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Georgia Apple Store Refuses To Sell iPad To Iranian-American Teen 1116

pdclarry writes "An Iranian-American teenager was told by an Apple store employee that they could not sell her an iPad because it would violate U.S. trade restrictions. She returned to the store with a camera crew from a local TV station and was again turned down. Apparently an Apple employee heard her speaking Farsi. As he was also of Iranian extraction he recognized the language and used this as a basis for refusal."
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Georgia Apple Store Refuses To Sell iPad To Iranian-American Teen

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  • TSA as role model? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rbrausse ( 1319883 ) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @05:25PM (#40431987)

    An Arabic name is bad news at US airports, speaking Farsi is bad news in Apple stores?

    The angst-driven post 9/11 world is a shame :/

  • Re:Incoming... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bky1701 ( 979071 ) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @05:31PM (#40432045) Homepage
    Iranian, maybe? Does it matter? You hear someone speaking another language, demand to know what country they are from, and then refuse them service because they are from the wrong one. That is racism - pure and simple - none of the usual complexities.
  • by cfalcon ( 779563 ) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @05:31PM (#40432049)

    It's not racism. It's either an employee correctly refusing to violate a (imo silly if it applies to consumer electronics) law, or the same employee INCORRECTLY doing same (pretty damned sure it's the second- the article implies that). Either way, it's clear that the employee's stated reason is not based on race.

    Also unlike the summary states, she told the employee that it was a gift for her cousin, who is an Iranian citizen. It wasn't just "because she was speaking Farsi".

    And no, I'm no Applepologist. But this doesn't look like it is the story that is being presented.

  • Self Racism (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ZombieBraintrust ( 1685608 ) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @05:38PM (#40432119)
    Good luck proving the Iranian sales clerk was rasist to the Iranian customer.
  • by bky1701 ( 979071 ) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @05:45PM (#40432185) Homepage
    Then show me some cases of this happening with other large electronics stores - actually, show me enough that it cancels out the small market share of Apple stores. Then you can claim it's just those evil Apple haters singling you out.
  • Re:A sad day (Score:5, Insightful)

    by khb ( 266593 ) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @05:46PM (#40432205)

    Since the apple employee is claimed to be fluent in Farsi why isn't the assumption that the buyer actually said something that gave a solid ground for believing it was actually for export?

    Apple could be on the hook if they sold it "knowingly" for export. That is a judgement call for the US attorney and any sensible company would prefer not to be hostage to justice department "judgement" if they can help it.

    Next time would be exporters to banned countries should make sure to not have conversations about it in the store. You can't assume that none of the staff or customers speak your language (I used to work with an Itailian guy who spoke at least one Chinese dialect perfectly (correct accent and all).

  • Re:Incoming... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bky1701 ( 979071 ) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @05:50PM (#40432231) Homepage
    So if McDonalds tells you they can't serve you because you are black, you'd go to Burger King and just shrug at the situation? Yeah..., sounds like someone who has no idea what it means to be singled out.
  • Re:Incoming... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sir_Sri ( 199544 ) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @05:50PM (#40432235)

    Actually it's not. In this case it's due diligence. Apple is not allowed to export to Iran then they are obliged to not export to Iran, and are supposed to make sure whatever they sell isn't ending up in Iran. If they knowingly sell product to someone who will export or re-export it to Iran that would be illegal and could land them in a lot of trouble.

    You could do the same with anyone speaking Korean or arabic. (North korea and syria) it would just be relatively rare that anyone is exporting to North Korea.

    When you buy the product you're agreeing to the licence agreement that says you won't export it to Iran. If there is *any* evidence that you are going to violate that agreement Apple, or just about any other electronics manufacturer cannot sell it to you. They sell it to a warehouse in Qatar where people are smart enough to not open their mouths.

    You could have every single transaction an employee at any computer products seller say "Now you understand that you aren't allowed to re-sell or otherwise export this to ..........." and sound off the long list of countries export is forbidden to. But most of the time that would be stupid (in the same way airport security long ago gave up on asking whether or not baggage is your own) and just a waste of everyones time. It's there in the fine print if you want to read it.

    Nor, by the way is this unique to the US.

