“A blackmail on the face, with the appearance of legality”

Banks freeze or even close bank accounts for omitting or refusing to “update” personal data, with the consequence of seizing the amounts of money in those accounts, belonging to the holder. The measure is maintained until compliance – the money can not even be transferred to other banks in case of refusal of compliance. Normally, the only situations in which sums of money can be blocked in the accounts are the criminal charge (in which case the prosecutor can order a seizure in order to confiscate the respective amounts or in order to ensure the recovery of the damage caused by the crime), the criminal conviction which the judge may order the confiscation of the respective amounts or the coverage of the damage) or the seizure (in order to pay a debt). In all criminal situations, the presumption of innocence and the presumption of the legal nature of the origin of the money are applicable.

However, with or without justification consisting of any suspicion of money laundering, terrorist financing or corruption, raised against the account holder, the bank takes the measure at its discretion and arbitrarily, often without any prior notice to the holder. Personal data, which are, in any case, the raw material, the “harvest” needed by supervisory capitalists to manufacture their predictive products (estimating our behavior in commercial or ideological acquisitions), become the forced price, immeasurable in value, of regaining access. to the amounts of money in the account, amounts which are the object of the property right and which do not bear any suspicion of fraud or money laundering – on the contrary, they are the object of a constitutional presumption of lawful nature of the acquisition. It is a blackmail on the face, with the appearance of legality and with fragile support in the “general business conditions” of the bank (adhesion contracts, non-negotiable, which the bank’s client does not even know that he has accepted). The bank, based on its monopolistic economic strength and the fact that the authorities involve it in the “fight” against corruption, money laundering, fraud and invented pandemics (in reality, it is not a fight, but a pathetic wrestling show meant to keep the panic of the population at high levels) allows itself this totalitarian madness to divide and segregate its customers according to the provision of personal data. Moreover, the bank even allows itself the arrogance of requiring the account holder, who complied in a timely and docile manner with the requirement to update personal data (it is understood, of course, that this data must be provided periodically, at the rate required by the bank), to indicate and justify how he spent his money.

Given the monopoly granted by the state to banks and their concerted, cartel behavior, as well as the fact that information on customer ratings and scoring is accessible to all members of this cartel (not the public), from this moneylender practice – legally supported and intensely promoted – there were two other major consequences in terms of equality before the law and non-discrimination.

Banks freeze or close the accounts of customers and companies in which they are associates or administrators, and they can no longer open accounts with any other bank. Banks do not open share capital accounts unless something suits them in the object of activity of the company that a citizen intends to set up (note – without a capital account, the trade register does not give legal personality to a company being set up) . The stigma thus created, for reasons known exclusively to banks, radiates even to people in close relationships or kinship with initial stigmatizations. Once this stigma is acquired, directly or by irradiation, all sensors, all algorithms, all facial or virtual identification systems, all rejection reactions of surveillance capitalism, deviate on the stigmatized, like a sandstorm that erodes, point by point, the entire rating of citizen and consumer that the stigmatized person held, determining his civic degradation, with a violence and a procession of consequences incomparable with those that usually accompany the status of a criminally convicted person. The stigmatized person gets worse than a prisoner, as the asymptomatic suspect of infection was subjected last year to a worse detention or home arrest regime than that applied to a defendant.

The stigmatized is no longer a citizen with rights and freedoms, he is a marginalized or even excluded from society.

The European (or Western, in general) citizen still has an unshakable conviction that the “citizen score”, the social rating, is a specific Chinese totalitarian instrument. But, in fact, this instrument is already a custom of Western society, a world once attached to rights and freedoms, which rejected segregation and valued property rights. The citizen rating makes us all suspects, and when the giants of surveillance capitalism (secret services and corporations Big Tech, Pharma and Finance) decide to apply a certain stigma – a mole on his forehead or a hat bearing the inscription Make Romania Great Again – we are already, we and those close to us, civically and socially degraded.

As payments and receipts in physical, liquid money are limited in value to minor amounts, the banking system is inevitable. For large payments, which exceed these maximum ceilings, the parties to the transaction must have bank accounts. Suspension or closure of a bank account may make the parties unable to pay / collect. Freedom of trade – a constitutional principle – and trust in the fundamental pillars of economic infrastructure are simply annihilated by a discretionary decision of a bank compliance officer, who has been disturbed by the customer or his delayed reaction to the automatic notifications that it enters into the system (that, if there had been suspicions of fraud or money laundering, the competent authorities and state bodies should have intervened when the said officer was notified).

Just like bank accounts, which can be suspended, closed or denied, and accounts or profiles on online trading platforms or social media pages can be suspended, closed or refused, for violating “community values” (which no one, ever , could not divulge them) or for the spread of fake news (even though the biggest fake news is practiced even by the giants of surveillance capitalism, those who censor or ban, in the pure Bolshevik style of the ’50s of last century, any information or opinion that is not convenient to them).

Why is this happening? Because they can, because they have a monopoly, because we no longer have an alternative to their cartel infrastructure and to their trade imposed by the states that have made them captive. Because we allowed them.

Source: Cotidianul RO by www.cotidianul.ro.

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