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LibertyReserve.com Shuttered, Founder Arrested In Spain

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the long-arm-of-the-law dept.

Crime 138

hypnosec writes "Libertyreserve.com has been shut with the founder arrested by police in Spain this week over his alleged involvement in money laundering. Libertyreserve.com has been down for over three days now and the arrest seems to be the reason behind the outage. Arthur Budovsky Belanchuk, a 39-year-old male, has been arrested by Spanish authorities as a part of their ongoing investigations into money laundering. U.S. officials may very well seek his extradition."

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138 comments

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Well that's vague. (0, Flamebait)

Molochi (555357) | about a year ago | (#43829301)

Sounds like the guy running Bitcoin should keep his anonymity?

Re:Well that's vague. (3, Insightful)

DanTheManMS (1039636) | about a year ago | (#43829315)

Sounds like the guy running Bitcoin should keep his anonymity?

That comment shows a complete lack of understanding of what Bitcoin is. What you just said is as vague as saying that "The guy running the Internet better watch his back!"

Regardless, the only reason I know about LibertyReserve is because of Bitcoin. LR used to be one of the few ways to reliably buy Bitcoins, but it looked way too shady for me so I found other ways.

Re:Well that's vague. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43829483)

Actually, Mr. Nerdcoin Apologist, it's entirely possible part of Nerdcoin's design is to make it appear no one is in control of Nerdcoin, when in fact there is someone "pulling the strings." Nerdtcoins ARE shady in and of themselves. Sounds like someone can't see the forest through the trees.

Re:Well that's vague. (2)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43829587)

It's all open-source, openly developed, openly operated— if the strings you claim exist actually existed you'd be able to point to them easily. So where is your evidence?

Re:Well that's vague. (2)

Reliable Windmill (2932227) | about a year ago | (#43829733)

Actually, Mr. Nerdcoin Apologist, it's entirely possible part of Nerdcoin's design is to make it appear no one is in control of Nerdcoin, when in fact there is someone "pulling the strings." Nerdtcoins ARE shady in and of themselves. Sounds like someone can't see the forest through the trees.

That comment shows you have no understanding of how Bitcoin works.

Re:Well that's vague. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43830315)

Spoken like a true cult member. One thing is for sure. When it all comes crashing down, we won't hear a a peep out of you then.

Politically incorrect!!!!!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43829997)

The parent comment will offend a lot of sensitive, Bitcoin-loving libertarians on Slashdot!

Re:Politically incorrect!!!!!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43830433)

Your knee is jerking so fast, you should power your house with it.

Re:Well that's vague. (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about a year ago | (#43830149)

...Except everything with Bitcoin is open. Think there's something shady going on? Look at the source yourself! This isn't some ultra-secret proprietary blob where no one has a clue what's happening, its a well-documented, open ecosystem where anyone can understand how it works.

Re:Well that's vague. (5, Funny)

lxs (131946) | about a year ago | (#43830975)

I tried reading the source but it was all written in code.

Re:Well that's vague. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43831603)

Typical goth geek, thinking too much about the code and not enough about the content. Who started Bitcoin? Some anonymous Japanese faggot? There's your first problem. Zipped right past you and you didn't even see it.

Re:Well that's vague. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43831621)

This isn't some ultra-secret proprietary blob

WARNING! FOSS zealot detected!

Re:Well that's vague. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43832127)

U mad, bro?

Re:Well that's vague. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43829501)

Sounds like the guy running Bitcoin should keep his anonymity?

That comment shows a complete lack of understanding of what Bitcoin is. What you just said is as vague as saying that "The guy running the Internet better watch his back!"

Regardless, the only reason I know about LibertyReserve is because of Bitcoin. LR used to be one of the few ways to reliably buy Bitcoins, but it looked way too shady for me so I found other ways.

I really hate to snap you back into reality here, but in the eyes of every single bank in the world, all possible ways to obtain Bitcoins is shady.

Of course, the real irony here is we're going after this guy for "laundering" while trillions sit in offshore accounts, untouched and unaccounted for, under massive tax shelters, as everyone in power simply laughs it off as if it were some kind of old-school ringknocker tradition, while the rest of us pay their taxes.

Re:Well that's vague. (1)

shentino (1139071) | about a year ago | (#43829523)

Emphasis on power.

Fairness and justice are hollow concepts these days. If you don't wanna get fucked in the ass by the elite, don't piss them off.

Re:Well that's vague. (4, Insightful)

siride (974284) | about a year ago | (#43829569)

I'm not sure why you are laboring under the impression that it was ever different. I'd say that despite all the corruption we have now, we still have more in the way of fairness and peace than we've generally had during most of the agrarian age.