    The UK page (which itself refernces the fact that the restrictions are EU wide) There are so many layers of places you have to look, I don't see the value in linking them all to convey the point.

  • Re:Poetic Justice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cffrost ( 885375 ) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @05:55PM (#40432287) Homepage

    The discrimination victim in this story is a citizen of the United States.

    Why should foreign laws affect how US citizens are treated within US borders?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 24, 2012 @05:57PM (#40432297)

    Apple is following the law. Other companies like HP are trying to bend it by setting up shell fronts abroad to violate the sanctions law. Apple should be lauded for not trying to be a law unto itself. Of course, the wolves in CAIR are going to be baying for their blood.

    I won't pretend that this law is perfect. There are many supporters of Iran, who are not Iranian, don't speak Farsi and don't have Iranian last names. Like people from Hizbullah, and Arab Shia from countries like Lebanon, Iraq, Bahrein and Saudi Arabia. And there are also many Iranians living in the US who are Zoroastrians, Jews and Christians who do speak Farsi and have Iranian names. But have no loyalties to Iran, and are not likely to send or take high tech toys to Iran. So the law, and the way it's enforced, ought to be changed. However, until it isn't, Apple should be lauded for following it.

  • by BasilBrush ( 643681 ) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @05:57PM (#40432299)

    Huh? You want evidence of other electronics stores obeying the law just like Apple, otherwise hatred of Apple is justified?

  • by BasilBrush ( 643681 ) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @06:00PM (#40432333)

    From the article, it's happened at at least 2 stores. And it is following the law. EIther they are are getting trained, or Apple happens to have some very well informed sales clerks.

  • by Third Position ( 1725934 ) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @06:02PM (#40432347)

    If they were aware you were planning to export, then yes, legally they did.

  • by bky1701 ( 979071 ) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @06:03PM (#40432357) Homepage
    I am not convinced this is actually the law. You can parrot that it is, but it does not seem relevant at all to the embargo laws. An American buying a product in an American store has nothing to do with an embargo as far as I can tell. If it does, please show me proof of this sort of thing happening elsewhere. It shouldn't be hard. We have two cases of Apple doing it - surely it must be easy to find some from somebody else.

    Similarly, you can claim anyone who says something bad about Apple (even when they're doing obviously bad things) is only doing it because they hate Apple, but that doesn't make them wrong. It makes you look like an idiot.
  • Re:Self Racism (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ohnocitizen ( 1951674 ) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @06:04PM (#40432363)
    Actually, people of group X can be racist to other people from the same group. What would make you think that isn't possible?
  • Re:Poetic Justice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by haruchai ( 17472 ) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @06:06PM (#40432383)

    Even if the basis for the law is sound, it's still stupid ( and I'm not picking on Apple).
    These devices are widely available all over the world and I don't think proof of citizenship has ever been required to purchase one.

  • WTF is this shit? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 24, 2012 @06:07PM (#40432401)

    She identified herself as being from Iran.

    "When we said 'Farsi, I'm from Iran,' he said, 'I just can't sell this to you. Our countries have bad relations,'" Sabet said.

    And then there's the part about it being a gift for a relative living in Iran.

    Talk about manufactured outrage. If y'all are going to be mad at someone, be mad at the US government for banning exports to Iran. What else was the sales drone supposed to do when confronted with someone identifying as a person from a country that is not allowed to have the product he's selling?

    Being an Iranian who jumped through all the hoops to become a US citizen, there's no way she can be unaware of the export restrictions faced by Iran and Iranians. She knew exactly what would happen when she identified herself as being from Iran to a fellow Iranian selling a product containing technology subject to export controls. I hope she feels good about what she's done to that clerk.

  • Re:Wait wait wait (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 24, 2012 @06:08PM (#40432403)

    Technically, there is only one race: homo-sapien. Caucasian is not a race. African is not a race. Jewish is not a race. I figured I'd throw this in here since everyone wants to be so pedantic about pointing out Iranian isn't a race. Well, that's true, but neither is the rest of the shit we think of as race either. I expect everyone to adjust accordingly and I look forward to your "racist homo-sapien does something stupid to someone just because they're homo-sapien" posts.

