As many of you know, KYC is a crime-prevention regime that banks use in order to provide due-diligence in identifying their customers, and ultimately identifying terrorist activity and money-laundering crimes.
If you live in the USA, the Patriot Act compels banks to develop this program for properly identifying its customers, and then monitoring them on an ongoing basis to ensure regulatory compliance.
If you live in Canada, there is a strict regime for who can even ask for these types of documents, and I assure you, blogging websites like Narrative ain't one of them.
This brings us to ask a few logical & legal questions:
1. Is it even legal for a blogging company to ask for, much less retain indefinitely, regulatory compliance for anti-terrorist activity for a first amendment right? Imagine walking into a church or a university in the USA and demanding KYC documents from the speaker. You'd be escorted to the door very quickly, if not arrested for breaching the peace.
2. *IF* it is legal (ONLY to be determined by a lawyer) for Narrative to collect anti-terrorism documents for a blogging website, how will they secure that information? Where will it be stored? Who has legal access to it? Has the narrative team been approved by the state/federal level to retain this information? As a community we will need very clear answers to every single one of these questions.
Who in the company will be privy to that information?
What, exactly, will they be using it for, and which laws, exactly, will they be referencing when using that privileged information?
How, exactly, will they execute using this information, without breaching privacy laws by showing it to others on the Narrative team?
3. What happens to the Narrative company when there is a data breach? Imagine a class-action lawsuit from any of the 195 or so countries in the world, for either asking, retaining, or divulging this information. If you think this is unlikely, you're almost certainly wrong. Governments all over the world have already, or are re-writing legislation right now to better protect the 'digital state' within the nation state.
4. By punishing those citizens who rightly refuse to provide anti-terrorism documents to a blogging website, is Narrative breaking the 'free speech' laws in that country? (First Amendment is a constitutional right, remember?)
5. Which privacy lawyers, or constitutional lawyers has Narrative hired to make sure they're in compliance with this anti-terrorism regime? (This is a must-answer)
6. If Narrative financially punishes those that do not submit anti-terrorist documents, does that contradict the protected-speech laws in said countries?
I ask these questions, not to stir trouble for the Narrative company, but rather, the corollary. By asking these questions now, and having them answered ONLY by a lawyer, will it save Narrative a huge headache later from being sued, or worse, from having the platform shut-down because of lack of legal due-diligence on whether they're collection of anti-terrorism documents is even legal.
These are perfectly legitimate questions, and should not be explained away by team members talking about vague 'quality of bloggers' or any of that nonsense. This is a very big deal.
Never in my life have I heard of a blogging company ask for anti-terrorism or money-laundering documents, so this quick list of questions is just the start of the discussion.
Most certainly we all should start asking around in the legal community to see if this type of activity is going to land Narrative in hot water.