Re:Well that's vague. (5, Insightful)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#43829673)

People of every age like to disasterbate about how bad it is. Yet every objective measure continues to show increasing lifespans and quality of life. Hell, our worst problem now is too many cheap calories per person, throwing a monkey wrench into one of the most historically useful measurements.

These indicators all scale directly with economic freedom, regardless of political narratives of either party. Hell, there shouldn't even be political narratives anymore. We have solved the problem: let people be free.

Re:Well that's vague. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43829819)

It's hard to answer this without guffawing, but effectively you've just said that the only thing that matters is the ability to form companies.

What companies do doesn't matter. The fact that companies are under complete control by government doesn't matter. The fact that they can screw the taxman doesn't matter. The fact that they can screw the citizenry doesn't matter either. Government controls over feeding the population crap would be bad, right?

In other words, society and people don't matter to you. As long as there is so-called "economic freedom" (meaning corporate freedom), all other freedoms can go to hell.

A reasonable but over-generous summary: you sir are a cretin.

Re:Well that's vague. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43832477)

You're not being screwed. That's his entire point. Unless you consider an abundance of food is getting screwed.

Re:Well that's vague. (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#43829713)

I would guess you're not living in Africa, or the middle east

Re:Well that's vague. (1)

siride (974284) | about a year ago | (#43829763)

Right, because clearly my post was arguing that the world no longer has any problems whatsoever.

Re:Well that's vague. (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#43829849)

Yeah, because saying, ...we still have more in the way of fairness and peace than we've generally had during most of the agrarian age. is not the same thing. It would be wise to consider other viewpoints that illustrate the utter absurdity of your post, because yours come from a very small minority.

Re:Well that's vague. (4, Insightful)

siride (974284) | about a year ago | (#43829907)

If we put peace and fairness on a scale from 1 to 100, with 100 being perfect justice and no war/fighting, then if we go from a 15 to a 25, it's still an improvement, even if there's much left to be desired. Far more people in the world today do live safe and prosperous lives, lives that were once only for kings and clergy. A lot of people still don't, but it hasn't really gotten worse over the last 1000 years, say.

Re:Well that's vague. (-1)

zidium (2550286) | about a year ago | (#43829953)

Sadly, that assertion is patently untrue.

The bottom 50% of the people in the world had a **far** higher standard of living relative to today's bottom 50 as late as the mid-1750s. The Industrial Revolution (but more specifically, widespread (and careless) dissemination of antibiotics and factory farming), has done more to screw over more people than ever before.

There is a simple, elegant solution, that will get all the of the sentimentalists all atwitter, and that is:

Restrict all trading of factory farming equipment, antibiotics and other life-saving technologies to countries and/or societies which have not yet developed them. This will correct many of the great imbalances of the world, and within 20-50 years, too.

Re:Well that's vague. (2, Funny)

zidium (2550286) | about a year ago | (#43829969)

What I'm basically saying, reduced to its logical beginnings, is:

Treat all cultures as we do Aboriginal cultures: Let them persist as they have been for millennia, without obstruction, intervention, or moral superiority. Let each region, culture evolve under the laws of natural selection until they, too, have reached our (white, Japanese, etc.) level of technology.

And, yes, I believe this should eventually be carried out on even a regional basis, so that some (many?) parts of great megastates, like the United States and China, do not have antibiotics and the wheretodos either invent them or prove their mettle in order to secure immigration to more technologically advanced enclaves.

Re:Well that's vague. (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about a year ago | (#43831521)

Yes but the objective is 100. Thus there is plenty of criticism to go around even if we are at 50, at 75, or at 99. Especially 99. And once we're at 100 there will still be plenty of hatred because we're not at the right kind of 100. Sad but true.

Re:Well that's vague. (2)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year ago | (#43830059)

Overall, yes. Individually no. Individuals before the invention of modern firearms and rail were able to basically migrate and say piss off to most. But were equally limited in escape from larger numbers. The only people they had to worry about was their neighbors. If you didn't live in Europe it wasn't to bad.

Hermit caves are no longer viable. Small nomadic tribes can no longer just disappear. There are a few exceptions sort of. Like Bedouins. But even they and their Kurdish neighbors are influenced by global economics and politics.

There is a tribe in Africa somewhere that use to not know what New York was. And didn't have a concept of "time" in their language. But I believe they've recently had enough interaction with National Geographic to no longer be immune. They were extremely primitive and isolated. This was covered by good research and journalism.

