by Arjun Walia, Collective Evolution:
New leaks from Edward Snowden, the NSA whistle-blower who leaked a wealth of information on the NSA’s mass global surveillance program a few years ago, among other leaks, has just released new documentation showing that the NSA worked ‘urgently’ to target bitcoin users.
Classified documents from Snowden, in the form of a passage in an internal NSA report from March 2013, shows how tracking down senders and receivers of Bitcoin allowed the NSA to better collect and analyze global internet traffic, “while also exploiting an unnamed software program that purported to offer anonymity to users, according to other documents.”
It wasn’t just bitcoin they were keeping tabs on, but also multiple cryptocurrencies, and according to the NSA report, “Bitcoin is #1 priority.”
The intercept goes on to explain how,
“The documents indicate that “tracking down” bitcoin users went well beyond closely examining bitcoin’s public transaction ledger, known as the Blockchain, where users are typically referred to through anonymous identifiers; the tracking may also have involved gathering intimate details of these users’ computers. The NSA collected some bitcoin users’ password information, internet activity, and a type of unique device identification number known as a MAC address, a March 29, 2013 NSA memo suggested. In the same document, analysts also discussed tracking internet users’ internet addresses, network ports, and timestamps to identify “BITCOIN Targets.”
This isn’t really a surprise, as venture capitalist and former Facebook exec, Chamath Palihapitiya once expressed that anything that is not in the hands of, or in control of the ‘1 percent,’ or under government control, should receive a lot of attention and is a great indicator of its potential.
“This is a fantastic fundamental hedge and store value against autocratic regimes and banking infrastructure that we know is corrosive to how the world needs to work properly. You cannot have Central Banks infinitely printing currency, you cannot have folks with misguided and misdirected monetary and fiscal policy…It’s a con game.”
– Chamath Palihapitiya (source)
Currency has always been, not just in my opinion but based on what we see in society, a means to control the human race. It has also been used as a tool to further widen the wealth gap, putting most of the resources in the hands of the “1 percent.”
Cryptocurrencies could be a stepping stone in eventually living in a world without currency at all. And yes, I do believe that’s possible, I often enjoy imagining a planet where the civilization has moved beyond currency, and everybody is cooperating with each other to better the lives of the whole, thus bettering the lives of the individual.
Another great quote that applies,
“It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, before if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.”
– Henry Ford
Bitcoin, in my opinion based on the simple fact that it’s not centralized, but controlled by the people, and not controlled by the global elite who currently use our financial system (which they created), to, in some sense, enslave us, is why it’s attracting so much attention.