  • this is political grandstanding between two iranian americans

    it has nothing to do with US policy, or apple

    don't let that stop a bunch of hobby intarwebs armchair analysts to use the contrived bullshit "event" to engage in holier than thou sophistry

  • Re:Poetic Justice (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bky1701 ( 979071 ) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @06:14PM (#40432467) Homepage
    So anyone who looks Asian and speaks Korean should be refused service, just for good measure? Wow, this is some SERIOUS bullshit. I am literally shocked that slashdot contains this level of arrogance and bigotry, and is willing to spout it off just because Apple is the one perpetrating it.
  • by PolygamousRanchKid ( 1290638 ) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @06:17PM (#40432499)

    Persians now live outside of Persia, because Persia is ruled by Iranians, who kicked them out of Iran for political and religious reasons. Although politics and religion are the same in Iran. I don't know how it was in Persia; ask a Persian (but not an Iranian). Persians and Iranians are not particularly fond of each other, and they can easily identify each other, because they both speak Farsi. So if an Iranian customer tried to buy an American iPad (made in China), from a Persian salesperson, and said, in Farsi, that it was bound for Iran (and not Persia), which the salesperson remembers as Persia, trouble was bound to happen.

    Does that clear it up for you?

    Oh, and Martha Stewart recommends NOT inviting Persians and Iranians to the same dinner party.

    Now, you can run into similar problems when asking an Arab about the Persian Gulf, or an Iranian (or a Persian) about the Arabian Gulf . . .

    That whole area of the world is God's Monkey House, if you ask me.

  • by rueger ( 210566 ) * on Sunday June 24, 2012 @06:21PM (#40432547) Homepage
    Wow. Between the Apple employees, the fanboys, the "gotta stop terrurists" bunch, and the armchair lawyers my head in spinning madly.

    I sincerely doubt that an $11.00 an hour clerk at an Apple store has the knowledge and judgement to interpret and apply complex trade sanctions.

    I also get the distinct impression that too many of you folks see Iranians as a some kind of homogeneous group - especially ex-pat Iranians. There are a lot of Iranians in North America who hate the current regime with a seething passion, and who would see anyone intending to return to Iran as a supporter of that regime. I'd bet the clerk falls into that group.

    Finally let's get real here - There's not likely to be much in an iPad that would represent a big jump on whatever technology Iran is using already. Besides, as has been pointed out, there are likely a hundred other ways that the Iranians would get their hands on Apple products. Like, say, buy them in China?
  • Re:Poetic Justice (Score:2, Insightful)

    by sgage ( 109086 ) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @06:27PM (#40432605)

    Holy shit. Listen to what you're saying. An American citizen can't buy an iPad because some employee is trying to cover his ass? Apple could face massive fines? Well, they should face them and take the damn thing to court. We're talking about an American Citizen buying a freakin' iPad. This is not nuclear secrets, people.

  • by sgage ( 109086 ) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @06:30PM (#40432645)

    This story, and the hyper-patriotic responses from many Slashdotters, sickens me. I guess the terrorists won.

    The girl should be looked at by DHS? For a fucking iPad? You have got to be kddiing me. Fascist much?

    It's getting so that I can't even recognize America any more.

  • by ThatsMyNick ( 2004126 ) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @06:33PM (#40432667)

    Does an Apple employee have the right to prevent the purchase merely because someone said something?

    In the US it is. Selling a gun, knowing that it would be uses to kill someone, is a classic example of this. You become an accessory to the crime.

  • Re:Poetic Justice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by arth1 ( 260657 ) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @06:33PM (#40432669) Homepage Journal

    Technology found in products like iPads could be used for military or terrorist purposes

    "Could" is not probable cause or even reasonable suspicion. Seawater can be used for military or terrorist purposes too, and so can air.
    And you don't need a computer to build an atom bomb - at least three countries did it with nothing more advanced than a slide rule.

    As for an iPad, you have to be a die-hard fanboy not to realize that it's way less powerful than a PC costing the same.