Now some asshole just has to send a text to be a twat from their epic yacht. That text gives an order and the ball rolls from there. The people executing those orders are of course happy to oblige because they are above the people being executed. And most can indirectly wash their hands of the whole bloody mess and justify it as professional business.

Re:Well that's vague. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43832503)

Now some asshole just has to send a text to be a twat from their epic yacht. That text gives an order and the ball rolls from there. The people executing those orders are of course happy to oblige because they are above the people being executed. And most can indirectly wash their hands of the whole bloody mess and justify it as professional business.

This is how most tribes worked.

Re:Well that's vague. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43830283)

Or one could just piss them off in a pseudonymous way. Then the "elite" attacks whatever identity you used to piss them off with. Your worst enemies identity, for instance. See, that's why morality is necessary, and primacy by abuse from whomever can assume a mantle of authority is fallacious.

Re:Well that's vague. (1)

KGIII (973947) | about a year ago | (#43831245)

It is the Just Us system after all. You don't expect anything different do you? I'm starting to side with the folks who make the juvenile comments about wanting to see them swing from the lampposts. Well, I'm not starting to side with them as much as I'm starting to get their frustrations. I am lucky enough to where such doesn't concern me but the repeated abuses of those who aren't are bound to result in a backlash eventually. You can only piss on someone's head so many times before they rip your dick off. Err... Or something like that.

Re:Well that's vague. (3, Informative)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year ago | (#43829837)

Laundering and tax evasion are two different things, why are you confusing them? Laundering is the process of breaking the money trail of illegal activities. You know, like organised crime, human trafficking, drug dealing...

Re:Well that's vague. (0)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43830383)

For your statement to be correct, the people laundering money must pay the correct taxes on it. Do you really think that happens? Perhaps the "crime" they are laundering from *is* tax evasion. Does that work for you?

Re:Well that's vague. (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year ago | (#43831441)

There is no requirement to evade taxes when laundering money. In fact it would be wise to pay taxes to avoid suspicion.

Re:Well that's vague. (2, Insightful)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43830369)

If a rich white man does it, it's business. If a poor drug dealer of questionable ethnicity does it, it's a federal crime worthy of extradition. These pricks are why the only "easy" way for me to get money from my US bank is to fly there, take it out in cash, and fly back. But you have a good chance of having it confiscated at one or more borders, if you aren't robbed when they require you count your $100,000 in cash in plain view of hundreds of travelers. "You look nervous and you have cash, I'm going to assume it's drug money and confiscate it" "I look nervous *because* I have cash." "too late, all gone, here's your receipt."

Re:Well that's vague. (2)

DrXym (126579) | about a year ago | (#43831477)

Of course, the real irony here is we're going after this guy for "laundering" while trillions sit in offshore accounts, untouched and unaccounted for, under massive tax shelters, as everyone in power simply laughs it off as if it were some kind of old-school ringknocker tradition, while the rest of us pay their taxes.

That would be called a "you too" argument. Doesn't mean the original point is wrong. Also, the US (and most governments in fact) have long established money laundering laws precisely to stop criminals moving money around by any means. I assume they are going after liberyreserve.com because it is running afoul of those laws in some way, e.g. by not reporting large or suspicious transactions or actively facilitating them.

I don't think you get it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43829677)

That Bitcoin being a risky proposition and "The guy running the Internet better watch his back!" shows a disconnect in how Bitcoin folk could owe a fuckton in back taxes.

However, It's likely you'll get away with your tax evasion. No hard feelings.

Liberty Reserve has *NOTHING* to do with Bitcoin!! (5, Informative)

ornia (1225132) | about a year ago | (#43830261)

I do not expect this to be common knowledge amongst the general public, seeing as most people are still coming to grips with the concept of an e-currency via their interaction with (or hearing about) Bitcoin, but...

There was an entire selection of e-currencies to choose from before cryptocurrencies [wikipedia.org] (Bitcoin being the first, and premier, example) were even invented by Satoshi [wikipedia.org] in 2009. Liberty Reserve wasn't even the first example of such, but indeed an often trusted replacement for the original e-Gold service [wikipedia.org] that came under fire by the US Department of Justice already over 6 years ago in 2007. There seems to be a basic confusion in the comments so far as to the blatant fundamental differences between services like LR (and e-Gold before it) and Bitcoin (and cryptocurrency derivatives thereof). As a user of centralised e-currencies multiple years before Bitcoin existed, I would like to make a couple of things clear:

