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Author Topic: [TERP] Interior: 'deed poll' names used during immigration  (Read 1298 times)

Offline Sir Alexandreu Davinescu

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[TERP] Interior: 'deed poll' names used during immigration
« on: October 31, 2020, 08:47:01 PM »
Welcome Alfred! You have an interesting surname. Are you descended from the Hapsburgs who ruled much of Europe in previous centures?

NB: The applicant has decided to "deed poll" their surname and go by an assumed 'street name'.  Their true and legal name has been collected and verified by the Immigration Sectetary and MinInterior and will be kept on file as part of our records, and can be shared with the Chancery, if required.


May I ask how many citizens have a availed themselves of this pseudonym service? I wasn't aware that was a thing we were doing.



(modified by E. Grischun:  Topic split and moved from an immigration thread to its own Terp thread in Lobby.  Post contents not edited.)
« Last Edit: November 01, 2020, 12:12:13 AM by Eðo Grischun »
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Offline Eðo Grischun

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Re: [TERP] Interior: 'deed poll' names used during immigration
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2020, 12:03:47 AM »
May I ask how many citizens have a availed themselves of this pseudonym service? I wasn't aware that was a thing we were doing.

This practice came in as a result of the Sebastian Penache case.  The courts final ruling on that was very weird, as you probably remember.  So, rather than allow that to ever happen again and to happen without us knowing about it, Interior allows the practice, but now demands (under Pete Townsend) that an applicant provide a method for us to verify their legal name.  This allows folk to continue their 'incognito' statuses for whatever reason, but ensures that we still know who they are.

This is the middle ground compromise.  We either have it be completely open with little to no protection on things like electoral fraud or from sock puppets and Guy Incognitos or we go whole hog in the other direction and have a strict 'real name only' rule, but to truly enforce that we would need a strict ID card requirement.  I think this compromise works better than those two extremes.

To your question, without checking (but I can go and double check this if you need) no citizens have naturalised under this practice as far as I can remember.  However, a number of applicants have applied under assumed names, but what we find is that those that do this don't actually go on to become full citizens.  To this date, the only person going around in Talossa using a pseudonym is Sebastian Penache, I believe.

By the way, this isn't just about internet privacy and incognito pseudonyms.  There are various legit reasons that someone may wish to become Talossan using a name other than the name printed on their macronational identification, such as divorced surnames or transgender name changes.  So, to prevent those legitimate cases ever ending up a cause for fraud charges, we permit them to use a different name as long as they have been truthful and open to begin with during immigration.

In case you are wondering, and in anticipation of follow up questions on this, in almost all cases we now ask the applicant to provide at least one link to a social media account in their true and legal name.  We have a look at that profile, ensure it is in the legal name of the applicant and just generally check for any signs that the account is legit (age of account, etc).  Interestingly, in the past week or so the Immigration Secretary has actually forwarded me two cases where the applicant was unwilling or unable to provide details for a social media verification check.  One of those cases went to an 'immigration interview' with myself where the applicant did go on to provide me with adequate evidence (although that person wasn't actually applying using a 'deed poll' name; they just don't use social media).  The second case was where they applied using just a forename and no links to social media.  Upon further communication that applicant provided a surname, but still refused to provide any links to a social media profile.  This application was rejected.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2020, 12:21:25 AM by Eðo Grischun »
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Offline Sir Alexandreu Davinescu

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Re: [TERP] Interior: 'deed poll' names used during immigration
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2020, 10:00:52 AM »
Thank you, S:reu Ministreu.  I would like to note that this was a casual question, and I didn't intend the legal mandates of a Terp, but I appreciate your thoughtful and thorough response.

For the record, I am very troubled at this trend.  While there are very good reasons for using a pseudonym in some circumstances, I think those circumstances should be nearly a requirement.  By and large, we should try to ask people to interact with us as their own and true selves.

Is the Pinatsch case continuing?  I can't remember if it was challenged to an en banc cort.
Bitter struggles deform their participants in subtle, complicated ways. ― Zadie Smith
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Offline Eðo Grischun

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Re: [TERP] Interior: 'deed poll' names used during immigration
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2020, 10:34:12 AM »
Yes, I kind of figured your question was more casual than not.  I just felt the discussion didn't belong in an active immigration thread. Then when I was moving it a Terp made most sense in the moment.

I agree, by the way.  The policy isn't ideal.  I would rather prospectives were required to be open books (I believe most of us do), but, as I mentioned, this policy was put in place hot on the heels of the UC's ruling that fake names given during immigration didn't constitute fraud.  I could have went severe and strict following the passage of the Townsend Act.  I didn't feel wholly comfortable at that time putting in place a system that required immigrants to provide official ID.  I'm still not wholly comfortable with that, but the longer I do this job the more my appetite for it grows. 