    But most of all, Apple is here going beyond their mandate. They should not sell to Iran, but they have no business deciding that a US citizen with Iranian ancestry should not buy an iDevice. No matter whether they think it's later going to be sent to Iran. If they have suspicion that a crime is about to be committed, they should contact the authorities. They are not deputized nor judges.

  • Re:Poetic Justice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GuldKalle ( 1065310 ) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @06:42PM (#40432763)

    If the clerk heard that the costumer is intending to send the ipad to Iran, wouldn't that make the clerk an accomplice? Obviously the clerk can't produce any proof, since the crime hasn't been committed yet.

  • Re:Poetic Justice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gnasher719 ( 869701 ) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @06:44PM (#40432781)

    "Sabet told WSBTV that the iPad was intended as a gift to her cousin in Iran, but said she didn't mention that to the clerk"

    Wait a second - she told WSBTV that she intented to commit a criminal offense that carries a penalty of up to 20 years in jail? Shouldn't she be thanking the store clerk who prevented her from doing so?

  • Re:Poetic Justice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 24, 2012 @06:44PM (#40432783)

    "Sabet told WSBTV that the iPad was intended as a gift to her cousin in Iran, but said she didn't mention that to the clerk"

    So she admitted on television that she intended to violate US export laws? There's no problem here, she's already confessed to a felony. Why are we hating on this poor clerk?

  • Re:Poetic Justice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Third Position ( 1725934 ) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @06:48PM (#40432845)

    A judge wasn't expected to make that determination, an employee was. If a doctor overheard a patient planning to resell a psychoactive prescription, do you think he needs documentation to refuse the prescription? If a gun shop employee overhears a customer planning to commit a crime, does he need documentation to refuse the sale? Would a judge find either the doctor or the gun shop owner guilty of a crime? I think not.

  • Re:Poetic Justice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Geoffrey.landis ( 926948 ) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @06:48PM (#40432853) Homepage

    Indeed. My respect for Apple just went up.

    Yes, I hate to say it, but from the facts given, the Apple employee was obeying the law.

    "The iPad was to be a gift for her cousin who lives in Iran."

    It was illegal for her to buy it in order to send it to Iran. You can argue about what he heard and what he knew about versus what he deduced from possibly incomplete evidence, but the end result, refusing to sell her an iPad she was intending to re-export to Iran, was following the law.

    If you don't like it, don't blame Apple, go petition the US government who made the law.

  • Re:Poetic Justice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Weaselmancer ( 533834 ) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @06:51PM (#40432879)

    Oh bullcrap. The clerk heard the lady say that she was going to send it to Iran to her grandmother, which is illegal. The clerk didn't want to be an accomplice.

    If I was selling tire irons and some guy said "I'm going to use this to beat my neighbor to death", I wouldn't sell him the tire iron.

    This one is a no-brainer.

  • by drkim ( 1559875 ) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @06:55PM (#40432919)

    Does an Apple employee have the right to prevent the purchase merely because someone said something?

    Actually; yes. An employee who knows, or should know, that a sale is illegal, can refuse a sale.

  • Re:Poetic Justice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PlusFiveTroll ( 754249 ) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @06:56PM (#40432929) Homepage

    I'm not sure how it works with other products, but licensed firearm dealers have strict rules on straw purchases []. With the lack of clarity and sometimes insanity of American law, if I heard the client say they were going to buy a product to be used in an illegal manner, I would NOT sell them the product. There can be a legal liability if you knowingly sell a product in that manner.

  • by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Sunday June 24, 2012 @06:58PM (#40432955) Homepage Journal

    that if the Iranians get their hands on an iPad, it's curtains for Western Civilisation.

    The stupid part of all this is that the conditions in Iran would be improved by more people having Internet communications devices. But apparently this embargo stops that.

    Well done, DC.

  • Re:Poetic Justice (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cffrost ( 885375 ) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @07:00PM (#40432969) Homepage

    If you're going to be a hard-ass about selling the girl an iPad, tell her why and explain to her to "Please have your Father come in with proof of your citizenship." Explain, "Its because we're trying to prevent another 9/11 and even though its a pain in the ass for everyone including the nice clerk who really wants to sell you an iPad, we all make small sacrifice during times of war for National Security." Polite, compassionate and with a solution that let's everyone know where they stand.

