Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wow, just wow...

So apparently the US government can more or less do what it wants, where it wants. International borders be damned.

A clothing boutique owner in Denmark has had $205 frozen by the US government for buying dresses from Pakistan.

Basically, the owner (in Denmark, mind you) ordered some dresses from a man in Pakistan, and the US government claimed she was suspected of supporting a terrorist organization and froze her funds. While the boutique owner did her best to comply with the US, she stopped short of tracking down her dress supplier's date of birth, and is currently out $205 and six dresses.

At first I was confused as to why the US would be involved in an international transaction between two people in two countries, neither of which are the United States. Well, if you read the article linked above, turns out since 9/11 the US has been monitoring transactions made over the Swift bank transfer system. No one knew about this until 2006, when the EU caught wind of it, but then let the US continue anyways.

In short, the US is refusing to let a Danish woman buy dresses from the Pakistani dress supplier, monitoring bank transactions all over the world regardless of jurisdiction, and the EU has about as strong a backbone as Congress.

What a world...