Modern NDAs are unbelievably dirty, and the same handful of sleazy lawyers is behind most of them


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/04/10/suborning-perjury.html


#2

I was gonna say that usually contracts for illegal purposes (e.g. perjury) can’t be enforced. But then I saw the forced arbitration part…


#3

If you don’t sign the NDA, is there a separate NDA that prevents you from talking about the main one?


#4

Yeah, the thought occurred to me that NDA developers introduced private arbitration because it was the only way to go once there were clauses like the ones requiring parties to perjure themselves which would be unenforceable in real legal systems.


#5

Forcing the arbitration to happen in the Netherlands or Narnia wasn’t good enough for them?


#6

You have to separate civil and criminal procedures here. If something criminal is being prosecuted it really doesn’t matter what bogus-ass contract has been signed. I’m talking here about the every-day general populace and average companies/businesses of the US, here, mind you. There does exist, of course, an entire class of people that are above the law. Yeah, I used that phrase.


#7

If we know who these guys are, is there any reason they haven’t been disbarred?


#8

Two reasons:

a) this stuff only came out recently and Bar Associations work slowly;
b) the rules are for other people…


#9

So what happens if you don’t sign?
Or indeed if you do sign, but ignore it?


#10

Or someone forges your signature?


#11

My wife and I are suing a bank and we have a case coming before the State Supreme Court over rather we can be forced into arbitration instead of a court because of a forged signature by a bank.
The bank is arguing that we can’t present the argument that signature is forged in a court till we prove the signature is forged at arbitration and the rules of arbitration will not let us present that argument .
So we been take the case up the chain of courts for our right to present a case in court before a judge and jury, not a arbitrator picked by the bank. (We suspect but can’t prove that the arbitrator may work for the corporation that owns the bank.)


#12

Wow, best of luck to you!


#13

Are you suggesting they’re lawyers?


#14

What the US clearly needs is NDAs with Chip and PIN.

(I’m just recovering from just finishing reading about the trauma of US still using signatures on credit cards.)


#15

Luckily, Libertarian Liberty™© is not compromised by the terms of contracts that are at least nominally voluntary and to which the state is not a party; so we are totally OK.

(And contracts signed with individuals who coincidentally happen to occupy positions of state power are 100% not contracts to which the state is a party, so we are still OK!)


#16

Thank you


#17

A situation for the which the term “Orwellian” was invented.


#18

I’ll admit the first time I was called upon to implement chip and signature, I sent it back as an obvious mistake on the spec.

But it does sort of make sense. The fraud that brought the switch to EMV is not individual stolen cards, but card skimming, and EMV without signature solves that. You can steal the physical card, but you can’t skim it. So this gets rid of the 99.5% of the fraud that was threatening the whole credit card system.

Of course without the PIN, you aren’t really protecting the card-holder from getting their card physically stolen. But America has competition, which means that banks trying to force their customers to switch to PIN could lose them to the competition that didn’t.

This is unlike Canada, where the ATM system is run by a cartel called Interac (owned by all the banks). Like any cartel, it could enforce co-operation, and impose PINs on everyone, so there was no place for PIN-hating Canadians to go. They said jump (in order to limit the credit card losses they were paying for) and we were forced to say how high.

In the USA, consumer choice means that the banks have calculated it is cheaper to pay for fraud on stolen cards (like they always did) than to lose their PIN-hating customers to the competition.

For better or worse, America gets what the customers want (or what the banks believe the customer wants). We Canadian sheep get better security :-).


#19

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