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US Government To Study Bitcoin As Possible Terrorist Threat

samzenpus posted about 6 months ago | from the taking-a-good-look dept.

Bitcoin 210

randomErr (172078) writes "The US Department of Defense is investigating whether Bitcoin and other virtual currencies are a potential terrorist threat. The Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office (CTTSO), a division within DOD that identifies and develops counter terrorism abilities and investigates irregular warfare and evolving threats, has listed Bitcoin among its topics for research and mission critical analysis related to terrorism."

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Your tax dollars hard at work (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46922455)

subject says it all.

Re:Your tax dollars hard at work (5, Interesting)

i kan reed (749298) | about 6 months ago | (#46922523)

FYI, all other electronic money transfers in the US are required to go through money laundering and terrorist funding checks. By law the bank isn't even allowed to tell you why you can't get your money, if the scan hits a positive.

Re:Your tax dollars hard at work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46922591)

FYI, all other electronic money transfers in the US are required to go through money laundering and terrorist funding checks. By law the bank isn't even allowed to tell you why you can't get your money, if the scan hits a positive.

Yeah, the good old Bank Secrecy Act.

Re:Your tax dollars hard at work (1)

Sentrion (964745) | about 6 months ago | (#46923347)

I prefer the Swiss bank secrecy laws.

Re:Your tax dollars hard at work (5, Insightful)

dmbasso (1052166) | about 6 months ago | (#46922691)

And I can't even imagine how harsh would be the punishment for those who get caught laundering money for terrorists. Let's say if a big bank (i.e. HSBC, or Santander) got caught, certainly hundreds of people would go to jail, right?

I feel so safe with all these laws protecting us.

Re:Your tax dollars hard at work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46922957)

Silly rabbit, bankers don't go to jail.

Re:Your tax dollars hard at work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46923299)

But the average Joe like you or me will get charged with treason and dozens of other charges.

Re:Your tax dollars hard at work (4, Interesting)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | about 6 months ago | (#46923523)

Be careful what you wish for [usatoday.com] . It looks like Holder is going to actually try and jail some bankers.

However, these banks will not be accused of laundering money for terrorists, except under an extremely flexible definition of "terrorist". Most likely they will be accused of evading sanctions and/or helping naughty Americans avoid tax (let's ignore that some of these Americans had left America). Unfortunately last time the USA went on the war path over sanction-evading banks it turned out that the countries the financial activity was happening in didn't have those sanctions. Another minor detail for the US Govt. Jurisdiction doesn't seem to matter to them.

I do feel like we're entering dangerous new territory with this constant beating up of banks, often under deeply questionable covers. The DoJ and Treasury dept have realised that bankers are so politically weak they can be made to do anything because people automatically assume they're guilty, and just the threat of prosecution under bogus laws can cow them into subservience - which is a problem because by seizing control of the banks they seize control of the people, who cannot do without bank accounts. Hence Operation Choke Point.

Frankly, I do not believe bankers are a part of some cigar smoking Al-Qaeda terrorist conspiracy and I'd rather they were left alone than we go down this path .... it can only lead to even more gross abuses of power than what we've already seen.

Re: Your tax dollars hard at work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46923763)

You forgot the sarc tags.

Re:Your tax dollars hard at work (2)

msobkow (48369) | about 6 months ago | (#46924081)

So which bank do you work for?

Re:Your tax dollars hard at work (5, Interesting)

InsultsByThePound (3603437) | about 6 months ago | (#46922923)

Yeah, and in the last few decades law enforcement agencies on both the state and federal level have grown increasingly dependent on civil forfeiture in their insane drug war. Basically it's a guilty until proven innocent system, and good luck getting it back if the government took all your money to begin with.

This was a country with $500 and $1000 (and more) dollar bills already back in the 1920s.... and now you're suspicious if you carry more than a few hundred dollar bills. Modern hundred dollar bills that I may add have less value than a 1920s Hamilton ($10 bill).

Before anyone says it only happens to drug dealers, I had 2 friends go to CA with their life savings of $15k and a business plan get stopped in OK and the money seized and never seen again. Not an gram of drugs in the car, just some beer in the back. America looks more and more like a communist country every coming decade.

Re:Your tax dollars hard at work (4, Informative)

khellendros1984 (792761) | about 6 months ago | (#46923237)

America looks more and more like a communist country every coming decade.

I think the words you were looking for are "totalitarian police state", or the like.

Re:Your tax dollars hard at work (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46923387)

America looks more and more like a communist country every coming decade.

