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Paul Merrell

Venezuelan Intelligence Services Arrest Credicard Directors - nsnbc international | nsn... - 0 views

  • Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro confirmed Saturday that the state intelligence service SEBIN arrested several directors from the Credicard financial transaction company on Friday night. 
  • The financial consortium is accused of having deliberately taken advantage of a series of cyber attacks on state internet provider CANTV Friday to paralyse its online payment platform–responsible for the majority of the country’s accredited financial transactions, according to its website.

    “We have proof that it was a deliberate act what Credicard did yesterday. Right now the main people responsible for Credicard are under arrest,” confirmed the president.

    The government says that millions of attempted purchases using in-store credit and debit card payment machines provided by the company were interrupted after its platform went down for the most part of the day. Authorities also maintain that the company waited longer than the established protocol of one hour before responding to the issues.

  • According to CANTV President Manuel Fernandez, Venezuela’s internet platform suffered at least three attacks from an external source on Friday, one of which was aimed at state oil company PDVSA. CANTV was notified of the attacks by international provider LANautilus, which belongs to Telecom Italia.

    Nonetheless, Fernandez denied that Credicard’s platform was affected by the interferences to CANTV’s service, underscoring that other financial transaction companies that rely on the state enterprise continued to be operative.

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  • On Friday SEBIN Director Gustavo Gonzalez Lopez also openly accused members of the rightwing coalition, the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD), of being implicated in the incident.

    “Members of the MUD involved in the attack on electronic banking service,” he tweeted.

    “The financial war continues inside and outside the country, internally they are damaging banking operability,” he added.

    Venezuelan news source La Iguana has reported that the server administrator of Credicard is the company Dayco Host, which belongs to the D’Agostino family. Diana D’Angostino is married to veteran opposition politician, Henry Ramos Allup, president of the National Assembly.

    On Saturday, the government-promoted Productive Economy Council held an extraordinary meeting of political and business representatives to reject the attack on the country’s financial system.

Paul Merrell

Report: Verizon Claimed Public Utility Status To Get Government Perks - Slashdot - 0 views

  • Research for the Public Utility Law Project (PULP) has been released which details 'how Verizon deliberately moves back and forth between regulatory regimes, classifying its infrastructure either like a heavily regulated telephone network or a deregulated information service depending on its needs. The chicanery has allowed Verizon to raise telephone rates, all the while missing commitments for high-speed internet deployment' (PDF). In short, Verizon pushed for the government to give it common carrier privileges under Title II in order to build out its fiber network with tax-payer money. Result: increased service rates on telephone users to subsidize Verizon's 'infrastructure investment.' When it comes to regulations on Verizon's fiber network, however, Verizon has been pushing the government to classify its services as that of information only — i.e., beyond Title II. Verizon has made about $4.4 billion in additional revenue in New York City alone, 'money that's funneled directly from a Title II service to an array of services that currently lie beyond Title II's reach.' And it's all legal. An attorney at advocacy group Public Knowledge said it best: 'To expect that you can come in and use public infrastructure and funds to build a network and then be free of any regulation is absurd....When Verizon itself is describing these activities as a Title II common carrier, how can the FCC look at broadband internet and continue acting as though it's not a telecommunication network?'"
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    Let's also not forget that what is now named "Verizon" used to be named Bell Atlantic, one of the seven Baby Bells that were spun off by AT&T by government order during antitrust proceedings.  In other words, this is one of the companies rate-payers financed through a heavily-regulated analog telephony absolute monopoly. But Verizon wants to spread its wings and escape the chains of regulation as a telecommunications carrier. While having its cake and eating it to, according to this article. The FCC has poised itself through a proposed rule with the flexibility to postpone a decision on net neutrality. 

    AT&T famously was allowed to keep its R&D arm while being freed of the expense of upgrading the U.S. telephony network from analog to digital and from copper wire to fibre optic. 

