The return of Preet Bharara and the men in black

Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara is back and more aggressive than ever and warned at an NYU event that there are “people who want to kill everyone in this room […] In addition to all these people who for legitimate privacy reasons that all in good faith want to keep their messaging private […] There are also people who want to bring buildings down. There are people who want to destroy America. And they will take advantage of these mechanisms for communication,” as he, for the first time, got involved in debate over encrypted messaging that he says benefits terrorists. Let’s remember his famous words: “Someone once asked me, ‘What’s your jurisdiction, again?’ I said, ‘Are you familiar with Earth?”, so we can certainly get ready for the worst in the oncoming months as everyone might be scrutinized as a potential terrorist.

The core of the argument of people such as the US Attorney is that terrorists, drug traffickers, child pornographers, rapists and even murderers use encryption. So they use the Internet, dollars, public transport, and surely some of them might pay taxes. So this so-called risk of criminal activity doesn’t justify a ban of encryption, as doesn’t justify a ban of the Internet, neither, a ban of the banking and financial system, of public transport, and definitely not a ban of taxation.

Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin said, “Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither.”

Encryption and anonymity are critical for protecting Internet users, and therefore, human beings in the digital age, allowing to preserve a safe, private space for free expression at a time when governments are expanding invasive surveillance worldwide. We cannot forget that to resist mass surveillance, is not merely a technical a battle, it’s also social, economic and political one. Encryption is the key to preserve and defend a free Internet, our greatest tool for emancipation. It aid us in stopping these governmental and corporate systems of violence and political oppression from growing. So instead of promoting a ban of encryption governments should promote the use of strong encryption and protect anonymous expression online.

In the other hand, the security offered by encryption is also vital for businesses that demand confidentiality in their information access or exchange. Data Protection Acts worldwide require all businesses holding data about individuals to take appropriate technical and organizational measures against unauthorized access to and use of that data, therefore, a ban of encryption is also a threat against the economies worldwide and ultimately against its central actors the consumers.

Last January, a California state legislator introduced a bill that would ban the retail sale of Smart-phones with that full-disk encryption feature—a security measure designed to ensure that no one can decrypt and read phone’s contents except its owner. The bill is the second piece of state-level legislation to propose that sort of smart-phone crypto ban, following a similar New York State assembly proposal that was first floated last year and re-introduced also in January. Both bills are intended to ensure that law enforcement can access the phones of criminals or victims when their devices are seized as evidence. Requiring that all smart-phones manufactured on or after January 1, 2017, and sold in California, to be capable of being decrypted and unlocked by its manufacturer or its operating system provider. If the bill passes both the Assembly and State Senate and is signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown, it would affect modern iOS and Android devices, which enable full-disk encryption that neither Apple nor Google can access.

Judging by these events, we can still hope and fight for the best but at the same time get ready for the worst, as the men in Black want all our communications in Red. Would you support legislation the required curtains be removed from all windows on all homes so that government officials could see inside your house to see that you are not performing illegal activities? Surly, even if you did support such a barbaric invasions of privacy in trade for a promise of added security, what you gain in false security, you would lose much more in natural freedom.

 


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On January 14th, Cryptsy made a blog post explaining it’s present situation and problems with the exchange. The posts states they finally want to let everyone know what these problems stem from. They were not because of any recent phishing attacks, or even a DDoS attack, nor does it have anything to do personal issues.

The post explains that a person claiming to want to resurrect an un-maintained coin, Lucky7Coin (L7C), contacted them over a year ago. The person, who does not appear to be the original developer, explained to Cryptsy that there was a change he made to Luck7Coin’s IRC code and claimed that it would help community members of the coin synchronize faster. Cryptsy was promised it contained no errors that would cause a fork of the coin. Apparently it contained something much worse than errors. Allegedly Cryptsy’s staff unknowingly installed a IRC backdoor when they upgraded to this new wallet code. In a similar fashion of a trojan, this malicious code allowed for the compromise of Cryptsy to the tune of 13,000 BTC and 300,000 LTC with the internal information it collected several months leading up to the actual thievery.

