Monday, August 11, 2008
Comprehensive Immigration reform an Identity and a hope stolen!!!!!
Characterisation of identity crime varies widely, with inconsistent use of terms such as identity theft, impersonation, fraud, forgery, false pretences, spoofing, misappropriation and even identity pollution, vandalism and assault.
In all relationships private and public, lies are used to protect or promote one's self or others. There are institutional lies to sell, to protect turf, to improve competition, to motivate staff, and so forth. There are lies in politics, advertising, and education. There are even lies in medicine: doctors to patients and patients to their doctors. Deception is plentiful—it is there all the time; we just do not like to look at it.
Last year Americans were not fair and balance appropriation with Undocumented Immigrants when they were discussing Immigration issues. They were accused, criminalized, persecuted, diminished, scapegoated, blamed for bringing diseases and for Stealing identities but the major roles on this unfairly public debate were the Anti's, the so called patriots, Nativists and many others. I want to exposed one of the issues were Undocumented Immigrants are part of the solution and not the problem.
what is identity
That range derives from the nature of identity, particularly the nature of identity in urban environments within advanced economies.
Many people conceptualise identity as static and readily discernable, implicit in notions that 'I am who I am ... and everyone can see that without much difficulty'. In reality identity is far more mutable. In most circumstances it is a manifestation of social relationships, not of innate characteristics.
Those relationships may be as fundamental (and thus invisible) as gender or age, although even those attributes may be 'negotiated' through mechanisms such as clothing, a haircut and application of Photoshop to a student ID card. They may instead be as malleable as possession of a key or clipboard, with a long history of incidents in which scammers were provided with access to a restricted facility or removed assets merely because they wore the right uniform and looked authoritative. If your identity is your credit card you may face difficulty in environments where a transaction does not necessitate directly sighting the plastic or the person at the checkout is so alienated that Mickey Mouse could be providing the signature.
Identity is performed. As a result it can be subverted.
Identity offences abound and as the following pages indicate have taken a variety of forms, from hackers wholesaling stolen credit card details to honey-tongued conmen and women who recurrently sold the Eiffel Tower or 'true' stories of their triumph over adversity.
Statute and case law regarding those offences is similarly diverse.
There is considerable disagreement within and between governments regarding the conceptualisation of identity offences (sometimes narrowly construed as only involving financial loss) and corresponding terminology.
A common element to all offences is simply 'identity' rather than financial injury and that accordingly we can discern three broad groups of offences -
Identity theft has been hyped as the "crime of the century" or even "of the millennium" but is as old as the hills, discernable since the beginning of history and evident in tales such as Rebekah and Jacob's deception of Isaac.
Identity theft involves appropriation of someone else's identity for personal gain.
That appropriation might involve unauthorised use of a checkbook, a credit card or a deposit account. It might involve ordering/receiving goods or services in the guise of someone else, for wining and dining through Europe after persuading your hosts that you are a famous film star, director, author or political figure. It might involve using someone else's name to commit a crime; some of the nastier identity thieves have used the names of dead children
Identity enhancement involves action intended to provide the offender with some advantage, often a financial advantage. It is distinguishable from identity theft because the fraud involves the offender's own identity rather than appropriation of someone else's identity. It may be additive or substractive.Subtractive identity enhancement involves deletion of inconvenient, even deeply stigmatised, attributes from a curriculum vitae or other representation - for example airbrushing a criminal conviction, bankruptcy or other problem from a cv. The vicissitudes of major corporations whose executives are revealed to have lied about their personal history may provide hours of amusement (were the headhunters asleep?) and welfare fraud (omitting to report employment in order to receive income support) may be an acceptable cost of the liberal democratic state but health scandals in Australia and elsewhere indicate the seriousness of 'cooking' a cv. Would you blithely go under the knife if you knew, for example, that the surgeon had been struck off the medical register in another jurisdiction over egregious malpractice involving the death or serious disfigurement of numerous patients?Additive identity enhancement, as the term suggests, involves improving the offender's public persona by adding the bling that is desirable in a credentialist society - unearned academic or professional qualifications (why stop at an MBA when you can give yourself a PhD?), military honours, sports trophies and awards from peers. At a more mundane level, as practiced by many students, it can involve adding a few years to their proof of age cards or other identity documents in order to get through the doors at nightclubs or other age-restricted venues. Enhancement offences are illustrated through resume fraud.
Identity pollution takes two forms.In contrast to the preceding categories of offences, much identity pollution is typically not concerned with financial gain and not concerned to airbrush the offender's public profile. Instead it seeks to erode or destroy a victim's public reputation and self-esteem.That erosion has traditionally featured mechanisms such as letters and statements that purport to come from a political or commercial rival, the expectation being that third parties will mistakenly believe that the falsehood peddled by the offender comes from the victim and will accordingly shun the victim. Identity pollution in recent years has involved 'joe job' email messages and faxed media releases. It has also involved fake blogs, wikipedia entries and social network service profiles (in which, for example, a former lover in the guise of the victim 'reveals' that he likes to strangle kittens, engage in unorthodox sexual activities and steal money from his employer).Some identity pollution - perhaps the pollution most frequently encountered by people online - involves using someone else's identity to persuade a recipient to read (or merely to receive) an email or other communication. It is exemplified by spammers engaging in the forgery of email headers in an effort to subvert filtering (eg network operators often do not block messages that purport to come from trusted personal contacts or organisations) and to encourage a recipient to open the message that has not been filtered out by the network operator or by personal filter lists.