    That's polite compassion? It sounds like the sort of patronizing, propagandist bullshit I'd expect from a DHS official.

  • by Falconhell ( 1289630 ) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @07:08PM (#40433049) Journal

    You are way late, cowardly americans sacrificed their much vaunted freedom and liberty years ago!

  • ONE SIDE (Score:5, Insightful)

    by KingSkippus ( 799657 ) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @07:12PM (#40433107) Homepage Journal

    What's bullshit to me is that everyone is raising such a fuss based on ONE side of this story--the person who was supposedly aggrieved. Believe it or not, not everyone in Georgia is stupid, including employees at Apple stores. I have to point out that for all of the sound and fury going on, the employee did the right thing here. The girl does admit that their intention was for her uncle to take the iPad back to Iran with him, which is illegal. I suspect, and think I even read somewhere, that they let the employee know that the intention was to take the iPad back to Iran. If this is the case, then the employee was entirely correct in not selling the iPad to the would-be customer, because if he reasonably thought that it was going to be taken back to Iran, that would have not only been directly against Apple's policy, but it would have been illegal.

    So no, this doesn't mean that everyone who speaks Korean or Spanish or whatever--even Farsi--is going to be refused service. But if you let the salesperson know that it's going to be going back to North Korea, Cuba, or Iran, then it's not unreasonable to expect them to refuse to sell you stuff. And yes, I know that she's saying now that she didn't tell the employee that it was going back to Iran. I suppose that some folks are probably willing to believe that wholesale without knowing the whole story.

    If you don't like the law, then get your congresscritters to change it. If you don't like Apple's policy (which clearly states, "The exportation, reexportation, sale or supply, directly or indirectly, from the United States, or by a U.S. person wherever located, of any Apple goods, software, technology (including technical data), or services to any of these countries is strictly prohibited without prior authorization by the U.S. Government"), then write to One Infinite Loops and ask them to change it. As it is, though, stop giving the poor employee just trying to do his job to the best of his ability a bunch of unwarranted grief.

    Shit, I don't even like Apple, but trying to equating this poor schmuck who did what he was supposed to to racists bigots is sickening me. What the hell alternative do you propose? I suppose you'd prefer it if I could go into any Apple store, tell the clerk that I'd like to order 50 iPads to take to Cuba to sell on the gray market at 50% markup, they should just say, "Gee golly, okay, I'll go get them!" because to do anything else wouldn't be their business? If not, what's the goddamn difference, and how would you propose the law actually be maintained both in letter and in spirit?

  • Re:Poetic Justice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gutnor ( 872759 ) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @07:12PM (#40433113)

    I don't know how that works in the US, but in EU you do not have a constitutional right to consume. The owner of a shop has the right of not serving you, at his discretion. (there is obviously some limit such as discrimination or other stuff) I hope that in the US, you are not required by law to sell the proverbial cord that will be used to hang you : at worst the seller could be into trouble, at best he will think he aided somebody break the law.

    That said this story look more like the usual reality-tv drama. The girl could have been real bitchy the first time (she brought a tv crew for god sake, she is fishing for a scandal, not for a resolution), the seller on the other hand could have been an arse caught in a bad day.

  • Re:Poetic Justice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bert64 ( 520050 ) <bert AT slashdot DOT firenzee DOT com> on Sunday June 24, 2012 @07:16PM (#40433155) Homepage

    Such restrictions are utterly stupid...

    For one thing many countries have at one point or another funded groups which were considered terrorists...
    Also the US developed nuclear weapons too, it's a double standard to punish iran for trying to do so. The US is also the only country to have actually USED nuclear weapons.

    And these restrictions only hurt the less affluent/powerful civilians of such countries. The powerful in Iran will simply continue buying whatever technology they want either from the black market, or from countries that don't have any such restrictions.

    Meanwhile they hurt legitimate businesses in countries which do enforce the restrictions, as they lose potential business to black market businesses and less restrictive countries.

  • Re:Poetic Justice (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ifiwereasculptor ( 1870574 ) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @07:18PM (#40433169)

    Actually, buying it is always fine. Sending it to Iran is the illegal part. And since Apple isn't in charge of overseeing customs, the issue is if they have any sort of authority over what you are or aren't allowed to buy. They don't.

