March 10, 2003 9:34 AM   Subscribe

Big Brother does all his shopping on eBay.
posted by Beholder (16 comments total)
Not to pooh-poo your post - but the link leeds to a page with no content, merely an article template. Am I missing something?
posted by plemeljr at 9:38 AM on March 10, 2003

Big Brother doesn't want me to see the article either.

I feel so persecuted.
posted by DragonBoy at 9:43 AM on March 10, 2003

same here. zilch content.
posted by quonsar at 9:44 AM on March 10, 2003

Yup...that and big brother is forcing me to spel wrog twoday. Oops
posted by plemeljr at 9:44 AM on March 10, 2003

Not at all plemeljr. Thanks for the heads up.

The link worked for me, while it was in the preview box, and now it doesn't. How is that possible. In any case, I apologize for posting a broken link, and hopefully the post will get deleted shortly.
posted by Beholder at 9:46 AM on March 10, 2003

the url looks wrong. there is a "/" after the '&' when there should most likely be an article ID number.
posted by quonsar at 9:49 AM on March 10, 2003

i just took the slash off and it worked fine. interesting article...
posted by erebora at 9:51 AM on March 10, 2003

You nailed it q - here is the correct link.
posted by madamjujujive at 9:51 AM on March 10, 2003

that's q's non-humorous comment for the month. use it well.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 9:57 AM on March 10, 2003

that's q's non-humorous comment for the month.
you didn't think that was funny?
posted by quonsar at 10:04 AM on March 10, 2003

In eBay's defense....

I think the sort of law enforcement that they're concerned with isn't so much "locate and track political dissidents" as it is "prevent and prosecute fraud". EBay has a significant interest in making sure that fraudulent auction transactions are punished, and I'm sure that most users appreciate that eBay will fully cooperate with law enforcement in case they're cheated by a fellow user. It would suck to have someone cheat you on an auction and have eBay respond with "sorry, can't help you with that: the user who defrauded you is protected by our privacy policy."

I think a possible analogy is to business licensing: in order to protect consumers, municipalities won't allow businesses to operate unless they have information on file. Similarly, eBay won't let you participate in an auction unless they can be sure of tracking you down if you behave badly. Part of dealing with bad behavior is cooperating with law enforcement.
posted by mr_roboto at 10:09 AM on March 10, 2003

Obviously the broken link is my mistake. I will make every effort to be more careful in the future.
posted by Beholder at 10:13 AM on March 10, 2003

hmmm. i hope the investigators don't track down the fact that the last cell phone i purchased off of ebay flashes "NOT FOR RESALE" when you turn it on.
posted by wondergirl at 10:23 AM on March 10, 2003

hmm. wonder if some of these legalities and such were covered by that *new* user agreement that paypal forced me to sign recently.

wonder what it said. lots of words in it, seemed like.
posted by fishfucker at 10:24 AM on March 10, 2003

fishfucker: here is about the typical article i've seen on the new paypal agreement, not that paypal hasn't recieved numerous complaints, mostly concerning their policy of quickly freezing accounts.
posted by yeahyeahyeahwhoo at 11:41 AM on March 10, 2003

eBay has a lot to gain by leveraging their database of customer-provided personally identifiable information, provided it acts within the confines of the eBay User Agreement and Privacy Policy, to understand more about how their service is used, and how it can be changed to drive up revenues.

However, I do not understand what eBay gains by acting on requests from law enforcement without a court order (subpoena, warrant, whatever).

What is the gain for eBay here?
posted by tomharpel at 12:09 PM on March 10, 2003

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