Category Archives: anonymity

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Brian Krebs – Feds Arrest Silk Road Founder, Shutter Website

Brian Krebs – Feds Arrest Silk Road Founder, Shutter Website:

Security expert Brian Krebs (@BrianKrebs) was first with news that the FBI had taken over the Silk Road marketplace website and later that the site’s founder was arrested by U.S. authorities. Excerpts:

“Federal agents in San Francisco arrested the Silk Road’s alleged mastermind. Prosecutors say 29-year-old Ross William Ulbricht, a.k.a “Dread Pirate Roberts” (DPR), will be charged with a range of criminal violations, including conspiracy to commit drug trafficking, money laundering, computer hacking and murder for hire.”

“[The FBI’s big break came] on July 23, 2013, when investigators gained access to a Silk Road server and made a complete copy of the data on the machine.”

“Finally, DPR tripped himself up when he ordered some fake IDs from an international Silk Road vendor and had them sent to his residence. The fraudulent IDs were intercepted at the border by customs agents working with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which paid a visit to the address to which the documents were to be delivered.”

“Ulbrich graduated from the University of Texas with a bachelors degree in Physics in 2006, and that from 2006 to 2010, he attended graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania School of Materials Science and Engineering.”

“The government also announced today that pursuant to this action, it has also seized approximately 26,000 Bitcoins worth roughly $3.6 million, in what it’s calling the largest ever seizure of Bitcoins.”

 – http://bit.ly/17tnJgs
 – http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=306331.0 (Further discussion on the topic)

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Jon Matonis – The Fincen Whistleblowers

Jon Matonis – The Fincen Whistleblowers:

Bitcoin Foundation board member Jon Matonis (@JonMatonis) writes a post on how the financial surveillance also occurring is no secret.  Excerpts:  

“The Fincen bureau conducts all of its surveillance activity out in the open and in plain sight, probably for its effect as a deterrent. Fincen even recruits banks and other agent financial institutions to participate in the direct surveillance that make serious and consequential judgment calls along the way.”

“Two generations of educated Americans, including some smart attorneys, have been conditioned to think of money laundering as a real and legitimate category of crime. Eradication of privacy is the goal and manipulation of the semantic crime debate is the tool.”

“Since the available cryptography and technical tools of today permit near absolutes on each side of the privacy-surveillance spectrum, each advancement from one side elicits an equally strong reaction from the other side.”

“As shameful as the existence of PRISM is, and it is monumentally shameful for a free society, it doesn’t even compare to the unprecedented level of financial surveillance the world is on the verge of witnessing.”

“Digital currencies with proper mixing services such as bitcoin become a viable option for preserving some transactional privacy, even if identification is required for its initial acquisition from licensed money transmitters.”

“A world where privacy isn’t sacrificed and all human transactions aren’t tracked is not only possible, but imperative. The alternative will be far worse than you can imagine.”

 – http://bit.ly/1anVlwV
 – http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=236621.0 (Further discussion of the article)

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Quartz – How Digital Currencies Democratize Offshore Banking

Quartz – How Digital Currencies Democratize Offshore Banking:

Quartz reporter Tim Fernholz (@TimFernholz) writes on how digital currencies extend the international financial system to the rest of us.  Excerpts:

“The two tools Liberty Reserve used to evade financial scrutiny—anonymity and layering transactions through multiple companies—are already embedded in the international financial system. The difference now is merely access and scale.”

“When offshore financial centers first became trendy many, many years ago, you used to have to go to the offshore location, take the money with you, and deposit it in the bank. Now [open up an offshore bank account] you don’t have to go to Guernsey or Cayman or BVI.”

“The internet has shrunk the world, and Liberty Reserve and other digital currencies similarly help bring offshore banking to the masses.”

 – http://bit.ly/11yjmKK
 – http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=232472.0

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