I think the words you were looking for are "totalitarian police state", or the like.

Maybe Right Wing totalitarian police state considering what passes for Left Wing in the USA.

Re:Your tax dollars hard at work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46924027)

That's redundant. Communist countries tend to become totalitarian police states: see Soviet Union, Maoist China, North Korea. If the USA became Communist, it's very likely the qualify of life for its citizens will greatly decrease, just as the qualify of life in N. Korea, Laos, Vietnam is very low today.

Re:Your tax dollars hard at work (3, Interesting)

PRMan (959735) | about 6 months ago | (#46923265)

It seems like they should have put it in bitcoin and retrieved it when they got to CA.

Re:Your tax dollars hard at work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46923431)

I may be missing something, but isn't this the sort of situation where a cashier's check would be an ideal way to transfer money?

Re:Your tax dollars hard at work (3, Insightful)

mythosaz (572040) | about 6 months ago | (#46923457)

Great business minds!

Was step one of the business plan: "Withdraw every penny of their life savings in cash in order to transport it cross country by car?"

[As you know, EFTs can't get over the Rocky Mountains until the pass opens back up in the spring...]

Re:Your tax dollars hard at work (4, Insightful)

rogoshen1 (2922505) | about 6 months ago | (#46923515)

foolishness is not illegal.
carrying cash is not illegal.
carrying cash should not used as a proxy to assign guilt for some other crime.
the police should not be able to press charges against *items* and deny standing to it's owner.

civil forfeiture is an abrogation of our civil rights and we should be throwing the ones responsible for it in jail. :(

Re:Your tax dollars hard at work (2)

PRMan (959735) | about 6 months ago | (#46923295)

Seriously, though, it sounds like your friends need to give 1/3 of that to a lawyer so they can get the other 2/3 back.

Re:Your tax dollars hard at work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46923675)

What kind of idiot carries their life savings with them?

They should have either:
a) Travelers check
b) Left it in their bank and wrote their new bank a check
c) Wire transfer from their old bank to their new bank

Those are easy, and cost little. There has not been a need to carry more than 20$ in cash in the last decade. Nobody uses checks anymore, use credit or debit. OOOH BUT THE PRIVACY BOOGEYMAN ... what the hell people.

There is nothing you can legally buy that is going to put you on some list somewhere for some reason.

This comes back to the "If you have nothing to hide, you have no reason to object" the thing is EVERYONE has something to hide. People who are in law or politics can't be seen making back room deals. Those are the people who have the most to lose from these laws. Average Joe White Collar and Miss average Jane blue collar has nothing to worry about unless they're buying precursors for questionable activities.

Re:Your tax dollars hard at work (4, Interesting)

X.25 (255792) | about 6 months ago | (#46923191)

FYI, all other electronic money transfers in the US are required to go through money laundering and terrorist funding checks. By law the bank isn't even allowed to tell you why you can't get your money, if the scan hits a positive.

Obama administration offers $27 million in additional help for Syrian rebels

Wonder how they'll transfer it...

Re:Your tax dollars hard at work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46923679)

As they always do! In wooden crates and parachute! Worms-ing it up.

Meanwhile the biggest money launders (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46923713)

The Federal Reserve, IRS and CIA spend freely on whatever they like with absolutely no oversight and complete impunity.

Bunch of hypocritical shit if you ask me.

Re:Your tax dollars hard at work (2)

F34nor (321515) | about 6 months ago | (#46922615)

You know that without a traceable currency tax dollars cease to exist right? Read Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson (which on my most recent re-reading seems even more spot on) about what America would like like with online anonymous black banking.

Re:Your tax dollars hard at work (2)

Sentrion (964745) | about 6 months ago | (#46923371)

It would like kind of like Puerto Rico, but more high-tech.

Re:Your tax dollars hard at work (1)

farble1670 (803356) | about 6 months ago | (#46922941)

subject says it all.

having an economy largely based on a digital currency that is (possibly) subject to corruption by terrorists. yes, that's a real threat.

Re:Your tax dollars hard at work (1)

ArmoredDragon (3450605) | about 6 months ago | (#46923429)

Cash is even more anonymous than bitcoin; I would figure it a bigger threat in that regard.

lol wat? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46922465)

If BTC is a Terrorist Threat, then I'm the new leader of Bitcoin World Order

Sarcasm applies ^

Re:lol wat? (2)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 6 months ago | (#46923359)

Please send many BTC at 17Yvsma9tfiuqVP7QhsFE2VmsFpTEMy17P, the funds will be used to buy game consoles of mass distraction.