The difference between services like Liberty Reserve and e-Gold and Bitcoin is that the former are centralised services operated and controlled by a single collection of people, often legally protected by an incorporated entity in the Central American/Carribean region of the Earth. The pioneers of Internet "e-currencies [wikipedia.org] " such as these specifically chose to create their corporations in this part of the world within known tax havens. It is only natural for the creators to wish to legally establish such a corporation designed specifically to manage money transfers in a place that will minimally tax such transfers.

e-Gold's creators incorporated in the Carribbean island state of St. Kitts and Nevis, and the Liberty Reserve creators incorporated in Panama (altho I truly did not know where the masterminds lived or where from they operated until now, but it seems from this article the answer is España). The entire difference between them and the pseudonymos 'Satoshi Nakamoto' is that old generation e-currency operators maintained central control of monitary transactions using their service. You managed your account by connecting to their website, logging in, and checking your funds, managing transfers, and so forth, but all of this was always under their full control. If they had any issues with your use of your own account, they had the right to shut off your access to it and confiscate all of your funds, with essentially no capability of retrival (I know of people who lost access to thousands of USD this way). They taxed every transfer you wished to make, which affected both transfers between 2 users within the same system (sending LR LR) or to exit/enter the system (exchanging LR to/from USD). They could monitor all transactions made between every user and geolocate non-anonymised users' IP addresses to log all financial activity within their system; with Bitcoin, all transactions are public to all, as opposed to only a select few being able to monitor all else who use this system to transfer money.

The most essentially incorrect aspect of confusing this story with anything to do with Bitcoin, is that Bitcoin is exciting and inspiring exactly because it is the antithesis of centralised architecture, or at least the closest successful example thereof. When we were using Liberty Reserve (or other centralised e-currency), we were completely under the creator's control. LR eventually forced upon users a captcha based in Flash that prevented us from using Tor to login securely as we could for multiple years before. When LR attacked our technical ability to use the service anonymously, many moved to Pecunix. Whilst Pecunix has a better login system (one that blatantly allows for anonymous access), it was still a centralised e-currency controlled by a single group of people operating behind a legally incorporated entity.

We have, however, evolved beyond the necessity for these services. It is funny to read a story about Liberty Reserve now, because I and everyone I know have long-considered them anachronistic holdover from the bleak era before decentralised e-currencies. It has already been a preposterously uphill battle for even technologically inclined people to psychologically accept that Bitcoin (and derivatives thereof) are an obvious superior approach to currency generation and transfer than reliance on a select few bankers writing all of the rules behind closed doors. Trying to promote mainstream acceptance within even these otherwise intelligent Bitcoin skeptics of the reliance of such centralised e-currencies as e-Gold, LR, Pecunix, and their ilk seems downright impossible, in retrospect.

But as always, even before in the late 90's and early 00's with e-Gold and soon thereafter with its centralised clones such as Liberty Reserve, these e-currencies had/have value both because there are people who buy/sell goods with them and exchangers making active transfers between them and common fiat currencies such as USD, EUR, GBP, RUB, etc. This is the ultimate test of what defines currency in the modern era, that others we wish to do business with psychologically accept it as a currency. In a time where we have largely eschewed using heavy metals with intrinsic material value as currency long ago, and now have switched to abstract paper notes signifying value merely because a central bank issuing said notes defines certain quantitative rules for us all... and even beyond this time to the present, where such values are no long largely represented on paper notes, but simply numerical values in digital databases on bank-controlled mainframe computers or transfers running down undersea fiberoptic cables to signify wealth transfer....

What most Bitcoin opponents conveniently ignore is that the vast bulk of wealth transfer in currencies they support instead (usually USD or EUR) are already done electronically. To advocate these obsoleted currencies is to therefore merely to advocate for power centralisation of capitalistic control with whoever happens to be writing the rules in the central banks (Federal Reserve in the USA, European Central Bank in the Eurozone, etc.). To fight against Bitcoin and to call its proponents and users foolish is only to the benefit of an insanely tiny percentage of the human race. Before, to discount services like Liberty Reserve as discussed in this article, this would have merit, because it was never a safe system. Your funds, data, information, IP access info, etc. was all controlled by them, not so similar from modern bank branches, only with centralised e-currencies you could much more easily provide pseudonymous (or no) identity information. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies obsolete the need to any such centralised control.



