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Author Topic: 2012-09-12 forbes.com - Key Disclosure Laws Can Be Used To Confiscate Bitcoin As  (Read 4392 times)
Rygon
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September 14, 2012, 01:13:40 PM
 #21


"Civil forfeiture laws represent one of the most serious assaults on private property rights in the nation today. Under civil forfeiture, police and prosecutors can seize your car or other property, sell it and use the proceeds to fund agency budgets--all without so much as charging you with a crime. Unlike criminal forfeiture, where property is taken after its owner has been found guilty in a court of law, with civil forfeiture, owners need not be charged with a crime let alone be convicted to lose homes, cars, cash or other property."

http://www.forbes.com/2011/06/08/property-civil-forfeiture.html

Fascinating. I had no idea it was that bad. At least it'll be interesting when police officers try to figure out how to confiscate bitcoin and use it. All the more reason to hold BTC in cold storage after sending them through a mixing service. And never to admit any access to coins. Ever.
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September 14, 2012, 01:21:07 PM
 #22


"Civil forfeiture laws represent one of the most serious assaults on private property rights in the nation today. Under civil forfeiture, police and prosecutors can seize your car or other property, sell it and use the proceeds to fund agency budgets--all without so much as charging you with a crime. Unlike criminal forfeiture, where property is taken after its owner has been found guilty in a court of law, with civil forfeiture, owners need not be charged with a crime let alone be convicted to lose homes, cars, cash or other property."

http://www.forbes.com/2011/06/08/property-civil-forfeiture.html

Fascinating. I had no idea it was that bad. At least it'll be interesting when police officers try to figure out how to confiscate bitcoin and use it. All the more reason to hold BTC in cold storage after sending them through a mixing service. And never to admit any access to coins. Ever.
I presume this to be about owning property or assets created, stolen, or obtained illegally.

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September 14, 2012, 02:40:13 PM
 #23

I presume this to be about owning property or assets created, stolen, or obtained illegally.

There are asset forfeiture cases in Califnornia where the federal government says selling medical marijuana for profit is illegal while California says selling medical marijuana is not illegal.  None have gone through but the threat from the Fed is enough for most people to capitulate.

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September 14, 2012, 02:47:02 PM
 #24

I presume this to be about owning property or assets created, stolen, or obtained illegally.
Not exactly. At least in the US, civil forfeiture is about police having the power to seize assets that they claim were stolen or obtained illegally without actually having to prove that any crime was ever committed at all. There were already criminal forfeiture procedures which allowed the police to seize assets from convicted criminals - they didn't need civil forfeiture for that! In fact, due to a nifty abuse of the law targets often don't actually have the right to defend themselves in civil forfeiture cases at all because often it's not them being sued, it's their property; a much easier case to win since property cannot hire or instruct lawyers.

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September 14, 2012, 03:05:19 PM
 #25

Quote
Another legal strategy to complicate matters could be to split the passphrase with another person and claim that you are never in possession of the entire real passphrase. Then, at least there would be “plausible deniability” as to who provided the invalid portion of the passphrase or you would have a cellmate if held in contempt.

Great gem in the last paragraph. This reminds me of the old anecdote about the six bodyguards who dogpile a guy and shoot him in a public place.  They are all carrying identical, recently fired weapons. In the aftermath, none of them speaks a word. All have plausible deniability.

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September 14, 2012, 07:59:17 PM
 #26

Maybe it's just me, but I'm not really clear about how a situation could arise where the court would demand for the private key to a bitcoin wallet. If the crime was receiving money for some illegal activity, all they would have to do is prove that someone had the private key to the public address. They would have to know something linking you to the public key in the first place to charge you with a crime.  Your financial transaction history would be on the block chain, hence, public. I'm not a lawyer, so perhaps I just don't get it.

I could see a potential situation where someone is ordered by the court to pay back taxes or alimony, and it comes up that the defendent has the private key to a 100K BTC wallet. A divorce case might perhaps, but it would be easy for the defendent to move the BTC around and claim that they lost it all on Satoshi dice or something.

I can see a situation where a court of law would demand the private key or keys to a bitcoin wallet. Hint: pirateat40.

Concerned that blockchain bloat will lead to centralization? Storing less than 4 GB of data once required the budget of a superpower and a warehouse full of punched cards. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/87/IBM_card_storage.NARA.jpg https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punched_card
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