Re:lol wat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46923533)

I'm onto you, ArcadeMan!

Is there anything that's not a terrorist threat? (2, Insightful)

Spy Handler (822350) | about 6 months ago | (#46922467)

n/t

Re:Is there anything that's not a terrorist threat (5, Funny)

Rob Riggs (6418) | about 6 months ago | (#46922519)

Bacon is clearly not a terrorist threat. So, eat up, America!

Eat Your Bacon (1)

HannethCom (585323) | about 6 months ago | (#46922645)

That is right. Eat your bacon! Eat LOTS of it! Muhahahaha!!!

Our plan is finally coming to fruition!
http://www.standingonguard.com... [standingonguard.com]

Errr, only look at the URL if you are in Canada. To everyone else, we're sorry eh. Just your nice friendly neighbors eh.

Re:Is there anything that's not a terrorist threat (1)

ArmoredDragon (3450605) | about 6 months ago | (#46923437)

I know two of Osama Bin Laden's biggest beefs with America was that we permit homosexuality and interest bearing loans...I can't help but wonder if he hated bacon every bit as much as those though.

War on Cholesterol (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46923929)

Just wait until the War on Cholesterol heats up in NY. THEN you won't be saying that...

Re:Is there anything that's not a terrorist threat (1)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 6 months ago | (#46922683)

Given that pork-eating flight school students turned out to be Islamist terrorists, I'd have to say the answer is no.

Our success at preventing domestic terror attacks is usually credited partly to our ability to stop the terrorists from sending each-other money. BTC is specifically designed so that government's can't trace it, or interdict the cash-flow. This means the anti-terror cops damn well better have a plan for if AQ starts a major BTC mining operation.

Re:Is there anything that's not a terrorist threat (1)

ultranova (717540) | about 6 months ago | (#46923625)

Our success at preventing domestic terror attacks is usually credited partly to our ability to stop the terrorists from sending each-other money.

"Usually credited" by whom? People who have a vested interest in stopping people from sending each other money without going through them?

For that matter, how many "domestic terror attacks" have been stopped lately? Or is it simply that most people aren't crazy enough to want to blow up their own home?

BTC is specifically designed so that government's can't trace it, or interdict the cash-flow. This means the anti-terror cops damn well better have a plan for if AQ starts a major BTC mining operation.

Starting a BTC mining operation requires capital. Al-Qaeda is unlikely to outcompete miners who are in it for money, not if it keeps blowing its nest egg away.

Re:Is there anything that's not a terrorist threat (0)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 6 months ago | (#46923999)

Our success at preventing domestic terror attacks is usually credited partly to our ability to stop the terrorists from sending each-other money.

"Usually credited" by whom? People who have a vested interest in stopping people from sending each other money without going through them?

For that matter, how many "domestic terror attacks" have been stopped lately? Or is it simply that most people aren't crazy enough to want to blow up their own home?

"Most people" being not crazy didn't help on S11. When there are 6-7 billion of us even a tiny minority of idiots is hundreds of millions of people.

Moreover since the military are some of the people who say anti-money-laundering initiatives help prevent terrorism, you're implying the military actually gets paid based on the volume of transactions in the international finance system. It doesn't.

As how many have been stopped, that's a really dumb way for you to bring up the point. The answer is 100% of the attacks that involve spending more a grand. Legally available firearms only cost more then $500 if you get a really nice one, which terrorists tend not to do, and pressure-cooker bombs are under $100. Congrats dummy, you just walked into that one. If you didn't suck at this you would have anticipated that argument, and claimed that no major attacks had been tried, and therefore my argument was ridiculous.

Frankly you're so bad at this I'm already half-convinced you're an anti-BTC agent provocateur.

BTC is specifically designed so that government's can't trace it, or interdict the cash-flow. This means the anti-terror cops damn well better have a plan for if AQ starts a major BTC mining operation.

Starting a BTC mining operation requires capital. Al-Qaeda is unlikely to outcompete miners who are in it for money, not if it keeps blowing its nest egg away.

You do realize there are entire staffs of people in the military whose entire job is to figure out "what happens if potential opponent x does this thing that nobody thinks he'll ever do?"

It's called contingency planning, and since the real world is fucking weird it's really useful. For example who would have predicted that Ukraine would break up in February?

So yes, I'd say the odds that Al Qaeda actually use BTC mining to get rich are fairly low. But that doesn't mean I don't want a couple $80k analysts to look into the question for a few months. And that's all this report is saying will happen.

