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US Government To Study Bitcoin As Possible Terrorist Threat 210

Posted by samzenpus
from the taking-a-good-look dept.
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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US Government To Study Bitcoin As Possible Terrorist Threat

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

      • by ultranova (717540)

        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 i

        • One doesn't mine bitcoins to launder cash. One buys the bitcoins, sends them around, then cashes back out.

      • 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.

        • 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...

          Getting my info from a film, I know, but part of the premise in the "Traitor" was that it was allowed to assume the traits of your enemies in order to attack them, i.e. Eating pork, drinking alcohol in order to appear western and therefore pass undetected. No idea how accurate it is, but it at least groks as far as my understanding of whackjob theology is concerned.

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

    • ./ sarcasm Shhhh, we have to declare the next inanimate object the next evil incarnate.

  • 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.

    • by Sentrion (964745)

      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 (Score:5, Informative)

    by Mr 44 (180750) on Monday May 05, 2014 @05:05PM (#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.

    • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Monday May 05, 2014 @05:22PM (#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.

      • by BlueStrat (756137) on Monday May 05, 2014 @06:37PM (#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

    • by Stargoat (658863)

      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.

      • 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?

      • I don't think so. I believe the real reason for the porno-scanner is to take 3d biometric scans of all travelers. Then when they bring in grainy vid footage of some terrorist they can use the global biometric database to make a short-list of suspects.
  • by jklovanc (1603149) on Monday May 05, 2014 @05:20PM (#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.

    • by bobbied (2522392)

      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...

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

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

        • by bobbied (2522392)

          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.

      • 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?

      • by jklovanc (1603149)

        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).

      • by 1s44c (552956)

        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?

      • by Richy_T (111409)

        And are worth every penny.

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • The NSA already knows everything you do with your computer, including Bitcoin trades.

  • Obama is a terrorist threat too, and no one does anything about it. This is not fair.
  • Clearly they both understand bitcoin enough to explain it in their own words:

    Himanshu Arora: The biggest concern associated with Bitcoin is the anonymity built into the virtual currency's architecture. Although transactions are public, the parties involved are kept anonymous. Bitcoins can allow illegal operations with the ease and speed of the Internet, but with the secrecy of a cash deal.

    Ryan W Neal: At the heart of the concern is the anonymity built into the bitcoin architecture. While every bitcoin trans

  • The basic concepts of "freedom" and "privacy" are the perceived threats here.
    The fundamental concept that anyone could be doing anything without first getting permission is the threat here.

"Love is an ideal thing, marriage a real thing; a confusion of the real with the ideal never goes unpunished." -- Goethe

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