Also, the Seneschal voiced opinion (which I agree with) that she didn't see a major issue with people using a deed poll name, so long as they still tell us their real name in the background.

I tried to reach a sensible balance with it all.  I think that balance is working okay for now seeing as it hasn't caused a load of controversy.

To answer your question about the Pinatsch case; I don't actually know the status of that.  I've not been keeping tabs.
The Rt. Hon. Senator Éovart Grischun S.H.

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Offline Sir Alexandreu Davinescu

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Re: [TERP] Interior: 'deed poll' names used during immigration
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2020, 11:30:22 AM »
I have inquired of the A-X on this matter.  Thank you very much for your excellent reply.  I won't venture an opinion about IDs, but I do think it will harm our shared Talossan community if this trend increases.  I understand that you can't speak to whether or not any of those understandable reasons are at hand here, but I will just urge you to do everything you can to just nudge people to their real names.  I appreciate you are just trying to manage a difficult situation, though.

Just FYI, in the future, I don't think it's wise to change a casual question to a formal legislative inquiry that has the force of law.  I have a philosophical objection to anyone adjusting conversations like that in general, but this seems particularly an area that we should be careful about.
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Re: [TERP] Interior: 'deed poll' names used during immigration
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2020, 03:21:57 PM »
I should note that the A-Xh is currently in the process of moving to a different state, and thus has been incommunicado for a while

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Offline Eðo Grischun

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Re: [TERP] Interior: 'deed poll' names used during immigration
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2020, 04:22:41 AM »
I have inquired of the A-X on this matter.  Thank you very much for your excellent reply.  I won't venture an opinion about IDs, but I do think it will harm our shared Talossan community if this trend increases.  I understand that you can't speak to whether or not any of those understandable reasons are at hand here, but I will just urge you to do everything you can to just nudge people to their real names.  I appreciate you are just trying to manage a difficult situation, though.

Just FYI, in the future, I don't think it's wise to change a casual question to a formal legislative inquiry that has the force of law.  I have a philosophical objection to anyone adjusting conversations like that in general, but this seems particularly an area that we should be careful about.

My apologies.  I didn't put any thought into how rigid the Terp system actually is. I wrote the thread title without really thinking about it.  Feel free to remove the Terp tag and rename the thread to something more casual if you prefer.

I take issue, though, with your comment that the conversation has been adjusted.  It hasn't.  Your question was moved to a more appropriate venue and is still displayed exactly as originally posted and my reply was given as it was always going to be given regardless of it being a "terp" or not (in fact, my reply was originally posted in the immigration thread and moved along with the question).  The contents of this thread, sans discussion over terps, is exactly as it always was and would have been regardless of venue or thread title.  Again, apologies for naming it a Terp, though.
The Rt. Hon. Senator Éovart Grischun S.H.

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Senator of Vuode

Offline Sir Alexandreu Davinescu

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Re: [TERP] Interior: 'deed poll' names used during immigration
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2020, 09:02:23 AM »
In my view, excising someone's reply from a conversation is certainly altering that conversation!  If you say something, and I say -- in effect -- that you're not allowed to say that here, removing the statement to some other venue... well, clearly it's altered the conversation.  There's an explicit change (my speech has been deleted from the previous conversation) and an implicit message is sent in the process (eg "You're not permitted to talk about that here").  I'm not trying to pick a fight, and I'll let it go since it's not a big deal in this instance, but I just don't want this dynamic to continue where people in power feel free to decide what speech is acceptable in a given conversation based on their whim.
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Offline Sir Alexandreu Davinescu

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Re: [TERP] Interior: 'deed poll' names used during immigration
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2020, 09:03:21 AM »
I should note that the A-Xh is currently in the process of moving to a different state, and thus has been incommunicado for a while
Anyone else who can offer some insight on this, then?  I'd appreciate it.
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Revolution is an art that I pursue rather than a goal I expect to achieve. ― Robert Heinlein

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Re: [TERP] Interior: 'deed poll' names used during immigration
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2020, 04:13:23 PM »
As Seneschál, I believe the consensus of the Cabinet at the time was, after Justice Nordselva said he couldn't do nuthin' on appeal, we believed we had reached the end of our legal resources.

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Re: [TERP] Interior: 'deed poll' names used during immigration
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2020, 04:41:09 PM »
Am I mistaken in thinking that the Ziu could just pass a law to fix the problem?
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Offline Eðo Grischun

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Re: [TERP] Interior: 'deed poll' names used during immigration
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2020, 01:57:29 AM »
Am I mistaken in thinking that the Ziu could just pass a law to fix the problem?