Moreover it doesn't imply that a) future terrorist opponents won't be mining the latest altcoin, or b) AQ won't simply buy some BTC on a shady exchange, put it on a wallet, and mail the thumb-drive to DC.

Re:Is there anything that's not a terrorist threat (2)

ultranova (717540) | about 6 months ago | (#46924183)

"Most people" being not crazy didn't help on S11. When there are 6-7 billion of us even a tiny minority of idiots is hundreds of millions of people.

There are not 6-7 billion domestic terrorist in any country on Earth. I'll leave it as an excersize to the reader why that might be.

Moreover since the military are some of the people who say anti-money-laundering initiatives help prevent terrorism, you're implying the military actually gets paid based on the volume of transactions in the international finance system. It doesn't.

I'm asking who's making the claim. "The military" is still too vague, especially with zero evidence provided.

As how many have been stopped, that's a really dumb way for you to bring up the point.

Really? Asking for numbers to assess effectiveness is a dumb way of doing so? Then how do you propose it's assessed?

The answer is 100% of the attacks that involve spending more a grand.

And that's how many? Exactly speaking, or even as an order of magnitude figure?

Legally available firearms only cost more then $500 if you get a really nice one, which terrorists tend not to do, and pressure-cooker bombs are under $100. Congrats dummy, you just walked into that one. If you didn't suck at this you would have anticipated that argument, and claimed that no major attacks had been tried, and therefore my argument was ridiculous.

So what, exactly speaking, are you claiming here? That terrorist attacks don't actually require a lot of money, so money transfers aren't really that important to terrorists, so watching money transfers is pointless from anti-terrorism point of view?

Frankly you're so bad at this I'm already half-convinced you're an anti-BTC agent provocateur.

I'm entirely convinced that you're an idiot. The only question remains whether you genuinely lack intelligence, or just can't bear to be shown wrong on the Internet.

You do realize there are entire staffs of people in the military whose entire job is to figure out "what happens if potential opponent x does this thing that nobody thinks he'll ever do?"

It's called contingency planning, and since the real world is fucking weird it's really useful. For example who would have predicted that Ukraine would break up in February?

So yes, I'd say the odds that Al Qaeda actually use BTC mining to get rich are fairly low. But that doesn't mean I don't want a couple $80k analysts to look into the question for a few months. And that's all this report is saying will happen.

Moreover it doesn't imply that a) future terrorist opponents won't be mining the latest altcoin, or b) AQ won't simply buy some BTC on a shady exchange, put it on a wallet, and mail the thumb-drive to DC.

That's all nice and good. But it still doesn't address my point: Al-Qaeda can't compete against miners who put their money on their mining equipment, because Al-Qaeda put their money into explosives.

Also, you stated above that Al-Qaeda doesn't need money to stake attacks, or at least not money above what you can make in a minimum-wage job, so why would they bother? I'll let your weird scenario of mailing a couble hundred kilobytes - or, more likely, a single adress of 34 characters - slide. It's still stupid, though.

Re:Is there anything that's not a terrorist threat (1)

Lloyd_Bryant (73136) | about 6 months ago | (#46924105)

Given that pork-eating flight school students turned out to be Islamist terrorists, I'd have to say the answer is no.

I hate to spoil your snark, but Islam, like Judaism, has a prohibition against eating pork. So you could argue that *not* eating bacon is a possible warning sign of terrorist potential...

Our success at preventing domestic terror attacks is usually credited partly to our ability to stop the terrorists from sending each-other money.

Uhm, what success? AFAIK, the only "terrorist plot" in the US that the government has prevented was that one where the idiots thought that if they blew up a fuel pipe at JFK, they could get an explosion all along that pipeline. Obviously, they didn't comprehend that for an explosion to happen, you need fuel *and* oxygen...

BTC is specifically designed so that government's can't trace it, or interdict the cash-flow. This means the anti-terror cops damn well better have a plan for if AQ starts a major BTC mining operation.

No, bitcoin is *not* designed to be untraceable. In fact, thanks to the blockchain, it's actually a lot easier to trace than normal cash. What's hard is taking the information from the blockchain, and connecting it to a specific individual or group. So it's pretty anonymous, but once a given wallet has been associated with someone like AQ, anyone monitoring the blockchains could extract a heck of a lot of info about where their money is coming from and going to.

Re:Is there anything that's not a terrorist threat (0)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 6 months ago | (#46922767)

uhm, voting republican?

Re:Is there anything that's not a terrorist threat (2, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 6 months ago | (#46922901)

uhm, voting republican?