TL;DR
LR is fundamentally different from Bitcoin because it was centrally controlled by a single corporation requiring logging in to their service to access USD/EUR/gold funds, just like your bank controls your access to your USD/EUR/xxx. Most modern currencies are mostly traded electronically anyway: thusly campaigning against Bitcoin is soley to the benefit of the select few old white men running most of the world's current currency systems. Only decentralised currencies implemented in Free/Libre Software [gnu.org] have the true and honest potential to bring about egalitarian, global access to capitalistic activity and wealth transfer, making this story a non-issue (albeit interesting footnote) for anyone who has been paying attention to e-currency development in the past 3-4 years.

Re:Liberty Reserve has *NOTHING* to do with Bitcoi (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43831649)

Only decentralised currencies implemented in Free/Libre Software [gnu.org] have the true and honest potential to bring about egalitarian, global access to capitalistic activity and wealth transfer.

Such a fascinating world we live in. On one side we have people who, from the bottom of their heart, believe a dead man from 2,000 years ago will return to earth and escort them to heaven. On the other side are FOSS zealots who believe some new "digital/Internet/super techno like us" currency is going to change the world and overthrow the old world order. Sad, but still fascinating.

Re:Well that's vague. (2)

pla (258480) | about a year ago | (#43829663)

Sounds like the guy running Bitcoin should keep his anonymity?

Sounds like the guy who knows nothing about Bitcoin should keep his mouth shut until he knows how it works?

And you won't particularly care to learn this, but LR had far more going on than simply serving as a Bitcoin/USD gateway. If the feds wanted to go after Bitcoin, it would have tried to take out Gox by now (and no, closing their Dwolla doesn't count).

That said, based on their increasing level of fear over a silly little online currency, I have little doubt they will eventually try to shut down all of Bitcoin. And though they may keep Americans from having much to do with it, I look forward to watching the circus as they realize that the can't trick everyone in the world into attending a security conference in Las Vegas to put them through a mock trial.

Re:Well that's vague. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43830959)

And you won't particularly care to learn this, but LR had far more going on than simply serving as a Bitcoin/USD gateway. If the feds wanted to go after Bitcoin, it would have tried to take out Gox by now (and no, closing their Dwolla doesn't count).

Might be a bit harder; Japan isn't really one of our vassals and respect rule of law more than these other shithole countries. Close allies, yes, but we can't even get them to outlaw child porn, much less raid a business for us.

Obama, no doubt. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43829303)

Just another step in his crackdown on all dissent that doesn't meet his extremist left wing agenda.

Re:Obama, no doubt. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43829319)

probably, but one must wonder if we're better with the republican supported child pornography and drug trafficking the man was helping perpetuate. How do republicans win with a focus on such a terrible dual platform focus?

Re:Obama, no doubt. (0)

tmosley (996283) | about a year ago | (#43830311)

You're both right. Republicans and Democrats are both anti-social, and those who hold office in their names are selected for sociopathic tendencies. This is conclusive, as the two have been in power for more than a century, and we have seen continuous erosion of freedom during that time. Now, the loss of freedom and property rights is starting to catch up with us economically. Now the R+D complex must resort to tactics normally used by floundering autocracies and impose capital controls, cutting off all means of non-submission to their vile authority.

The worst part is that there is nothing you can do but flee, or perhaps try to hide. Good luck, people. You're going to need it.

Re:Obama, no doubt. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43832229)

LIbertarians are just Republican hipsters.

he is not going to an resort prison (0)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#43829325)

he is not going to an resort prison no for that it's FMITA prison.

Re:he is not going to an resort prison (5, Insightful)

Achra (846023) | about a year ago | (#43829343)

There is something profoundly broken about our justice system in that the general public takes joy in imagining the likelihood of prison rape.

Re:he is not going to an resort prison (5, Insightful)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about a year ago | (#43829401)

It's not the justice system (alone) that's broken, it's the general public.

Re:he is not going to an resort prison (2)

shentino (1139071) | about a year ago | (#43829511)

They both are.

Not only is prison rape wrong even though the victim is a prisoner, but why the hell should the guy doing the raping get free buttsex?

Re:he is not going to an resort prison (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43829777)

It's not free; it's a taxable benefit, Why else would someone become a prison guard?

Re:he is not going to an resort prison (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43829895)

guards? no one could pay me to fuck a prison nigger. Great way to get AIDS.

Re:he is not going to an resort prison (1)

ikhider (2837593) | about a year ago | (#43829537)

Yep, the general public is quite broken. They cannot even control their own government.

Re:he is not going to an resort prison (1)

Jedi Alec (258881) | about a year ago | (#43831077)

Sure they can. They just keep on choosing not to.

Re:he is not going to an resort prison (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43830449)

Well, the general public is a whole lot less broken these days than it used to be. But you were only born yesterday and don't know anything about history, so you wouldn't know.