At this point, Cryptsy wanted to avoid shutting down the website as result of this compromise and subsequent disappearance of  about 7 million dollars worth of customer crypto assets. They began pulling their  profits in an attempt to fill these wallets back up, the post further states, and avoid complete shutdown. They also were pulling from it’s own reserves. This strategy of covering up the compromise did work until Cryptsy’s profits could not keep up with what might be a cover up of Cryptsy’s poor judgment to trust this person’s promise of “I’m responsible”.

When an article about Coinfire came out that contained many false accusations things began to crumble and a bank-run began. Cryptsy could not  keep up with founding the covered-up compromise. The good only promising thing is the stolen funds have not moved since they were taken which makes recovery, in the hopes of Cryptsy and it’s users, more probable or possible. Cryptsy has asked for the return of the stolen funds in the blog post and promising “no questions asked” if they are returned. A bounty of 1000 BTC has also been promised to anyone that can help locate the stolen funds.

In conclusion of the blog post, Cryptsy states it’s options as: “1. We shut down the website and file bankruptcy, letting users file claims via the bankruptcy process and letting the court make the disbursements. – OR – 2. Somebody else comes in to purchase and run Cryptsy while also making good on requested withdrawals. -OR- 3. If somehow we are able to re-acquire the stolen funds, then we allow all withdrawal requests to process.”

Surly the return of these funds would be great for Cryptsy, it’s users, and the industry. As more and more of these scandals emerge, public acceptance seems less and less of a possibility as the cloud of distrust grows darker and darker.  A colleague of mine here at NewsBTC USA just informed me: “They shut down the chat box just a little while ago … dying off to the rage of many with nothing but a gutless whisper!

Cryptsy’s original blog post can be read here: http://blog.cryptsy.com/

Troubling times and riled up masses are at cryptocurrency exchange, Cryptsy.com. The angry customers are circling, and it only takes a moment to see why! As of 9 pm MST on 1/12/2016, according to JShock (Cryptsy Admin) all withdrawals have been frozen. This was followed up with a series of notices by NerdLifeLabs (Crptsy moderator) that all withdrawals are paused for security reasons, and possible theft of both hot and cold storage of cryptocurrencies. At approximately 9:05 pm MST JShock stated in the chat box:

“NOTICE, UNTIL WE ARE ABLE TO DETERMINE EXTEND OF ATTACK, ALL WITHDRAWALS AND MARKETS ARE PAUSED”

Cryptsy hack
Cryptsy alleges security breach and freezes withdrawals and trading

Cryptsy alert

Following the announcement in the chat box, this notice has been posted recommending that all passwords, and 2FA are changed immediately. There has been notice that some users have been receiving an email and text (SMS) messages stating they should click on the link provided (https://cryptsy-refund.com/) to change their user information, which has been deemed a fraud and an attempt to steal user data.

Cryptsy has been having its share of problems lately, and this ‘alleged’ attack is only the next of a series of unfortunate events. There has been problems with receiving withdrawals of most of the coins and when questions concerning the delays, the following email has been the standard response.

One thing is for certain, there is a lot of fear and frustration concerning the future of Cryptsy and the cryptocoins of thousands of their customers. The chat box is filled with fear, anger and uncertainty.

Bitcoin has brought with it a plethora of new terminology. Not too long ago, when someone said “hash”, mathematics was not the first thought to enter most people’s minds.

The collapse of Mt. Gox in 2014 brought about the term “Gox’ed”. Millions of dollars’ worth of Bitcoin (not so?) magically disappearing and reappearing in “old wallets” enraged thousands of people.

Protection by bankruptcy filings, lack of a common definition of what type of asset Bitcoins were, and shear geological distance made the situation even more frustrating for people that had placed their life’s savings in the hands of the French born 30 year old Mr. Karpeles.

Some investors even went as far to fly to Japan to and protest the disappearance of their investment outside the office of Mark Karpeles and his, at one time the largest, Mt. Gox Bitcoin exchange.