Are we not done pretending that any actionable difference exists between the two faces of the One Party?

The old "one party good, 'other' party bad" nonsense is just tiresome at this point.

Re:Is there anything that's not a terrorist threat (1)

david_thornley (598059) | about 6 months ago | (#46923381)

Sure there's actionable differences. We wouldn't have gotten the ACA if the Republicans had stayed in power. There's just not as much difference as many think.

Re:Is there anything that's not a terrorist threat (2)

ArmoredDragon (3450605) | about 6 months ago | (#46923467)

We wouldn't have gotten the ACA

From what I've seen of it so far, I don't think that would have been a bad thing. For starters, there's nothing affordable about it.

Re:Is there anything that's not a terrorist threat (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 6 months ago | (#46923355)

More importantly, is there anyone who couldn't be classified as a terrorist?

Bitcoin never made cents or sense.... (1, Insightful)

The New Guy 2.0 (3497907) | about 6 months ago | (#46922469)

Bitcoin has always been falling in conversion rates... it was big money to the programmer and a money loser for everybody else who touched it.

Re: Bitcoin never made cents or sense.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46922609)

Except when it wasn't falling of course, but other than those times your statement is correct.

Re:Bitcoin never made cents or sense.... (2)

bobbied (2522392) | about 6 months ago | (#46922841)

Bitcoin has always been falling in conversion rates... it was big money to the programmer and a money loser for everybody else who touched it.

Huh? It's surely been falling of late, but it started at an exchange rate of ZERO. Being I don't know of anybody who is paying me to accept BitCoin (i.e. an exchange rate of less than zero) I don't see how your statement is true.

Not that I wouldn't agree that BTC is going to prove to be a boondoggle... It's just not as bad as you claim.

Re:Bitcoin never made cents or sense.... (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 6 months ago | (#46922995)

Huh? It's surely been falling of late, but it started at an exchange rate of ZERO.

That's the dynamic of a Ponzi scheme, as is the OPs description of who benefits.

Re:Bitcoin never made cents or sense.... (2)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 6 months ago | (#46923195)

That's the dynamic of a Ponzi scheme, as is the OPs description of who benefits.

His description of who benefits was "the programmer", which is nonsense. You don't have to be a programmer to be miner, and you certainly don't have to be "the" programmer. Anybody could/can mine bitcoins. Bitcoins may or may not turn out to be a good long term investment, but the bitcoin system has almost nothing in common with a Ponzi scheme. People claiming Bitcoin is a Ponzi scheme understand neither how bitcoins work, nor how Ponzi schemes work.

Re:Bitcoin never made cents or sense.... (1)

PRMan (959735) | about 6 months ago | (#46923285)

And Satoshi hasn't spent one...well...Satoshi as far as anybody knows.

Re:Bitcoin never made cents or sense.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46922989)

Yeah, almost like the USD. Big money for those who print it and a money loser for everybody else.

Re:Bitcoin never made cents or sense.... (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 6 months ago | (#46923231)

Yeah, almost like the USD. Big money for those who print it and a money loser for everybody else.

USDs are only a big loser for people that stuff it under their mattresses. If you spend it shortly after receiving it, on things like rent or groceries, it will lose only an insignificant amount of value. If you invest it, then your return on that investment will compensate for expected inflation. Mild inflation is basically a tax on hoarding.

Re:Bitcoin never made cents or sense.... (1)

PRMan (959735) | about 6 months ago | (#46923271)

Really? News to me. I made 1000% so far in a year.

Re:Bitcoin never made cents or sense.... (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 6 months ago | (#46923377)

Please send 10 BTC to 17Yvsma9tfiuqVP7QhsFE2VmsFpTEMy17P, I will try to duplicate your 1000% profits as proof.

Re:Bitcoin never made cents or sense.... (1)

david_thornley (598059) | about 6 months ago | (#46923395)

If that was a almost certain outcome, people are using it similarly to a Ponzi scheme. If not, you're doing some serious gambling there, pardner.

Re:Bitcoin never made cents or sense.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46923727)

What? No. No.

Even my friend made money off some relatively new coins, some people on a 2000-ish active community also got a bunch too.
It isn't that hard to make money off these coins. In fact it is easier than ACTUAL money because it is so volatile.
And the volatility of Bitcoins in particular is faaaaairly easy to predict as it generally falls the same dive and soar curves every so often.
Selling half and smaller and smaller amounts each time towards the predicted dive will maximize profit just in case it dives early. The period that "towards" falls under is up to you to define using historical data and your gut instinct.

