The Corner

Re: Who is John Galt? And Saddam Hussein?

Kathryn, the reader who discovered that the Obama campaign accepts fraudulent donations also emailed me (unfortunately, while New Hampshire’s Third World Internet service was down again). I was interested in the subject because I also have an online credit-card operation over at my website (obviously a little smaller than Senator Obama’s), and so I looked into what our CC processing requires. In order to accept financial donations from “John Galt” and “Saddam Hussein”, whoever runs the Obama website would have to modify the default security checks required by their merchant processor.

Now sometimes you do have to do a bit of modifying. My website has a lot of customers from overseas, and the default security settings can sometimes be a bit too eager to reject credit cards from countries where the “state or province” box is non-applicable or the postal code is in a non-American format. In other words, the default settings on a US online processing operation (with their bias toward US address formats) should be just what a legitimate US political campaign (anxious not to accept illegal foreign donations) is looking for. Instead, the Obama site appear to have intentionally disabled not only all the address checks (thereby facilitating overseas contributions) but the most basic criterion of all: the card name match (thereby enabling entirely fake contributions).

As the Powerline reader has noted, if “John Galt” of “Ayn Rand Lane” attempts a contribution at the McCain campaign, it gets rejected. Which is just as well. If the Republican candidate’s website were intentionally set up to facilitate fraudulent donations, it would be on the front page of The New York Times. But, as it’s King Barack the Spreader, we can rest assured the crack investigative units will be too preoccupied with Governor Palin’s shoes over the next two weeks.

[UPDATE: We get results!]

Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist.

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