I can't give you a link for this subject, because it's all in French, but I presume that at least ONE anglo-american financial rag will pick up on this because, dum de dum de dum, there is a certain interest in this kind of subject in financial quarters, wonder why ??
A few observations...
This list was stolen. (Stealing is illegal, and theft is one of those very BASIC acts that appears in the Ten Commandments, even, which are a FAR CRY from the regulations governing which side of the road you park on during the week. Theft tends to seriously destroy trust, and destabilize societies. That's why there is a practically universal consensus against it.)
It was obtained by illegaly invading personal liberty.
And the person who obtained it wants $$$$$ (oops, probably €€€€, who wants those greenbacks these days ? what a liability...) as payment for it.
Ironically enough, it is the RIGHT which is "morally" uncomfortable about buying this document. The German RIGHT is disturbed about the Government's right to acquire information obtained by illegal means. The LEFT says... let's go for it. (Yeah, well, we can be sympathetic ; elections are coming up in Germany... I think.)
My questions do not fall into a totally predictable pattern...
Why should the government have to BUY that list ? (* Update : I forgot that this illegally obtained info is the "property"---how much can you be entitled to what you have stolen in the first place, we'll let that dog lie at this time --- of a French citizen which admittedly complicates the matter a lot.)
Does the fact of legally and consensually acquiring information obtained by illegal means exonerate you from ill doing ? On the other hand, should the government be held to respect the law in the same way as a citizen is held to do so ? Isn't there a difference between the two ? To what extent IS the government LOGICALLY above the law ? Why or why not ?
Why not just... GRAB the list ? Invoke national interest, or something along those lines ?
If you're government, and you're above the law, what's going to stop you from GRABBING that list ?
Now... don't think for ONE MINUTE that I think that this is a good idea.
Because I think that openly sanctioning the government's "RIGHT" to enter into a contractual arrangement with someone who has violated the law is VERY VERY DANGEROUS PRECEDENT. Particularly since the government itself tends to violate the law anyway, WITH OR WITHOUT OUR KNOWLEDGE AND/OR ENCOURAGEMENT. (Look at the Fisa fiasco.)
So... just HOW MUCH do WE want to get our hands on those "bad guys" ? (Of course, we want to get our hands on them so that we can "get" their MONEY...)
And have we thought about the fact that our INFANTILE desire to punish all those bad guys (and WE are NEVER the bad guys, it doesn't work that way) is what FUELS the government's motivation to extend its power to curtail our liberties ?
Punish the bad guys/protect us.
How MUCH of our liberties are we willing to trade off, to sacrifice in order to get those "bad guys", punish them, and be protected ? Can't have them thar advantages without having the accompanying... disadvantages.
Delenda Government. Delenda Money.
The German government's ACCEPTANCE to pay MONEY for this list is a subtle statement that its leaders have accepted that... MONEY has more power and legitimacy than government.
I wonder if Angela Merkel realizes this...
Now... maybe this is a GOOD thing, after all : the civilizing effect of money on our exchanges. The substitution of payment of money for the violent application of brute force ?
The problem being what happens when money becomes the measure of ALL things, and confers automatic legitimacy.
Ahh, the joys of tripping merrily down the path to dictatorship.
Too bad we don't seem to learn from our collective mistakes.
Because somehow we don't believe that it could EVER happen to U.S.
I welcome your comments, particularly if you think I am missing something here. (I have rewritten this post a number of times, finding answers to the questions I was asking, which in turn provoked new questions...)