So what you do then is generate the absolute hell out of the mid-high coins, transfer to Bitcoins on a dive, wait it out for the next predicted dive, sell before, enjoy your free money.
I probably shouldn't even be typing this to be honest since it means there'd be even more people doing this, but fuck it, more money for all.
Plus I want crypto-currencies to eventually become stable, and I feel like helping out fellow /.s since I love you guys and some people still feel it is too risky.

Just make sure to protect your wallet and DON'T keep all your eggs in one basket either. And only use sites that are well known on the forums and let the other riskier people test the waters of new companies.

Here we go. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46922489)

It was only a matter of time.

Re:Here we go. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46922871)

This has actually taken longer than I thought it would

Turn that finger around 180 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46922497)

When pointing a finger looking for threats to the US, in order to make the study sufficiently extensive and all-encompassing, they may want to consider examining their own behavior, and the behavior of other parts of the DoD, and consider whether they have become that which they seek to destroy.

Re:Turn that finger around 180 (2)

Sentrion (964745) | about 6 months ago | (#46923447)

The enemy wants to take away your freedom. The only way to stop them is to dominate, track and control every facet of life. You do believe in protecting freedom now, don't you?

Welp, if it wasn't popular before (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 6 months ago | (#46922501)

Now everyone who imagines themselves rebellious for having issues with one of the confused democratic governments in the world is going to love bitcoin now.

Re:Welp, if it wasn't popular before (1)

Sentrion (964745) | about 6 months ago | (#46923489)

Nobody knows WHO "invented" bitcoin. Odds are fair that bitcoin is just another NSA program to track those who are seeking to remain anonymous. Who else with a decent R&D budget would fund such a project without taking credit for it, raising awareness for their cause, or making a profit from the effort?

Sounds reasonable (5, Informative)

Mr 44 (180750) | about 6 months ago | (#46922573)

It's a bit immature for people to be blindly making fun of this. At the risk of RTFA:

An unclassified memo from January unearthed by Bitcoin Magazine detailed solicitations for CTTSO projects. The memo states that one of the mission requirements is for "innovative...solutions to develop and/or enhance new concepts and constructs for understanding the role of virtual currencies" in financing threats against the United States.

The memo said the blurring of national lines is facilitating the transfer of virtual currencies: "The introduction of virtual currency will likely shape threat finance by increasing the opaqueness, transactional velocity, and overall efficiencies of terrorist attacks," it stated.

This sounds like a perfectly valid thing for someone to think about, and consider the implications of. Honestly, whatever your business (or governmental responsibility), if you aren't thinking about the impact of crypto-currency, you might be being negligent.

Re:Sounds reasonable (0, Troll)

F34nor (321515) | about 6 months ago | (#46922647)

But you forget that Slashdot is no longer "news for nerds", now its "news for shills." Asking for an adult analysis of almost anything here is like asking the House to govern.

Re:Sounds UNreasonable (4, Informative)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 6 months ago | (#46922803)

quite unreasonable.

don't you know the drill, by now?

if this competes with the existing power-brokers (and yes, it does) then it can't be allowed.

to stop things we don't like, we label them as child pron or terrorism.

nothing new about this; we've seen this old play redone hundreds of times during the last 10+ yrs.

this is just about controlling currency and stopping anonymity. has absolutely nothing to do with 'terror'. only an moran would buy that story.

Re:Sounds UNreasonable (3, Insightful)

BlueStrat (756137) | about 6 months ago | (#46923527)

quite unreasonable.

don't you know the drill, by now?

if this competes with the existing power-brokers (and yes, it does) then it can't be allowed.

to stop things we don't like, we label them as child pron or terrorism.

nothing new about this; we've seen this old play redone hundreds of times during the last 10+ yrs.

this is just about controlling currency and stopping anonymity. has absolutely nothing to do with 'terror'. only an moran would buy that story.

It's about control and destroying a free and open society..

Terrorism, rebellion against the government, and being able to move wealth without government knowledge is only preventable in an authoritarian police-state type of society.

A free and open society only exists when it is possible to keep one's finances a secret from government and organize without the governments' knowledge to commit acts of terrorism and rebellion.

More government "Safety" = Less Freedom, Less Actual Safety, and Less Money for You.

Strat

Re:Sounds reasonable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46922805)

But the fact that it is CONservatives that have an agenda to destroy Bitcoin and the people that use it, what in the hell does it matter what the Republicans are claiming their motivations are? You're immature and naive if you believe that crap you posted. They want to destroy us.

