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Snowden Leaks Indicate NSA Spies on Blockchain

Leaked documents point towards a controversial move by the American NSA (National Security Agency) in monitoring blockchain activity, hinting at the importance placed by the government there on Bitcoin and other blockchain assets.

Snowden leaks have shown the blockchain community that surveillance remains at the top of US agenda. It hardly comes as a surprise to most, understanding that governments do and will always have a vested interest in monetary transactions and where that money ends up.

NSA Playbook

Using a protocol called “MonkeyRocket”  NSA analysts were able to find a vulnerability which enabled them to track down senders and receivers of Bitcoin. This all to aid their mission of looking at organized crime and cyber targets that utilize online e-currency services for illicit activities, despite Bitcoin providing users access to a certain degree of anonymity.

The Snowden leaks indicated that examining public transaction ledger (Blockchain) was just the tip of the iceberg, with the NSA obtaining and storing sensitive data, such as the users MAC addresses, users passwords, network ports, and timestamps.

The documents suggest that Bitcoin users were being targeted for mass surveillance, giving weight to the claim that the NSA was not just using their MonkeyRocket, but using the infamous XKeyScore system. The XKeyScore system is one of the most intrusive methods on the planet and covers the entire globe with the widest of reaches. NSA analysts require no prior authorization for the collection of online data.

Snowden stated in the Guardian:“I, sitting at my desk, could wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant to a federal judge or even the president, if I had a personal email… Analysts can also use XKeyscore and other NSA systems to obtain ongoing “real-time” interception of an individual’s internet activity.”

The NSA is adamant on suppressing Bitcoin users, as part of a counter-terrorism advance, monitoring their transactions, while subverting their privacy. The source of Bitcoin and Liberty Reserve monitoring, MonkeyRocket, has been governed by overseas surveillance authority known as “EXECUTIVE ORDER 12333”. The order was signed on 4 December 1981 by then-president Ronald Reagan; it was intended to extend powers and responsibilities of US intelligence agencies and direct leaders of the US and federal agencies to cooperate fully with CIA requests for information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jeffrey Tucker – Bitcoin's Brilliant Combination

Jeffrey Tucker – Bitcoin’s Brilliant Combination:

Jeffrey Tucker (@JeffreyATucker) writes of meeting Bernard von NotHaus why Mr. NotHaus is relevant to digital currency.  Excerpts:

“Economist F.A. Hayek wrote that it was entirely possible that a high-quality private money could compete with a government money.”

“But who would step out and make the attempt? What entrepreneur would dare come forward and offer up an alternative as a product in the consumer market?  Bernard von NotHaus was the man”

“The notion that government was trying to protect a marvelous system against domestic terrorism is mind-boggling, since the truth is rather obvious: The government was trying to protect a terrible system from being overthrown by competition.”

“Bitcoin is a brilliant combination of the Liberty Dollar’s soundness and Napster’s distribution methods, with a few extra features thrown in to protect it against shutdowns.”

“The revolution will not occur with guns and battles, but through enterprise, entrepreneurship, and a billion tiny acts of peaceful consumer choice.”

 – http://lfb.org/today/the-domestic-terrorist-you-can-call-a-hero
 – http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=292237.0 (Further discussion of this article)

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