  • Re:Poetic Justice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Score Whore ( 32328 ) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @07:23PM (#40433203)

    It's clear you've not even a passing association with the logistics industry. The shipper/buyer says "this is going to prohibited country x" and that's the end of the story. The item doesn't move.

    If you have a problem with this then you should go talk to the US State Department, the White House, the governments of most western countries, and the UN. Don't bitch at someone who has to abide by the rules.

  • Re:Poetic Justice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bhagwad ( 1426855 ) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @07:29PM (#40433275) Homepage
    Because he is the one who has to prove his case. The burden of evidence is on him. Innocent until...etc etc. Moreover, this is not the only incident.

    "A second Iranian American interviewed in the report also said he was barred from purchasing something at an Apple store in the Atlanta area when he was helping an Iranian student buy an iPhone. Zack Jafarzadeh said he and the friend were speaking Farsi when the sales rep denied their purchase. "We never talked about him going back to Iran or anything like that," Jafarzadeh said, according to the report."
  • Re:Poetic Justice (Score:4, Insightful)

    by CrackedButter ( 646746 ) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @07:31PM (#40433301) Homepage Journal

    Apple users are gay faggots basically, didn't you get the memo? Where have you been?

  • Re:Poetic Justice (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bhagwad ( 1426855 ) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @07:31PM (#40433305) Homepage
    As an Indian, trust me when I say that people from your own nation/race can be FAR more racist than anyone else.
  • Re:ONE SIDE (Score:5, Insightful)

    by KingSkippus ( 799657 ) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @07:42PM (#40433397) Homepage Journal

    There's no obligation, legal or otherwise, for Apple to publicly comment on this. Frankly, if people were writing grossly biased news stories trying to make me out to be a bigot and a racist, I probably wouldn't either. So the end result is that we have one very vocal side telling her story and another side that's silent. In these cases, I usually ask myself, "What makes more sense?"

    In this particular case, it doesn't make sense to me that an Apple store employee would simply assume based on no evidence whatsoever that an American-born person of Iranian descent is going to take an iPad back to Iran. In spite of popular opinion that everyone in Georgia is a racist, this incident took place in the upper-middle class suburb of Alpharetta, on the outskirts of the more liberal and educated Atlanta. The guy had to have some reason other than "her skin is brown and she speaks a funny language" to deny her the sale of the iPad. We have semi-large Muslim communities around here, it's not like such people are weirdly out of place.

    I'm sorry, but until I hear more, I'm going with the theory that makes the most sense--that the employee was told that the iPad was headed to Iran and, per company policy, refused the sale. I've heard one side of the story, it doesn't pass muster with my "does this make sense?" sense, so I reject it.

  • Re:Poetic Justice (Score:3, Insightful)

    by frodo from middle ea ( 602941 ) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @07:48PM (#40433469) Homepage
    And as a fellow Indian, let me correct you a bit....
    Everyone's a racist. It's just human nature, not some deep rooted evil as it is made out to be by politically correct people.
  • Re:Poetic Justice (Score:3, Insightful)

    by aklinux ( 1318095 ) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @08:05PM (#40433579) Homepage
    Doctors and gun shop owners get charged & convicted of those things pretty regularly. I believe in the 2nd Amendment and own several guns (not all for hunting either). If I were stupid enough to sell one knowing it was intended to be used in the commission of a crime, I would be expecting a knock on the door.
  • Re:Poetic Justice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pspahn ( 1175617 ) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @08:35PM (#40433769)

    ...but the philosophy of the US is freedom. People are free to screw with their lives if they want.

    Since fucking when?

  • Re:Poetic Justice (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Vylen ( 800165 ) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @08:37PM (#40433785)

    No, exporting is.

  • Re:Poetic Justice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 24, 2012 @08:53PM (#40433865)

    Except that the employee had no idea she was going to give it to anyone in Iran:"Sabet told WSBTV that the iPad was intended as a gift to her cousin in Iran, but said she didn't mention that to the clerk."