Re:he is not going to an resort prison (1)

lightknight (213164) | about a year ago | (#43831151)

And that took quite a lot of effort, from what I can tell.

Think about it: in order for the public to be the way it is, that is, broken with regards to how it treats its fellow human beings, some sort of self-sustaining design with negative feedback cycles has to be developed. This is, of course, assuming that human beings are, on the majority, naturally empathic beings, who do not wish each other harm...perhaps with the odd exception. Now, is it this way because of some natural evolution, or because it's simply the only way things can work when they get this large, or is it because of some mandates by each passing generation, compounding the error?

We can see in smaller communities how this status quo can be altered (the Amish, etc. are not broken). And we can see in certain larger communities elsewhere, in some countries, that they are not broken, or are broken along different lines. So...what are we missing?

Re:he is not going to an resort prison (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43831847)

I know, right. If it was a child molester, I can kind of understand the poetic justice of the situation. But for anyone else, why are people happy about it?

Re:he is not going to an resort prison (1)

kermidge (2221646) | about a year ago | (#43829469)

I would say there is something profoundly broken with the general public as well, not mention a few of us here, given that the second titled post leapt to partisan politics via a non sequitur, and the rest weren't much better, each in their own way, although there was at least a valid grammar nazi post. Yay for us.

Re:he is not going to an resort prison (2)

westlake (615356) | about a year ago | (#43829553)

There is something profoundly broken about our justice system in that the general public takes joy in imagining the likelihood of prison rape.

A casual visitor to Slashdot might be excused for thinking that it was the geek --- and not the general public --- who was obsessed with talk of prison rape and never more so then when one of his own is coming up for sentencing on a felony charge,

Re:he is not going to an resort prison (2)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43830441)

It was a popular line from a "geek" movie, so it does get more casual play in the geek circles, but it's still a popular opinion. Nobody agrees on what prison is. Is it punishment, deterrent, revenge/vengeance, isolation, or rehabilitation? Often those are mutually exclusive. Or drawn on racial lines, Blacks get the vengeance treatment, and whites get rehab/isolation.

Slashdot founder arrested for opinion laundering (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43830045)

May 2022, the founder of Slashdot.org, was today arrested for opinion laundering. Slashdot has long flouted the mandatory reporting of comments to the USAs Central database, with its 'anonymous cowards' commenting system that lets criminals, even terrorists say unapproved things free from observation.

Re:he is not going to an resort prison (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43829385)

What is "AN" resort prison?

Why do you cretinous Americans keep writing "an" instead of "a" all the time?

As well as confusing the two words "than" and "then" - I mean, they're just SO difficult to understand, aren't they. Cretins.

Re:he is not going to an resort prison (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43829437)

im a american and what's an cretin?

Re:he is not going to an resort prison (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43829465)

and shouldn't there be a comma instead of a period after "aren't they?" Or, wait, I'm sorry, shouldn't there be a comma after 'aren't they'?

Re:he is not going to an resort prison (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43829811)

For all intensive purposes, I could care less.

Re:he is not going to an resort prison (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year ago | (#43829843)

Somebody from Crete?

U.S. officials may very well seek his extradition. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43829339)

When I read that part the first thing that popped into my head was, "the entire arrest could be bogus".

It's weird, when the U.S. is behind something like this then that increases the chances of the whole thing being bogus.

Re:U.S. officials may very well seek his extraditi (2)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year ago | (#43829413)

Like the illegal raids on Kim Dotcom?

Re:U.S. officials may very well seek his extraditi (3, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about a year ago | (#43830195)

Any time you see money laundering and digital currencies you should think that the entire thing should be bogus.

The US government thinks that it needs to be able to spy on anyone's account, for any reason, at any time and if you don't agree to violate your customer's privacy you're aiding *insert scare-word of the day*.

I'm imagining that the US government is scared at its increasing financial irrelevance in the digital world. The US Dollar, currently the backbone of most financial transactions is in jeopardy. Digital, open currencies such as Bitcoin provide a transparent look at monetary policy and potentially can have more stability when compared to the US dollar which has the monetary policy of "whatever the hell Bernake thinks is best" and hard money like gold and silver make very good stores of wealth that cannot be devalued by printing.

Now, the total collapse of the US dollar is likely to be delayed because out of the major currencies (USD, Yen, Euro, Sterling) the USD looks to be the one in least jeopardy, but fiat currencies have a 100% rate of failure and its likely that the multitude of better currencies will hasten the end of the USD.

N/T (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43829393)

wtf is libertyreserve? how about a proper sumamary?

