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I recently sold a my PANASONIC TU-HDS20 (mainly becuase I could not get a good OTA signal from my location) and was paid via papal. A few days later I received an email from paypal telling me that my account was frozen for selling an illegal item and that I needed to fax copies of bank accounts and credit card statements to their investigation team. Apparently, anything with the term DSS in it causes an automatic action – it appears to be a matter of freeze the account now and ask questions later. It took several phone calls and an email describing exactly what the TU-HDS20 is intended to be used for (DSS was irrelevant to me and no access card was included in the sale) but the restriction has been lifted (without sending my credit card or bank account info!). Just beware if you use paypal avoid the term DSS! I understand and support cracking down on DSS hackers – but I think they are going a little too far.
 

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Unfortunately PayPal, and similar payment services, have been put in a squeeze by DirecTV for just the reason you inferred. The real intent was to curtail payment for DBS access card programming devices (contraband in the U.S.) and, not merely incidentally, flag the purchaser for possible legal action by DirecTV's legal beavers, but apparently the inclusiuon of "access card" (or merely the hint of a possibility of it) in devices was sufficient to "flag" transactions for scrutiny. Sale of a receiver, alone, or along with its access card, IS perfectly legal. Trouble is, the actions of the bad apples selling lone access cards or access card programming equipment ruins the "barrel" for the rest of us. Incidentally, before I'm keel-hauled for claiming that card programmers are contraband in the U.S. when techies know that smartcard programmers are legal and have legal uses, keep in mind that the timing characteristics of DBS access cards used by DirecTV are markedly different than those of standard ISO 7816 smartcards. That's the reason the programmers used for modifying DirecTV access cards are bought from hacker-dealers - they're custom engineered to the electrical characteristics of DirecTV access cards.
 

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I cannot understand what legal right a bank or a so-called non bank, bank has to screen private customer transactions!


Pay Pal has received some unfair past criticism for bad Ebay transaction, where all Pay Pal did was is to provide a means to make payment. Same as sending a check. I can understand the fact that people wanted some of the same consumer rights afforded by traditional credit card transactions. But they knew that at that time Pay Pal was not a credit card.


Now we have transaction censorship, at the request of a 3rd party, because of the possibility that a criminal activity might possibly be committed in the future. I'm not sure that's legal, though I'm not a lawyer.


What comes next? You can't buy shells for your shot gun because you might decide to shoot at people??


I am told that you can't use Pay Pal to purchase Webcertificates (an online prepaid debit card) because Pay Pal considers it a competitor. Again, transaction censorship.


There is a greater issue here, what is free trade?
 

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You mixed metaphors, so I'll respond to them each.


"Free trade" does not extend to any obligation that a company is required to aid a competitor. That would actually be interferrence of free trade.


In the case of PayPal curtailing transactions involving alleged Federal contraband, to do otherwise would ensnare them in "aiding and abetting" charges to a felony and hold them equally liable to prosecution.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Ray H
You mixed metaphors, so I'll respond to them each.


"Free trade" does not extend to any obligation that a company is required to aid a competitor. That would actually be interferrence of free trade.


In the case of PayPal curtailing transactions involving alleged Federal contraband, to do otherwise would ensnare them in "aiding and abetting" charges to a felony and hold them equally liable to prosecution.
If I may take your statement to an absurd extreme, by that reasoning your personal check for your home loan payment could be refused if both banks offer home loans. To deny a consumer the ability to do business with another via a method of payment normally offered to just about any other company is unfair. And I cannot see how is is not restraint of free trade.


As far as the "aiding and abetting," obviously selling a STB is NOT a Federal crime. The crime issue only arises after the point of sale, which is why I think my shot gun shell analogy is applicable. If used as it was intended, there is no problem. But after the fact of the sale, I cannot see why the seller or the method of payment vender should be held responsibly for the actions of the buyer.


The problem seems to be that there is a body of opinion that we are not solely responsible for our own bad actions, therefore we must be protected from ourselves. I'm surprised the phone companies don't get sued for providing a platform for bomb threats because they don't censor personal conversations.
 
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