Re:Sounds reasonable (1)

Sentrion (964745) | about 6 months ago | (#46923571)

You're immature and naive if you believe that Democrats aren't being paid by the same corporate lobbyists to pursue the exact same agenda.

Re:Sounds reasonable (1)

Stargoat (658863) | about 6 months ago | (#46922837)

It's simply about the US losing the power to police its borders. The real reason you go through the scantron is to keep you from packing hundreds to your torso and walking out of the country. The same is true with gold. The US government hates the idea of people moving money without their consent.

PATRIOT Act has mainly been used to suppress this activity.

Re:Sounds reasonable (1)

supervillainsf (820395) | about 6 months ago | (#46923147)

The real reason you go through the scantron is to keep you from packing hundreds to your torso and walking out of the country.

What if I forgot a #2 pencil and used a pen - can the scantron still see them?

Re:Sounds reasonable (1)

Stargoat (658863) | about 6 months ago | (#46923397)

Probably. It can also give you cancer.

No currency (1, Interesting)

LeepII (946831) | about 6 months ago | (#46922603)

Face it there will be no currency the Rothchilds don't control.

Re:No currency (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46922673)

Are they related to the Rothschild family at all?

Protip: If you are going to call out a well-known family, it's best to spell it correctly.

Protip2: protips are annoying.

Re:No currency (2)

Richy_T (111409) | about 6 months ago | (#46924237)

I believe he's talking about someone who was born into a scene of angriness and greed, dominance and persecution. Whose mother was a queen, father was never seen and was never meant to be. Yeah...

Stupid headline and summary. (5, Informative)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 6 months ago | (#46922773)

They are not investigating Bitcoin as a threat.They are investigating how crypto-currencies can be used to finance terrorism. The editors need to be fired.

Back in January, Bitcoin Magazine unearthed an unclassified memo detailing some of the CTTSO projects. "The introduction of virtual currency will likely shape threat finance by increasing the opaqueness, transactional velocity, and overall efficiencies of terrorist attacks”, the memo said.

Re:Stupid headline and summary. (1)

bobbied (2522392) | about 6 months ago | (#46922865)

They are not investigating Bitcoin as a threat.They are investigating how crypto-currencies can be used to finance terrorism. The editors need to be fired.

How about we just dock their pay... Oh, right... On Slashdot these things are contributed by people who don't get paid...

Re:Stupid headline and summary. (1)

farble1670 (803356) | about 6 months ago | (#46922959)

On Slashdot these things are contributed by people who don't get paid...

i think you meant "can't get paid".

Re:Stupid headline and summary. (1)

bobbied (2522392) | about 6 months ago | (#46923135)

On Slashdot these things are contributed by people who don't get paid...

i think you meant "can't get paid".

LOL.. I like that one.. Thanks I needed the laugh.

Re:Stupid headline and summary. (1)

GrumpySteen (1250194) | about 6 months ago | (#46922967)

And yet you'll see the actual post was put up by someone (samzenpus) who is a paid employee. God forbid the editors actually edit anything, though, right?

Re:Stupid headline and summary. (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 6 months ago | (#46923733)

Notice I said "editors" and not "contributors"? They have different jobs. Contributors submit crap. The editors are supposed to make it look pretty and be accurate before it is displayed to the readers (us).

Re:Stupid headline and summary. (1)

1s44c (552956) | about 6 months ago | (#46923831)

They are not investigating Bitcoin as a threat.They are investigating how crypto-currencies can be used to finance terrorism.

Because the US government doesn't have enough ways of supporting terrorism as it is?

if I were a terrorist... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46922791)

I wouldn't lock up my vital operational funds in such a high profile and volatile vehicle. Cash is, so easy to deal with.

Hard to imagine (1)

WaffleMonster (969671) | about 6 months ago | (#46922925)

Hard to imagine a currency requiring central coordination to facilitate all transactions would be looked upon as anything other than wet dream of any government/military industry.

One step closer to having everyone chipped (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46923023)

If you misbehave, they turn off your chip.

To be fair... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46923113)

Well, our (US) government seems to think every American citizen is a terrorist, so why couldn't a non-existant thing also be a terrorist?

And aliens? A.K.A "Extra-terroristrials"

Re:To be fair... (1)

1s44c (552956) | about 6 months ago | (#46923821)

Well, our (US) government seems to think every American citizen is a terrorist, so why couldn't a non-existant thing also be a terrorist?

