Snowden Reveals Bitcoin Transactions Being Tracked by NSA

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Former NSA employee Edward Snowden has revealed classified documents from 2013 which talk about NSA specifically monitoring the activity of bitcoin users through a secret government surveillance program code-named Monkeyrocket. The NSA has collected personal information such as some Bitcoin users’ internet activity, password and username information and MAC address while they were thinking their anonymity is guaranteed. 

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I think it's called Oakstar. As distasteful as it sounds, it makes sense. The government tracks currency usage. Big transactions are subject to scrutiny to keep tabs on organized crime, terrorism, etc. Bitcoin opens the door for anonymous transactions. Yes, privacy is essential, but so is security. There is always a tradeoff--the issue is figuring out the most palatable balance. I tend to err on the side of limited government intervention and am a huge proponent of privacy (how else will citizens be able to rise up and overthrow a government that no longer serves the will of the people, should that day come?). But in this case, we've lived with the govt. keeping tabs on major transactions. Why should this be any different?

One could also argue that this is rather convenient, as decentralized currency takes some power away from the govt and threatens big banks. 

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They targeted bitcoin through Monkeyrocket, which is a sub-program of Oakstar, which tapped network equipment to gather data from the Middle East, Europe, South America and Asia with the intention of thwarting terrorists. Privacy is very important, but when we know what's in stake, we have to put our security ahead of everything else, even privacy. 

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Why would anyone think that internet currency with a public ledger was anonymous? 

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There are a few conspiracy theories floating around that suggest the NSA invented the SHA256 algo ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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6 minutes ago, msk said:

There are a few conspiracy theories floating around that suggest the NSA invented the SHA256 algo ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Oh, goody! A new conspiracy theory to bask in!

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And.... now I realize you've taken me for a bit of a ride, @msk!! Not a conspiracy theory, no indeed, but a fact. I feel like you are taking advantage of my extremely limited bitcoin knowledge. Disappointed, I must now focus on a new conspiracy theory to drown my sorrows.

In fact, I'm working on a theory right now that posits that OPEC attempted to manipulate the price of oil by curbing production. 

SEE WHAT I DID JUST THERE???

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