    And pay for those Baby Bells to make that transition we did. I remember monthly bills for a two person office running as high as $1,100 a month for calls all carried from Baby Bell to AT&T and back to another Baby Bell. All at state-regulated rates with FCC looking the other way. But now Verizon, Comcast (the originally munipally regulated cable television monopolies) and the few other "competing" survivors of that broadband rollout, having had their infrastructure paid for by the ratepayers, want to fly off and begin charging us at the other end of the pipe,via charges to content providers that will be passed on to us. Leading to the squeezing out of Mom and Pop internet businesses by the big content providers that can afford the charges and pass them on to us.

    This is looking more and more like another massive rip-off of the customers who already paid for that infrasture.

    Is that banksters I smell, privatizing a enormous public utility in the name of free markets?      
Gary Edwards

This 28-Year-Old's Startup Is Moving $350 Million And Wants To Completely Kill Credit C... - 0 views

  • really strategic investors, which is what we did. One of our investors is a financial institution; one is a financial services company. 
  • Our investors do credit and debit processing for banks.  So when you get a credit card from your bank, it's being issued by companies like them.  Our investors are also distributing our product to financial institutions.  So we've been building a payment network, and we can do it legally because of who our investors are.
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    Page one of this extrordinary Business Insider interview of Ben Milne, founder of Dwolla.  Lots of highlights on this 3 page article.  An absolute must read.  Dwolla is using the Web and mobile Web connectivity to truly disrupt the massive Credit Card transaction and payment industry.  Built on top of the legacy Bank ACH payment and reconciliation system used by all Banks.

    This is awe-sum!  A recent economic study claimed that 40% of all transactions is "interest payment".  For Governments, it's 50%.  The Banksters are getting their vig at every turn, with Credit Cards accounting for much of the productivity-sales formula of invest, build, service, and sell.
Gary Edwards

This 28-Year-Old's Startup Is Moving $350 Million And Wants To Completely Kill Credit C... - 0 views

  • The biggest difference between ideas like this and a PayPal — and PayPal is a phenomenal idea, Square is too — is that those are built on top of networks like Visa and MasterCard. We're building our own
    • Gary Edwards
       
      Fascinating plan for totally disrupting the Banksters Credit Card Golden Goose industry.  Good explanation of how things work, and how Dwolla will disrupt things.  PayPal and Square are based on existing credit card transaction processing system.  They make their money adding on to the basic credit card charge.  Dwolla replaces the credit card processing system with a bank direct model.  

      Here's the thing: Credit Cards charge sellers 3% of the transaction.  Dwolla charges a transaction fee of $0.25.  Yes, 25 Cents.
  • All banks are connected by one ACH system.  Credit card companies utilize that same system to pay off your credit card charges.  Banks internally set along that same system to move money in their own banks.  This system in its own right is riddled with flaws — tons of fraud issues and waste and delays.  If you've ever had a payment take a few days to clear, its because they're waiting on that ACH system. 

    quote dwollaWe want to fix that system between the banks, take out the delays and make it instant.  If we can create this ubiquitous cash layer of distribution between consumers and merchants and developers and financial institutions, that actually fixes the problem.

  • We don't believe in credit cards.  We believe in authorization and in lower cost transfers.  Our generation actually understands that when you buy sh*t, it comes out of your bank account and you have to pay for that.
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    Incredible interview with Ben Milne of Dwolla, the PayPal and Square killer that promises to take a huge chunk out of the Credit Card transaction industry.  Incredible must read!  This is page 2 out of four.  Starts at: http://bit.ly/vzVUy3
    excerpt:

    How does Dwolla work and how is it different from PayPal?

    With Dwolla, payments are made directly from your bank account.  No credit or debit cards are allowed.  And because they don't exist in the system, we don't have to bring the fees into the system. 

    You can spend any amount of money and when you do that, the person on the other end doesn't have to pay 1, 2, 3 or 4%. They only pay $0.25 a transaction, which is especially helpful when it's $1,000, $2,000 or $5,000 transactions.  Obviously PayPal becomes very cost prohibitive with those larger transactions.  



    The biggest difference between ideas like this and a PayPal - and PayPal is a phenomenal idea, Square is too - is that those are built on top of networks like Visa and MasterCard. We're building our own.
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