Re:N/T (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#43829503)

wtf is libertyreserve? how about a proper sumamary?

I guessed it's some bitcoin exchange. that probably wasn't sending transactions direct to DOJ.

Re:N/T (5, Informative)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#43829517)

wtf is libertyreserve? how about a proper sumamary?

I guessed it's some bitcoin exchange. that probably wasn't sending transactions direct to DOJ.

I was wrong, it seems it was an egold clone. a money sending service. pretty much by definition running one is going afoul of US laws regardless of you having anything to do with USA..

Re:N/T (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43829661)

Unless you're HSBC, of course. Then it's all cool.

Re:N/T (1)

murdocj (543661) | about a year ago | (#43829781)

Cue the ominous sound of black helicopters.

"gl4ss... gl4ss...????"

HSBC (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43829407)

He should use the HSBC defense.

Or does that only apply if you money-launder billions of drug money?

Re:HSBC (5, Insightful)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#43829487)

Only applies if you're Too Big To Fail.

Re:HSBC (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43831219)

Only applies if you're ...

"... too big to jail" were the exact words used.

It is still the USA saying that one corrupt, violent government can use international finance and a less corrupt, violent government can't. I note that no-one has made that complaint on Slashdot.

When no-one goes to jail and the corporation gets 20% commission, another 'too big to jail' operator will take the money. It's just like the drug trade. Although the US knows the racket now, the new 'Mr Big' can make lots of money if it doesn't get greedy. That's when these corporations get careless and get caught.

Don't panic (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year ago | (#43829419)

Trading virtual goods could put you in jail now, no matter in which country you are at now. And that includes virtual towels too.

Re:Don't panic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43829435)

I know, I have a ton of "final warnings" about RuneScape trading in my spambox.

Where do annoying words come from? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43829441)

I see this word "shuttered" more and more. I thought it meant physically shutter the windows, either pulling the blinds shut, or nailing over the windows like in cartoons. When did it start being metaphorical? We already have a word that means "closed": CLOSED.

Re:Where do annoying words come from? (1)

siride (974284) | about a year ago | (#43829583)

How is closed any better? It's just another metaphor.

Re:Where do annoying words come from? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43829597)

Everyone knows "closed" from childhood. It's on every door of every business in an english-speaking country. OPEN 8:00 CLOSED 5:00

Since we know that businesses that "close" open the next day, when it's in the news, we assume that the "closed" is permanent. Why use a new word? Couldn't I just use "deleted"? What's wrong with that? Oh deleted already means something?

Re:Where do annoying words come from? (2)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year ago | (#43829877)

Perhaps because shuttered [thefreedictionary.com] is [google.co.nz] the [reference.com] correct [merriam-webster.com] word [oxforddictionaries.com]

Re:Where do annoying words come from? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43829595)

It's been that way since 1800 or so, at least. Just because you can't be bothered to use a dictionary doesn't mean others should only use one meaning of words to keep things simple for you.

Re:Where do annoying words come from? (4, Insightful)

rsmith-mac (639075) | about a year ago | (#43829865)

Shuttered and closed have different implications in this case. Closed implies an orderly wind down, while shuttered implies a rapid and disorderly cessation. It's akin the difference between closing time at night a local restaurant, and the owners throwing everyone out in the middle of the day.

Re:Where do annoying words come from? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43830473)

"Closed" is short term, "shuttered" is long term or permanent.

Re:Where do annoying words come from? (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43830581)

I went to the local market last night, and it was closed.

Now, tell me if it was out of business or I got there later than they were open for the day.

What if I said:
I went to the local market last night, and it was shuttered.

With us or against us (2)

Reliable Windmill (2932227) | about a year ago | (#43829737)

If you don't engage in trade and development on the terms of the United States of Terrorism, they will have you extradited.

SEPA Eurozone surveillance (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43829879)

The next big thing is the Euro zone SEPA transfers. These replace all internal European transfers by Feb 2014, so there will be one big central database of all the money sent between anyone.

Want to know how much rent Bob pays? It's right there in the database. How much money was donated to Jeffs political campaign? Who what when and how much is listed in that big database ready to be mined by anyone with a political mind to do so. Every money transaction listed in a nice juicy database waiting to be data mined for surveillance purposes in violation of EU Privacy Law for 'anti money laundering' purposes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single_Euro_Payments_Area

"The main objectives of SEPA are:
"Increasing surveillance of electronic money flow, particularly regarding money laundering (unofficially, also for surveillance of illicit work [10–30 percent of GDP], organised crime and tax evasion)"

Notice the USA leaked the SWIFT data, selecting a portion of it to leak to the press as marketing for 'money laundering', while leaking the whole database to its allies in G7 countries:
http://www.icij.org/offshore/secret-files-expose-offshores-global-impact

Now the agenda in Europe has been manufactured to set the stage for the USA getting its hands on all that SEPA data too:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2013/may/11/g7-action-tax-evasion-george-osborne
"G7 agree to tackle tax evasion."