Identity Theft may be characterised as assuming the identity of someone else. As such it has a long and often colourful history, from the days when individuals claimed to be the Son of God (or other relatives) or royalty - typically having miraculously survived murderous attention by Ivan the Terrible, Boris Godunov, Richard III or Robespierre and emerged to claim the throne of France, Russia or England. Difficulty with authentication and the desire to believe (irrespective of signs to the contrary) meant that multiple imposters were often common.
A classic example is the thirty of so individuals claiming to be the Dauphin Louis - otherwise thought to have perished in prison during the French Revolution after his father Louis XVI met Madame Guillotine. One claimant was described as improbably "of Black appearance, with frizzy hair and slightly mad", although presumably more sane than some of his advocates.
The bureaucratisation of Western cultures over the past two hundred years has seen a shift from blood to signifiers of authority (eg the second-hand army uniform that successfully allowed tailor Wilhelm Voigt to commandeer Kopenick town hall at the beginning of last century) and thence to mundane identifiers such as AFNs and Social Security Numbers.
Economically significant ID theft now does not involve supposed heirs of Nicholas II or missing English baronets, miraculously emerging in Australia after drowning off Patagonia. It instead involves misuse of your credit card or cheque book, since in the digital era your identity is embodied in information rather than flesh - something that is explored in the Privacy guide and Surveillance & Authentication profile .
We are also starting to see what is generously described as 'spoofing' or 'joe jobs': email or even sites that purport to emanate from a public figure or private individual. That misuse of someone else's name and email address may be used to defeat restrictions on spam. It may also be used to damage a reputation, with the supposed author being incorrectly assigned responsibility for racist or other offensive comments.
Various typologies of ID crime have been suggested, reflecting different positions in the enforcement (or academic/media feeding) chain. One of the more useful categorisations suggests that in relation to financial services we should differentiate between
- short-term Identity Access
- Account Theft
- Application Fraud
- broader Identity Appropriation
Identity Access involves appropriating someone's identity for quick access to existing financial or other accounts. Typically the thief uses an individual's information to purchase services or products through either a physical credit card (eg stolen from the individual and used to rack up purchases before the financial institution queries unusual spending patterns) or that card's account number and expiration date (eg carbons from credit card slips), with the victim discovering that the account has been access when studying a monthly billing statement or online report.
Account Theft may occur over a longer time frame when a stolen identity is used to take possession of an existing account by changing existing address details. The theft has typically involved mechanisms such as thieves intercepting mail from letterboxes or removing it from an individual's possessions, thereby gaining information needed to change the address on credit card and bank accounts. Victims often attribute missing statements to loss in the postal system and discover the theft when a credit card is declined because the thief has maxed-out the card.
Application Fraud involves unauthorised creation of new accounts through a stolen identity, with the victim sometimes not aware of the theft because financial statements are mailed to a new address used by the thief. The theft is often discovered only when a collection company seeks recovery action or applications for new credit are rejected because of the hidden debt.
Identity Assumption has been a literary and Hollywood favourite, with the thief assuming the victim's identity, sometimes as a cover for the commission of non-financial crimes. Proponents of biometrics and identity reference/validation services have claimed for example that criminals have used forged driver registration documents - the de facto official and commercial ID papers in countries such as Australia - that feature the victim's name and other characteristics but the villain's photo.
Such victims supposedly most often discover the imposture when law enforcement agencies approach them about offences that they have supposedly committed. Other offenders have 'rebirthed' dead children, assuming an identity after obtaining death certificates.
Other observers have argued that damage to reputation may be as important as any pecuniary loss through misuse of a bank account or credit card, with for example long-term damage to consumer credit ratings (discussed in a separate profile) or loss of esteem in a particular community through appropriation of a real name or avatar used in an online forum.
Identity Fraud, an associated offence, has attracted a lot of media attention thanks to Nativists, Anchor News, (Lou Dobbs, Glenn Beck, Bill O;Reilly), Politicians (Tommy Tan Credo, Jeff Sessions, and some republicans).
It can take two forms
Most commonly, it involves an individual 'massaging' data: adding a degree or two, deleting a conviction or a divorce, adding a few years of age (popular among teenagers facing age-based access restrictions) or taking a few years off once the individual reaches a certain age.
As such it is popular among all classes, from high school kids enhancing ID passes to get into nightclubs through to company directors and members of parliament buffing their profiles.
More rarely, some individuals have created a new identity altogether - one that is sometimes used to live an otherwise law-abiding existence rather than as the basis for theft. Self reinvention is arguably a central theme of US culture, where - like people in the rest of the world - many have dreamed of shucking off an inconvenient past and starting afresh, often with the aid of a glossier resume and fewer wrinkles.
As discussed later in this profile, statistics about theft/fraud are problematical. In 1985 the US Congress for example noted indications that up to 500,000 false tertiary degrees are in 'use' in the USA (eg were cited for employment purposes), that 10,000 false medical degrees are in use and that 30% of employees were hired with 'massaged' credentials.
Identity crime is a generic term with broad scope to describe a wide range of identity-related offences in which a defendant uses a false identity to commit, or facilitate the commission of, a crime.
Identity fraud describes the gaining of money, goods, services or other benefits, or the avoidance of obligations, through the use of a false identity. It includes fraudulently obtaining a financial benefit (eg by credit card skimming), avoidance of taxes or financial loss, and intangible benefits, such as access to citizenship, professional affiliation, and medical services.
Identity theft describes the theft or assumption by one person of another person's identity, whether the other person is alive or dead. It may also extend to the use of a fictitious identity.
Identity Theft and Fraud is where the Law is so diverse and non Understandable of the facto to solve the Nature of Identity for an Humane and comprehensive Immigration reform rather just compiled one issue thru another to the intangible Anti Immigrant sentiment against undocumented Immigrants.