Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Counter-Terrorism targets cellphone banking

I have noticed that Cellphone banking is being targeted again as a mechanism to fund terrirism activities (Read here). In a way I have an appreciation for these type of posts. The fear of a payment instrument that is real-time, easy to access and largely anonymous is of course scary. Such a payment eco-system can easily be utilised to fund harmful activities without being able to track the perpetrators.

The reality of mobile banking is that it has not (and will most probably not) create such an eco-system. As a matter of fact, mobile banking would enable much more control, transparency and auditability for international transactions than what is currently possible. As such, it is my believe that counter-terrorism bodies should applaud cellphone banking initiatives.

Internet-based payment systems are much more prone to harmful eco-systems. The difficulty in auditability, authorisation and identification of participants in the payment system makes it much more likely to be miss-used. In the light of this, I find it quite amusing that one can contribute towards funding the Counterterrorism blog using Paypal.

1 comment:

akanett said...

I seem to agree with your logic, while online money transfers can get buried within the hubs and nodes that make up the world wide web and even further with the use of proxies, mobile money transfers are easily traceable to a specific entity. Also providers are utilizing technology to protect transfers. Here is one provider that uses a 256 bit encryption protocol to ensure data integrity.

Thank you for sharing.