'crime', and was eventually found innocent". "Prosecuted" implies there was a trial. He was arrested, and later the charges were dropped.

    He shouldn't have been arrested either, given how slight the evidence against him was. A search was justified, but no more.
  • by master_p ( 608214 ) on Friday April 04, 2008 @06:56AM (#22961348)
    A big lawsuit against the UK government, most probable carried to the EU level, not only will result in a big compensation (for psychological damages), but also make agencies to be more careful.

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