The Sunday Times reports that the British tax authorities have paid a ‘whistleblower’ for the stolen bank details of wealthy Britons with deposits in
The same ex-bank employee [who was sacked and convicted of fraud] has ‘provoked a storm’ in Germany by selling data on 750 wealthy Germans to the country’s intelligence service for around £3.2 million, and has also offered information to tax authorities in America, Canada, Australia and France.
One wonders where he or she stashes their loot? But not much prospect, alas, of any illuminating details about Saudi princes!
This story prompted the following comment, which I reproduce by permission of the author:
“This is quite astounding. The British government has intentionally paid a known criminal (who has been convicted of his crimes) for stolen goods. Surely this means that the British government has itself committed a crime? Isn't the Blair/Brown/NuLabour government now a genuinely criminal regime?
And just look at the ramifications of this:
(1) This information is stolen goods supplied by a dishonest and convicted criminal. How can it be relied upon? It could perfectly well be made up or exaggerated for effect (i.e. in order to gain greater remuneration). The British government (as well as the German, US, and perhaps other governments) could well have been ripped off.
(2) It shows that crime pays. Why is it ok for the informant to do what he/she did, to steal private data and hand it over for money, whilst it's apparently not ok for people to do what they want with their own money? The government is attempting to operate on a particularly hypocritical moral basis here.
(3) It encourages crime on a major scale: It declares an open day for corrupt employees in government departments worldwide. The British government must be aware that this will include employees of British government departments.
(4) It puts the government's many data security breaches into context. How are we to trust that the government with our data if they so willingly buy (thus encouraging further such thefts) data and thus cause the very data security breach that they claim they are attempting to prevent. This is apparently not an honest or trustworthy government.
Some people will claim that all this is magically ok because it's 'only' the very rich who are being affected by this, but this is a false argument. It doesn't matter how rich or poor the victim of such a crime is - this is a crime, the information provided is inherently unreliable since it came from a convicted criminal and, because it is the British government who are party to this crime, it affects every British citizen, rich or poor.
Furthermore it seems to me that it is no moral crime to want to control your own money and to keep it away from the ever-more-rapacious (and now seemingly criminal) tax authorities whilst it most certainly is a crime, morally and perhaps legally, to do what the British government has done.”
Harking back to his previous post on ‘Integrity’, Anticant says “hear, hear”.