It already did.  The Pete Townsend Act that I mentioned above.

Here it is here: https://talossa.proboards.com/thread/13669/pete-townshend-who-bill?page=1

The Act gave my Ministry very broad powers to verify the identity of all prospective citizens.  The method of ID check I have chose to implement (in the first instance) is a soft-check by social media, but whenever that fails to satisfy me (or the Immigration Secretary) then I conduct further checks.  There are a small handful of times when I have felt the need to conduct further checks.  Sometimes, these further checks lead to the applicant providing more documentation and sometimes these checks lead to the applicant being unwilling to do so, in turn leading to rejection.  As far as is reasonably practicable, this Ministry, over the past two governments, has verified the "real world" identity of every single applicant that has been posted to the immigration forum.  The old policies that allowed GuyIncognitoGate to happen (which were in place all the way back to the mid noughties) have been tightened to prevent that from ever happening again.  So, there isn't a "problem" to fix.

Please also note this WHEREAS clause from the act:  "WHEREAS no-one is suggesting that people should use their "street names" in easily Google-searchable Talossan forums, but that the Kingdom should have confidence that everyone here is a real person with a first name, hind name and address (to quote Ezra Pound), even if this is not publicly disclosed;"

This government is of the view that as long as the true identity of an applicant is provided and verified at the time of immigration then there is no major problem requiring further fixes.
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Offline Adam Grigoriu

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Re: [TERP] Interior: 'deed poll' names used during immigration
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2020, 02:31:19 PM »
I haven't been in the job very long, but in the event it sheds some light on the issue at hand this is the rough process I use.

1. Does the profile exist and is it something I can access? I had a case recently where an applicant sent a link that was behind a login page, and one where they sent a dead link citing privacy concerns. The first case ended up being reviewed by Ministreu Grischun, and the second refused to provide further information was was thus rejected.

2. Does the name match? If not, as has also happened recently, I send out a request for further information.

3. What site is the account on, how old is it, and how active is it? This is the critical one. While sure, it is possible to make fake accounts on legit sites that have enough activity to look real, it's quite difficult. The date accounts are created is generally pretty public, and it'd take a lot of work to make an account years in advance and then seed it with activity. If an account is new or doesn't look legit, then I'll ask for further info. or forward the case up to Ministreu Grischun

4. At any point if I'm not confident it's legit I'll request further information or forward the case to Ministreu Grischun. I've bothered him more than a few times with specific cases or unusual issues. Generally, people don't have that much of an issue with providing the requisite info, and if they're cagey those are forwarded.
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Re: [TERP] Interior: 'deed poll' names used during immigration
« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2020, 02:59:00 PM »
I agree that there is no longer a problem. Every applicant accepted for prospective citizenship must satisfy Immigration that they are a real person and give acceptable evidence of their identity. I'm not entirely sure where the Regent's line of questioning is going, but it seems to be in the direction that it is unseemly that anyone should be allowed to use a pseudonym in Talossa - which is bizarre because as far as I recall, the Regent gets VERY jumpy when anyone in Talossa posts his street name in a public forum. The use of pseudonyms is only an extra layer of security under changing your name into our national language for those who want to keep their Talossan life compartmentalised.

The problem with "Sebastian Panache" was never that he used a pseudonym, it's that he never gave his real name at all, and we only found it out by accident.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2020, 03:07:25 PM by Miestră Schivă, UrN »

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Offline Sir Alexandreu Davinescu

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Re: [TERP] Interior: 'deed poll' names used during immigration
« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2020, 11:54:14 AM »
My line of questioning is aimed at following up at a problem which I saw: the possible proliferation of pseudonymous people potentially percolating in private.  We're not supposed to just be an internet message board -- we're supposed to be a community.  There are potentially good reasons to adopt a pseudonym, even before you immigrate, but I wanted to inquire about whether or not we were working to minimize this development.  If the answer is, "yes, we nudge people to use their real names," great.  If the answer is, "we don't care," then that worries me.

Perhaps I am "jumpy" about having my English-language name posted here on this search-indexed forum, but there is zero question about who I am and much about my life is well-known.  I think you probably actually remember the reason for my caution about my English-language name, though: I have a mortgage and a growing family to feed, and only a few years ago a Talossan wrote formal letters to my boss and his boss to try to get me fired from my job.
Bitter struggles deform their participants in subtle, complicated ways. ― Zadie Smith
Revolution is an art that I pursue rather than a goal I expect to achieve. ― Robert Heinlein