Kvě 16

Amendment To Ban End-to-End Encryption Passed By Hungarian Parliament

Source: bitcoin

Bitcoinist_Hungarian Parliament

Discussions about encryption are becoming more of a norm than the exception these days, and the situation is only getting direr in certain regions. The Hungarian Parliament is in favour to ban end-to-end encryption in the not-so-distant future.

Also read: Vaultoro Celebrates Anniversary With 50% Trading Discount

Hungary Takes on End-to-End Encryption

According to local sources, the Hungarian parliament voted on an amendment which prohibits end-to-end encryption in the country. Similar to most other countries in the world taking an aggressive stance on encryption, they label this decision as part of the “ongoing war on terrorism in Hungary”.

As a result of this ruling, providers offering end-to-end encryption would have to provide information to the Hungarian government when they file a request. Moreover, any applications used full encryption would be rendered pointless in the country, which may force companies such as WhatsApp to pull out of the region in the future.

However, Cabinet Chief Lazar wants to make it clear that services using encryption are not banned in Hungary, yet intelligence agencies would ask providers to monitor communication flows when there is a credible threat of terrorism. No details were provided as to what would be classified as a “credible threat”, though.

But that is not all, as this amendment would allow government officials to restrict public gatherings and install recording devices in areas of importance to protect national security. France has proposed a similar approach to fight terrorism several months ago, yet that proposal was shut down quickly.

Now that the legislation of this amendment has passed in Parliament, end-to-end encryption is coming under severe pressure in Hungary. It is worth noting this amendment is a less severe version of the original draft, which would see end-to-end encryption users being jailed for using this method of communication. Additionally, developers will not need to install backdoors for government monitoring either. However, officials may ask developers to decrypt particular communications, which is a different means to the same end.

What are your thoughts on this legislation passing the Hungarian Parliament? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: BBJ

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Wikipedia

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Amendment To Ban End-to-End Encryption Passed By Hungarian Parliament

Kvě 10

Kripos Shuts Down Major Dark Web Drugs Marketplace

Source: bitcoin

Bitcoinist_Dark Web Drug Marketplace Bitcoin

Ever since the Silk Road platform came to fruition, Bitcoin seems to become a favourite form of payment across dark web marketplaces. Kripos, the Norwegian Police Service’s specialized agency, is close to concluding their largest operation – dubbed Marco Polo –  against a drug ring on the dark web.

Also read: BitcoinAverage: Craig Wright Can’t Keep Bitcoin Down For Long

The Marco Polo Operation and Bitcoin On The Dark Web

The dark web is attracting all types of Internet criminals these days, and online drug trafficking is just one of the many types of business taking place. A recent sting by Kripos in Norway led to the arrest of fifteen individuals, all of whom were involved in drug trafficking on the dark web. This operation called Marco Polo by law enforcement has been in the works since 2014.

Ever since the Marco Polo operation began, thirteen men and two women have been indicted. In fact, five of these men are suspected of being some of the biggest Norwegian online drug kingpins. If this can be proven in court, bringing down this dark web drug marketplace is a significant notch in the belt of Kripos.

Although there is evidence pointing in the direction of “sizeable amounts of drugs’ being traded through this drug platform, the primary issue for law enforcement officials was to track down the payments. Bitcoin is the most preferred payment method among Internet criminals even though cryptocurrency is far from anonymous. All of the transactions on the Bitcoin network are logged on the blockchain in real-time,

Despite the lack of anonymity in Bitcoin, Chief Investigator Olav Roisli mentioned how the dark web criminals were using “multiple stream stages” put in place to prevent tracking the funds. This seems to indicate various marketplace members went to great lengths to obfuscate the origin and destination of their Bitcoin transactions, by using so-called “mixing” services.

For the time being, Kripos officials are only focusing in dark web marketplace sellers, rather than buyers. That being said, it appears the majority of this particular platform’s customer base is made up of young recreational drug users. Keeping in mind how this particular dark web marketplace was designed not to be found in the first place, it becomes apparent bitcoin is not to blame for facilitating this type of business. After all, consumers still have to provide personal information when buying and selling Bitcoin, removing any shred of anonymity the cryptocurrency may offer.

Note from the Author: None of the news sources name this platform officially, hence we cannot speculate on the name.

What are your thoughts on shutting down this dark web drug marketplace? Will this bring more negative attention to Bitcoin? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Dark Web News

Images courtesy of Kripos, Shutterstock

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Kripos Shuts Down Major Dark Web Drugs Marketplace

Kvě 05

UK Law Enforcement Sources Hint At Impending Craig Wright Arrest

Source: bitcoin

Bitcoinist_Craig Wright

With all of the discussion regarding Craig Wright these days, the rest of the world is looking at this news with raised eyebrows. In fact, the UK government has not taken kindly to his “revelation”, as Wright might be facing jail time for outing himself as Satoshi Nakamoto.

Also read: I Am Satoshi: Will Dr. Wright Cause Panic in the Bitcoin Markets?

Craig Wright Remains On The Law Enforcement Radar

People who have been following the Craig Wright – Satoshi Nakamoto connection for quite some time now, will have noticed law enforcement agencies are targeting the man. Last December, when the media connected him to creating Bitcoin, his house and office were raided by Australian police. Back then, this was connected a tax advantage he had received for holding Bitcoin, which Wright claimed to have lost later on.

As one would come to expect from such a move by law enforcement, everything in his house and office was gone over with a fine-toothed comb. Given Craig Wright’s involvement in the Australian technology sector throughout the years, he has been a high-profile person in the country for quite some time now.

But Australia is not the only country in the world keeping a very close eye on what Craig Wright is doing, as the UK police have intentions to arrest him using the anti-terror legislation. Although this has not been confirmed by officials just yet, anonymous sources have leaked this information to the press.

