IB denies encrypted statement delivery to non-pro users - who doesn't?

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by pilPopr, Feb 22, 2011.

  1. pilPopr


    I was quite impressed to find that IB is capable of encrypting monthly statements using PGP.

    Then I was quite unimpressed to discover that there's an undocumented requirement that only "professional accounts" are allowed to receive an encrypted statement. It's disturbing that regular accounts are unworthy of security.

    The question is, are there any other brokers forward thinking enough to deliver pgp-encrypted statements via email, but without charging extra for it?
  2. traders


    Probably because encryption is too difficult for retail clients. You have private keys, public keys, encryption alogrithm. And if this is not enough you need version x.y.z from PGP, because else it doesn't work and even if you have x.y.z you need to click here and there to get it working. Even if everything is fine, the majority of retail clients don't get it properly decrypted because they simply lack knowledge/experience.

    So retail clients need too much support in relation to what IB earn on them.

    Also pro-clients have dedicated IT-departments which typically is more experienced/knowledgable than a typical retail client.
  3. bawr


    I requested this feature almost 11 years ago, when I had an account with IB. At the time, their customer service people reacted like I was insane.

    IB could always digitally <i>sign</i> their statements for everyone, without necessarily encrypting them. This would not impose any technical proficiency requirements on the customer.
  4. pilPopr


    That may indeed be IB's thinking - although if that's the case, it's erroneous. IB could easily support hushmail, which is no more difficult for the average user than yahoomail. Hushmail users don't even have to know that keys are involved.

    IB could also offer what they currently offer to "pro" users, and simply exclude free support. That would be a simple matter of writing "unsupported" next to the encryption checkbox.

    In fact, that's the case anyway. IB is already omitting customer support for it because tech support can't answer questions like whether pgp or passworded pdfs are used. Nor does live support know that regular users are excluded (they're telling regular users to request crypto in the message center).

    IDEA was abandoned in the 90s. No one is going to have incompatible algorithms at this point. Software from 10 years ago will work with anything you download today. The only possible issue would be email standards (PGP MIME vs. inline PGP), and it would be trivial for IB to take a stance and say only one of the two are supported.

    Consider how IB supports browsers. Browser versions affect *everyone*, not just a few (and IB gets it wrong). They state FF 2.0 is supported, but it no longer works. If a customer asks for support, IB doesn't fix the problem -- they just tell the user to get another browser (despite the fact that the broken browser is "supported").

    With this level of service, it would be equally cheap for IB to reply to pgp issues in the same manner. In fact, it would be sensible for IB to state officially that they only support Thunderbird with Enigmail (which is capable of both pgp mime and inline pgp). Anyone not using thunderbird is not supported, just as anyone running IE 2.0 is not supported.

    Therefore IB is not supporting it for the pro clients either. The pro clients are self-supporting, and they could give retail clients the same (lack of) support. Or they could be more enterprising, and establish a fee-based support for advanced topics. In any case, there is no rationale to deny encrypted statement delivery to non-pro users.

    My original question is still unanswered. Is IB the only broker with PGP?
  5. pilPopr


    I've been wondering when banks will figure that out, and start signing all their emails.