Laundry, Distrust, and No DEI-ty

More on money laundering, how the Internet is becoming unreliable, and DEI oaths

Rather than a long essay today, here are a few short entries to stimulate thinking and keep you apprised of what might be coming down the road.

Money Laundering

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post speculating that OA publishing might be ripe for money laundering. This was based on the amount of money suddenly sloshing around in sketchy publications, the lack of disclosure around who pays APCs (still a shameful dereliction of duty, in my book), the emergence of some cryptocurrency-based publication schemes, the possibility of LLMs generating papers cheaply and easily, and a lot of sketchy publishers coming out of nowhere.

Showing that publishers are a possible nexus of money laundering, the Southern District of New York has arrested the CFO of Epoch Times, and issued this headline to explain their action:

Chief Financial Officer Of Multinational Media Company Charged With Participating In Scheme To Launder At Least $67 Million In Fraud Proceeds.”

The press release reads in part:

. . . [Bill Guan, CFO] conspired with others to benefit himself, the media company, and its affiliates by laundering tens of millions of dollars in fraudulently obtained unemployment insurance benefits and other crime proceeds. When banks raised questions about the funds, Guan allegedly lied repeatedly and falsely claimed that the funds came from legitimate donations to the media company.

Now, money laundering as a motivation for some OA publishing activities seems even less implausible in our world than before.

The Unreliable Internet

Remember when the maxim was, “The Internet is forever”? Years-old posts would still be discoverable, abandoned blogs could be easily located, and the archive of human information seemed bound to be an historical treasure trove going forward.