Is it Okay to Buy Stolen Bank Data to Pursue Tax Fraud? – 18 Aug 10


Yesterday I told you about the question if the Indian government should illegally hack data of blackberry users in order to protect the country from terrorism. It is quite interesting how moral questions arise when you talk about money, security and government decisions. Some time ago there was another topic in the news which you might have heard about and which brought up a similar question.

The German government had been contacted by an anonymous informant who offered them a CD of data which they could buy for $3.5 million. The data contained stolen bank details of up to 1500 people who had their money on bank accounts in Switzerland in order to escape German taxes. The government did some calculation and found that they could probably get $140 million back which they had lost through tax evasion – and did what seemed obvious to them: they bought the CD and a big discussion about the topic erupted.

That is not any wonder, tax fraud is a serious topic and the German government loses a lot of money each year through people who evade paying their taxes. And their strategy worked: even before the deal with the CD was made, many people contacted government offices and confessed that they might not have paid the full amount of taxes. Of course those, who confessed in this way in the end had to pay less than those whose data was seen for the first time on the CD. It was also not the first time, just some years ago the German government had bought data in a similar way from Liechtenstein.

Now think about it: the government themselves support the stealing of bank details so that they can pursue people who have committed tax fraud. How many people will be encouraged to try at least to hack into the bank computers and databases? If they succeed and they get a good amount of relevant information they can make a nice sum of money with it! Fully legally with the German government!

Germany will not be the only country in which this happens and RIM not the only company who acts in this way. I just would like to ask about the morals of these actions. I disagree to the statement that the end and result of this kind of project justifies the means. You need to see into the future and think how much more fraud, thefts, hacking and robbery you encourage through your actions.


6 Replies to “Is it Okay to Buy Stolen Bank Data to Pursue Tax Fraud? – 18 Aug 10”

  1. The received information was worthy pondering deeper.Your post awaken me, urged to think and thus opened the eyes. When we look at the money in the light of morality, the TEST of our humanity becomes the obvious. Each of us must pass that on his road for he could welcome the unknown passerby as his brother in spirit with the honest smile (without any fear to glimpse at a mirror)
    I feel myself comforted and not alone while reading your inspiring blog. Hot Thank you, dear brother. Best wishes from Art by Tomas blog. You are welcomed.

  2. Tax fraud is not o.k., a government using stolen bank data is wrong either!If obeying the law is a citizens duty, it is certainly the highest rule for government behaviour as well.

  3. Swami keeps surprising me all the time. I never would have suspected that his interests extended to the intricacies of bank activity. It’s a subject I know little about.

  4. Governments ‘should’ set an example for the people…I hate the concept of only government being allowed to be corrupt and break their own laws. Here in America, I have a vehicle that I like having my windows tinted really dark so that when I’m on the road, as a woman, I don’t have to worry about lurkers and no one can see me. Couple of weeks ago I had to remove them because now only the police are allowed to have the dark tinted windows on the driver and passenger side windows!!