    Except you are wrong and the whole point was the clerk who was Iranian as well heard her say in Iranian while in the store she intended to send it to Iran, not to mention she admitted on the news she intended to break US law.

  • Re:Poetic Justice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lgw ( 121541 ) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @09:08PM (#40433961) Journal

    "Iranian" is not a race. Further - fuck all current and future claims of racism - I've simply heard so damn many bullshit accusations of "racism" by people who clearly don't know what real racism looks like that no further fucks will ever be given by me on the topic.

    If the clerk thought it would be a laugh to deny every third purchaser on a Wednesday, the clerk has that right. There's no bar to clear here, no burden of proof at all. Store's simply don't have to sell to you- we haven't quite destroyed all notions of property in America yet, thankfully. The clerk perhaps speculated that the tablet would be sent to Iran, and unwilling to take even a very small risk of commiting a felony, chose safety. Not the heroic choice, perhaps, but perfecly fine.

  • Re:Poetic Justice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dgatwood ( 11270 ) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @09:16PM (#40434017) Homepage Journal

    By my reading of the law, it is illegal to sell something to someone who you know intends to export it to Iran, so no, buying it is not always fine.

  • Re:Poetic Justice (Score:4, Insightful)

    by lgw ( 121541 ) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @09:36PM (#40434165) Journal

    "Could" is not probable cause or even reasonable suspicion. Seawater can be used for military or terrorist purposes too, and so can air.
    And you don't need a computer to build an atom bomb - at least three countries did it with nothing more advanced than a slide rule.

    You've got the wrong end of this. The clerk has no burden of proof at all here.

    But none of that matters legally! It's quite similar to selling alcholol to a minor. It's totally on the clerk not to sell any drink on the forbidden list no matter how silly the list is and it's entirely the clerk's fault if for any reason they fail to spot that the buyer is a minor. If the clerk has even the slightest suspicion the buyer is under 21, he's going to insist on proof that the buyer is legal and refuse sale without it. That's how the law works!

    Seling items on the prohibited-for-export is the same deal. If the clerk has even the slightest suspicion the buyer might be making a "straw purchase" for an Iranian destination, he's completely doing the right thing by refusing the sale - the punishments are far worse in that case than selling alcohol to a minor!

  • by assertation ( 1255714 ) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @10:54PM (#40434651)

    Like most Americans I probably have some knee jerk prejudice against Iranians. No doubt some of that is from our media.

    Regardless, I've gotten to know a few Iranians through work over the years. The wamest, most intelligent people I have ever met.

    Please do not confuse the Iranian government and their noise for who Iranians are.

  • by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Monday June 25, 2012 @04:07AM (#40436207) Journal

    So, first she acknowledges on camera that she was planning to violate US law by supplying an Iranian national with banned equipment but you think she tells the truth when she wasn't talking about this in the store, presuming that nobody else would be able to understand her since she was speaking in Farsi?

    You take your evidence rather randomly don't you?

  • Re:Poetic Justice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tsm_sf ( 545316 ) on Monday June 25, 2012 @09:18AM (#40437757) Journal
    The average soldier simply has far more self-discipline and self-respect than the average American.

    I'm going to assume you got that idea from John Wayne movies and Sgt. Rock comic books, and not my home town after the bars close.

  • Re:Poetic Justice (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gnasher719 ( 869701 ) on Monday June 25, 2012 @09:54AM (#40438089)

    It's not enough to "hear" it. They need proof. Documentation. Passports. Air tickets as evidence. You think that kind of "proof" would hold up in a court of law?

    Here's how it works: A store _must_ of course refuse to sell goods if selling them would be illegal. A store _can_ refuse to sell goods if there is a good reason. And believing that selling _might_ be illegal is a good reason not to sell an item. Evidence that needs to hold up in court would be needed if a police officer accused the customer of actually committing a crime. That hasn't happened here. All that the store needs is a good reason. In this case, the store had to decide between upsetting a customer and losing a sale, or potentially being involved in a serious crime with potentially very, very serious consequences.

"How many teamsters does it take to screw in a light bulb?" "FIFTEEN!! YOU GOT A PROBLEM WITH THAT?"