It would appear now, to be Gox’ed means to be misled, spoofed, and flat out lied to and robbed in the fantastical way.

Some estimations place the missing Bitcoin from Mt. Gox as high as 7% of the total Bitcoins in existence. Hundreds of millions of dollars surly found its way somewhere and someone does know the answers to the question of “where did it all go?”

Finally an arrest was made and the glimmer of hope for answers is finally looming on the horizon.

The impact of the collapse of Mt. Gox was greater than just the tragic losses investors suffered. It, along with the numerous other alleged hacks, glitches, and unexplained “magic” events leaving common people holding the bag, has cast a great shadow of distrust onto the entire industry.

Events like this prosecution and forth coming sentencing are a great sight for honest people. I hope the term Gox’ed gets further defined as paying the price for an attempt of theft in such a grand scale.

Many honest people would like to see the “You got Gox’ed” phrase be re-coined to mean “justice, however long it takes, will be served.” In history, time has had a way of sifting out the evil doers.

Unfortunately, Japanese courts have now ruled against a man seeking compensation over lost Bitcoins, stating the digital currency cannot be owned.

The Tokyo District Court said Bitcoin was “not subject to ownership,” effectively dismissing the lawsuit seeking repayment.

Judge Masumi Kurachi ruled that Japanese law only allowed for proprietorship of tangible entities that occupy space and which allow for exclusive control.

As such, Bitcoin could not be owned. An example the judge gave was that transactions between users must involve a third party and therefore exclusive control over Bitcoins was not possible.

This could be what ultimately ends up being the case for the Mt Gox debacle if left to the Japanese courts to decide, so brace yourself because this may just be the price we pay to have freedom of controls in our financial systems.

Welcome to the “Wild, Wild West” of digital currency!!

Litecoin is often referred to as the silver to Bitcoin’s gold. It is one of the oldest and most successful digital currencies.

Litecoin had historically been second in market capitalization to Bitcoin and is still now third, behind Ripple.

Litecoin was released October 7, 2011 by Charles Lee, a former Google employee using the scrypt algorithm.

Legions of Litecoin hard-core miners, armed with their GPU mining rigs, will forever echo the litecoin battle cry and continue make the Litecoin network as secure as they possibly can.

In the past two weeks litecoin had nearly tripled in price, from $3 at the end of June to almost $9 ($8.65 more accurately) on July 10th.

Many speculations of why the price was soaring came to the surface from many sources, mining difficulty, forthcoming block reward halving, a Chinese influenced pump and dump, attacks on the bitcoin network all have been accredited to the relatively quickly soaring price.

Possible causes of the increase might be eliminated by what happened on July 10th when the price dropped, back to sub $4 prices on the same day it was nearing 200% growth.

The price dropping before the estimated Aug 25th 2015 block reward halving seems to be sufficient evidence that the block halving cannot be the cause of the price increase.The block reward halving may be fueling some demand certainly but, cannot be a the single explanation of recent upward movement.

Unlike the block reward halving, mining difficulty can never be projected. For that reason, mining difficulty and any reports suggesting mining difficulty, can surely be discredited as the explanation.

Speculation on the price increase stemming from a retraction coming from Bitcoin because of security concerns of the Bitcoin network can also be discredited given the price drop of Litecoin, so most likely Bitcoin did not reflect the price movements.

The price drop of July 10th, does offer some evidence of bulls in the market creating a pump and dump.

It may have garnered additional support coming from the anticipated block reward halving in the pump phase and that upward pressure from the block reward halving will continue.

The block reward halving means the same amount of electricity will yield half the number of coins.

Of course ignoring any mining difficulty changes and other unpredictable variables, the upcoming block reward halving is a definite signal of stronger demand and quite possibly what we are seeing is a premonition of things to come, in that light keep an eye on Litecoin in the coming days as this recent indecent could be a signal to venture back into the light.

In part one of this article, [email protected] network was explained and the ease in which you can contribute to scientific research, finding medical cures by simulation protein folding.

