Because I take cash deposits at a number of campgrounds around the country, we have accounts with 30+ different banks. Every few weeks one of them asks for some outrageously intrusive piece of information or paperwork. And I ask them, what is this for, and get told that it is "a new requirement of the federal government." I appreciate the feds have put in all kinds of new bank account controls in a misguided attempt to do something about terrorism (side bet: most of these have more to do with the drug war than terrorism). But in most of these cases, either my 29 other banks are breaking the law, or my bank is misguided. Or worse, BS'ing me by falsely blaming their own information acquisitiveness on the feds.
Today I had a tiny, tiny telephone company in southern New Mexico call me to say they needed my drivers license and a utility bill from a New Mexico resident to add a phone line. This new phone line is 1) for my corporation and 2) about the 8th account with this same phone company. Given the area they operate, I may be their largest customer in town. I told her I thought the requirement that a corporate officer give up his drivers license to get an extra corporate phone line was absurd, and further if they wanted a personal utility bill in New Mexico they would be waiting forever. After being kicked up to their supervisor, I was told that they would settle for proof of my corporations federal tax ID # and a copy of my lease for the campground in question proving I was the legal occupant. When asked why -- I mean, do they really have a problem with people paying the phone bill for locations that are not theirs -- they said it was now required by the federal government.
Really? this sounds like BS. Again, my 30 other phone companies would probably like to know they are breaking the law. But who knows, maybe the feds really care. If I had to bet, this would again be chalked up to the war on terror, but if I really could get to the bottom of it, I would find its about the drug war -- one time somewhere a drug dealer set up a phone line in an assumed name in an abandoned building and now I have to get fingerprinted and have an FBI check to get a phone line (don't laugh at the latter, one still has to get fingerprinted for every liquor license as a holdover from 80 years ago when gangs ran speakeasy's).