And politicians that don't agree, better try to remember if they've ever made a bank transfer that a bit of innuendo can make seem sinister, because that is what will happen if they don't go along with this destruction of privacy. Even if you think you're immune, what about your family? There's a reason we have privacy as a fundamental right. It's essential to protect basic freedom.

Libertyserve's crime, is to not reporting transactions to the USA.

digital currencies, money exchanges (1)

manu0601 (2221348) | about a year ago | (#43829951)

There seems to be a vocal crowd obsessed with bitcoin, but there are many other digital currencies out of there. Anyone has a decent list? Wikipedia only list a few [wikipedia.org] , and LibertyReserve is not among them. It is not listed as digital money exchanger [wikipedia.org] either.

Re:digital currencies, money exchanges (1, Informative)

magic maverick (2615475) | about a year ago | (#43831009)

Most of the other digital currencies are scams and frauds. Most of them are created for the express purpose of making the creator rich. Besides, Wikipedia lists heaps, just not at the article you linked to. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_digital_currencies [wikipedia.org] .

Oh, and Bitcoin. Don't use LibertyReserve or another centralized system, use Bitcoin!

Re:digital currencies, money exchanges (2)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about a year ago | (#43831453)

It was the same thing with the property bubble. Those invested in the pyramid scheme were always the most vocal, trying to keep prices propped up. Watch this post get modded down now as they try to protect their 'investment'.

A crackdown on non-USD transactions... (0)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about a year ago | (#43830117)

It seems like the US is trying to do everything in its power to stop people from exiting the USD.

The question is, what isn't the government telling the public? According to their official numbers, inflation is minimal, the currency is stable and the Fed's policies are helping the economy. On the other hand, their actions and the results are completely different.

Re:A crackdown on non-USD transactions... (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year ago | (#43830477)

What does money laundering have to do with "exiting the USD"? Anybody can convert USD to anything they like anytime they like.

But not to bitcoins (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43831063)

" Anybody can convert USD to anything they like anytime they like."

Yet you can't buy bitcoins with your USD, and you can't buy prescription medicines unless its at a licensed pharmacie based in the USA, and you can't donate to Wikileaks, and you can't buy poker chips, unless its inside the USA in places like Vegas, and you can't buy LibertyReserve credits, but you can buy Paypal ones.

Money laundering is bad, mkay? (4, Insightful)

citizenr (871508) | about a year ago | (#43830215)

Remember that time when biggest Wall Street and City of London banks were found guilty of laundering drug money? They all went to prison!

And by prison I mean got bonuses.

Re:Money laundering is bad, mkay? (1)

lbbros (900904) | about a year ago | (#43831569)

Only after being "saved" with government money because they were "too big to fail". A nice move that swept away responsiblity.

bitcoin story (1, Troll)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year ago | (#43831051)

This is 100% because of bitcoins. It's probably realistically 50% because of money laundering and 50% because feds in multiple countries want bitcoin to go away. Unfortunately LR and Dwolla were the two major ways to fund bitcoin exchanges without using EFTs. I think the other major way is Bit Instant and I'm not completely sure how they work exactly. I know they're super protected and designed with anonymity and anti-shutdown designs from the get go.

Re:bitcoin story (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43831865)

Bitfloor was another way, but BofA shut down their account without warning. Guess they didn't like the competition. Same thing happened to a similar bitcoin service in Canada.

The non-crime of money laundering (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43831207)

Money laundering is not a crime in the sense that rape, arson, assault, theft, burglary, and murder are. It's nothing more than doing what any human being has the right to do -- keeping one's one affairs private and flipping the finger at nosy busybodies who think they should be able to scrutinize every aspect of one's life.

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What took them so long? (2, Informative)

SIGBUS (8236) | about a year ago | (#43831923)

For all the talk about "ZOMG the US government/New World Order/Illuminati is going to take our moneez!" in this thread, I'm surprised there's been absolutely no mention of what Liberty Reserve was often used for: the crimeware trade.

Head over to Krebs on Security [krebsonsecurity.com] for a better idea of why shutting down Liberty Reserve is a Good Thing.

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