In part 2, FoldingCoin (FLDC) will be introduced…

FoldingCoin is a token reward for people contributing their extra computer power to the Stanford University School of Medicine’s [email protected] network.

If contributing to [email protected] one can earn FoldingCoin, anyone can contribute to [email protected] without receiving FoldingCoin if the reward of contributing is enough, however, one can also contribute and receive financial rewards in FoldingCoin as well.

One can also earn other coins in addition to FoldingCoin with merged folding, similar to merged mining giving the chance to increase the financial rewards.

FoldingCoin is built on the Counterparty platform so one will need a Counterwallet account to receive FoldingCoin rewards.

When you install the [email protected] client, one will want to include a Counterwallet wallet address and “Identity Name”. Don’t worry if  already started folding after reading part 1 of this 2 part series it is easy to change identity name to start receiving FoldingCoin.

The FoldingCoin payments are sent out by the FoldingCoin team and one might want to follow @FoldingCoin on Twitter to keep informed about payments and other FoldingCoin current events.

The FoldingCoin website has well written documentation and even videos to walk you through all the steps to get started.

The FoldingCoin development team and community is very active and has monthly video conference meetings you can join or watch on YouTube.

There is a faucet at (http://cherry.faucetfly.com/p/folding-coin-faucet) maintained by a FoldingCoin community member as well.

FoldingCoin developers have even made a FoldingCoin Market where one can buy FoldingCoin merchandise at http://shop.foldingcoin.net

FoldingCoin recently just celebrated its first birthday and is trading at Bittrex, Poloniex, and Master eXchange at just above 30 Satoshi’s at the time of this writing. The well-organized development team looks to drive the project and the coin’s value further in the coming years.

If looking to earn a profit while being a part of [email protected] and all the wonderful things the project is achieving, you have found it. FoldingCoin provides incentive to mine for medical cures with a way to take part in freeing the world of some of the most infamous and devastating diseases. Get started today!

[email protected] is a long running project launched in 2000 by Stanford University which allows anyone with spare CPU or GPU cycles to simulate protein folding. “Fold” is the process by which proteins assemble themselves.

If scientist can better understand folding through simulations they can design better therapies and drugs for many illnesses. “Protein Folding” is the process by which a protein structure assumes its functional shape or conformation. It is the physical process by which a polypeptide folds into its characteristic and functional three-dimensional structure from random coil.

Without getting complicated, protein folding simulations require an enormous number of calculations, so many that in fact every drop of calculating power helps. With any desktop, laptop, and even some phones (Android 4.4+) can pitch in by downloading the [email protected] software and running it. “In just 5 minutes you can add your computer to over 145,000 others around the world outputting 33,000 teraflops of computing power to form the world’s largest distributed supercomputer”

The [email protected] software is extremely easy to use. Not like most complicated mining software used to mine cryptocurrencies. You will not need to know any technical specifications of your computer or tinker with intensity, frequencies, or voltages. It even has an attractive web interface so, chances are, if you made it to this article, you will have no problem getting your computer to contribute.

You can easily decide how much power you want to devote to folding. You will be able to read email, surf web pages, or balance your check book because, folding runs in the background as a low priority process however, if you are wanting to watch a movie or play a graphic intense video game on your computer, you can turn folding to low power consumption or pause it completely at any time.

Additionally, If you mine for other cryptocurrency you can still run folding simulations at the same time. The impact on a scrypt mining rig is minimal and less than a 10% reduction of hashing speed.

You can even pick which protein folding simulations your computer will run. So your computer could be specifically helping Alzheimer’s, Cancer, Huntington’s, Parkinson’s, or just allow [email protected] to apply your spare computing power to running simulations for the disease it sees fit.

For example, you could help find a cure for your grandmother’s Alzheimer’s disease at full power while you sleep and help find a cure for cancer at low power while you do your computing tasks during the day.

The software can even operate only when your computer is idle, much like a screensaver, if you do not care to switch manually. Anyway you choose to do it, you can be helping improve lives.

In part two of this article, I will discuss with you FoldingCoin [FLDC], the token you can earn while contributing to [email protected]