Considering how Craig Wright was able to “show” he is Satoshi Nakamoto to the BBC and two other main media outlets, he has brought a lot of attention to himself in the past few days. This remains rather strange for someone who claims to have no interest in fame or media attention, though, but that is a topic for a different discussion.

Under the anti-terrorism legislation in the United Kingdom, the Home Secretary can impose “control orders’ on any individual suspected of involvement in terrorism. Whether or not this act can be enforced when dealing with the alleged creator of Bitcoin – which has often been associated with terrorist funding – remains to be seen, though.

One thing’s for sure; outing himself as the alleged creator of Bitcoin has painted a bullseye on the back of Craig Wright. In the end, this decision may come back to bite him in the rear, assuming the UK police wants to go through with these plans to arrest him. Moreover, it is still doubtful Wright is the actual creator of Bitcoin, as there has been no conclusive evidence so far.

What are your thoughts on these unconfirmed rumors about an impending Craig Wright arrest? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Siliconangle

Images courtesy of Truthvoice, Shutterstock

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UK Law Enforcement Sources Hint At Impending Craig Wright Arrest

Dub 21

FBI Used Invalid Warrant To Infect Tor Website With Malware

Source: bitcoin

Bitcoinist_Tor Hack Malware

Malware is a grave threat to computer users all over the world, and even law enforcement does not shy away from using this technique to hack Tor and obtain sensitive information. But at a recent Massachusetts court has determined, this method of acquiring evidence is not legal.

Also read: Duo Search Is A Search Engine For OpenBazaar

Evidence Acquired Through Tor Hack Thrown Out

Even though the malware threat against consumers is worrying enough when internet criminals are involved, it becomes even more disconcerting when law enforcement decides to join the party. The FBI recently acquired a substantial amount of evidence in a child porn case and presented this information in court not too long ago.

But that was not to the liking of the Massachusetts court, as they threw out all of this evidence. Law enforcement hacking operations are not entirely new, although they are hardly an excuse to disallow evidence from being presented in court. In fact this decision marks the first time a court denies evidence obtained through a cyber attack by law enforcement.

Some people may recall how the FBI took control of a child porn service called Playpen not that long ago. This service, only accessible through the Tor protocol, was infiltrated to gain access to pedophiles’ computers all over the world. By collecting several thousand IP addresses, the FBI managed to arrest a significant amount of pedophiles in the US.

However, asking permission to hack computers belonging to Playpen users required approval from a district judge, rather than a magistrate. This puts an interesting spotlight on why this particular magistrate authorized the Tor hack, as he does not have the legal right to do so. Moreover, there are several different district judges housed in the same building as this magistrate.

This invalid search warrant results in most of the evidence in this case being thrown out. Considering how the FBI added malware to the Playpen site to infiltrate other computers, none of the information gathered during this attack can be used. For now, only one of the people arrested has pointed out this issue, but it is not unlikely others will follow suit.

It is not the first time the FBI is involved in a Tor breach. Just a few weeks ago, one judge ruled how the FBI and Carnegie Mellon University were in cahoots to breach the Silk Road marketplace, which eventually lead to the arrest of Ross Ulbricht. It is clear for everyone to see US law enforcement is taking a lot of liberties when it comes to cyber security and hacking, but their free reign might be coming to an end sooner rather than later.

What are your thoughts on the court throwing out this evidence? Will this lead to more thorough investigations as to how law enforcement gathers data? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Engadget

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, FBI

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FBI Used Invalid Warrant To Infect Tor Website With Malware

Dub 20

Law Enforcement Shuts Down Blackberry PGP Communication Network

Source: bitcoin


The war between law enforcement and encryption is far from over by the look of things. Yesterday afternoon, the Dutch police and government officials shut down a communication network using PGP encryption. According to the official statement, this system was used by criminals, although it remains to be seen whether or not his is the case.

Also read: Bitcoin Wallets of the Future: Secure Hardware Needed Sooner Than Later

PGP Network and Dedicated Encrypted Smartphones

With all of the recent focus on governments trying to break consumer encryption to prevent “terrorist attacks”, it only seems normal people are starting to take their privacy more seriously. This creates new business opportunities for companies as well, as one company – called Ennetcom –  located in Nijmegen, The Netherlands, started selling smartphones which supported PGP encryption for all communication.

Additionally, several new communication networks have been created based on PGP encryption, allowing users to communicate freely with each other. This has been a thorn in the eye of the Dutch government for quite some time now, as they strongly feel such platforms facilitate criminal activity. The smartphone company used their servers for this type of encrypted communication, keeping all information safe from prying government eyes.

However, it didn’t take all that long for law enforcement to dig deeper into these servers, and they have – allegedly – uncovered a substantial amount of information related to criminal activity. Moreover, law enforcement officials claim this PGP encryption service had over 19,000 registered users, all of whom have been notified regarding the pending police investigation.

To make matters even more enticing, the Ennetcom company owner – who sold these PGP encryption devices for up to 1,500 EUR each – has been arrested and money laundering claims have been made against him. At the time of writing, no further details were released to the public regarding these allegations.

What we do know is how the Dutch law enforcement collaborated with the Toronto Police to shut down this PGP-encrypted network. One of the servers was located in Canada and has been taken offline by Canadian officials. It appears these efforts were part of the ongoing “war’ against Blackberry users who keep their communication encrypted. Just last week, news broke how Canadian law enforcement agencies acquired a BlackBerry master key to decrypt ping-to-ping messaging.

What are your thoughts on these actions by law enforcement to shut down encrypted communication networks? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Tweakers (Dutch)

Images courtesy of Blackberry, Roger Wendell

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Law Enforcement Shuts Down Blackberry PGP Communication Network