The US government has really lost the plot by calling math a terrorist threat. No wonder China is on course to become the world's biggest economy.

Drama queen much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46923259)

Drama queen much?

If you don't understand it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46923389)

It means that it's the enemy.
This is why we shouldn't have stupid people who know nothing about today's world at the head of any corporation. They still think we're in the early days of computing.

Goldman Sacks rules the world .. (1)

lippydude (3635849) | about 6 months ago | (#46923423)

Yea, how dare these Bitcoin people make a buck, without paying Goldman Sacks their tribute ..

Goldman Sachs Rules the World [youtube.com]

How about cash? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46923517)

Next stop: cash as a potential terrorist threat. And soon enough you won't be able to buy groceries without NSA knowing what, when, where, how much you bought and your data mined for any "abnormal" and "suspicious" activity. And that great sex toy you always dreamt about? Better buy it while you still can, without having to explain to anyone how you're not a pervert.

Re:How about cash? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 6 months ago | (#46923751)

Cash is already suspect for people. Trying to take it out of a bank and you get a chat down after electronic means flag you and your invited in to see a real person.
Driving with some cash makes you something unknown and you might face "civil forfeiture" depending on the area you where randomly stopped in.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/in... [forbes.com]
Enjoying a hotel or renting a car? Enjoy that friendly chat down as you make enquiries and pay your bill.
Now we see the same for online efforts unless your using one for 3 or 4 allowed US backed credit cards?

Re:How about cash? (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 6 months ago | (#46923755)

There are already rules dealing with large volumes of cash. For example one must declare the import of $10k or more in cash. Cash is hard to transfer as it is bulky. Crypto-currencies can be transferred much more easily.

Re:How about cash? (1)

1s44c (552956) | about 6 months ago | (#46923795)

It's always been easy enough to transport large amounts of diamonds. Yet the US government hasn't declared diamonds a terrorist threat yet.

I think the US government just went off the deep end.

Re:How about cash? (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 6 months ago | (#46923939)

Terrorist plots run on cash not diamonds. Lets see, to transfer money by diamonds you need to do the following.
1. find someone to sell you diamonds who would have to report the transaction if it is over $10k in cash. The seller may also report you for the reward.
2. transport the diamonds to the destination with the risk involved.
3. Find someone to buy the diamonds for near the price you bought them who would also have to report the transaction if more then $10K is involved. The buyer may also report you for the reward.
There is time involved in every step and loss of value in steps 1 and 3. Transporting diamonds is easy but getting the same value out of them as was put into them is much more difficult and risky.
Conversely crypto-currency has no reporting requirements.

Yet the US government hasn't declared diamonds a terrorist threat yet.

They have not declared crypto-currency a terrorist threat. The headline and summary are inaccurate. In fact, they have not declared anything yet. They are investigating crypto-currency as a medium to transfer terrorist funding and that is all.

I think the US government just went off the deep end.

They are doing due diligence by investigating every viable funding route for terrorism. To do less would leave a door open that could be exploited.

Electronic currency or Bitcoin? (1)

wubboy (96276) | about 6 months ago | (#46923725)

Been away from Slashdot for a while now, When I come back in to take a look around at the new design I see a discussion I might like to get involved with.
Let me be simple.

Unbacked fiat currency most commonly traded from plastic cards via electronic device -or- Unbacked fiat currency most commonly traded via electronic device.

Unbacked fiat currency generated by the expansion of debt in the economy -or- Unbacked fiat currency generated by mining something that you can never hold.

Unbacked fiat currency wholly owned by an unaccountable private for profit untraded anonymous company -or- Unbacked fiat currency wholly owned by only those that use the currency.

The problem is not that bitcoin exists, the problem is that bitcoin had a space to exist into.
Please tell me this is not lost on the current slashdot generation.

Stoopid government (1)

1s44c (552956) | about 6 months ago | (#46923785)

They class everything as either a terrorist threat or an enemy combatant.

What's their next trick? A war on breakfast cereals? Drone strikes against the color blue?

Yet more lies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46923787)

Whenever the US government links anything to terrorism, I know they are lying. Yes, crypto-currencies can certainly be used to fund terrorist acts. But then again so can gold, silver, oil, diamonds, dollars, euros, or just about any other kind of non-traceable cash or valuable commodity. They don't like bitcoin because it is currently popular and they don't have their thumb on it.

Possibly of more concern... (1)

davidwr (791652) | about 6 months ago | (#46923983)

... would be the potential threat of terrorists to take over the blockchain or make people think they could.

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