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theymos
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November 05, 2012, 05:52:44 PM
 #1

I was thinking of releasing all PMs sent to and from pirateat40 to BCB, under the condition that BCB sign a non-disclosure agreement so that innocent third-parties don't end up being hurt. What do you think of this?

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November 05, 2012, 05:54:38 PM
 #2

What's the point if it is under an NDA?

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November 05, 2012, 05:59:39 PM
 #3

What's the point if it is under an NDA?

He'd be able to ask me whether he can release some of the info.

I would prefer to go through the PMs myself and make public any info that would be useful in locating pirateat40, but there are thousands of PMs and I don't have time. BCB volunteered to look through them for me.

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November 05, 2012, 06:01:52 PM
 #4

Who is BCB, though? To be fair, if someone doesn't have government authority behind them, you should release them to any party interested, or your detractors are going to have a field day with this one. I mean, just be careful of the precedent you're setting here, are you prepared to offer similar treatment for future scammers? How about past scammers? If so, I'd love to see Homeless Jackie's PMs... And while I wouldn't care to see them, what about bulanula's? I guess I'm saying whatever you decide, make sure it's a consistent application.

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November 05, 2012, 06:13:57 PM
 #5

Who is BCB, though? To be fair, if someone doesn't have government authority behind them, you should release them to any party interested, or your detractors are going to have a field day with this one. I mean, just be careful of the precedent you're setting here, are you prepared to offer similar treatment for future scammers? How about past scammers? If so, I'd love to see Homeless Jackie's PMs... And while I wouldn't care to see them, what about bulanula's? I guess I'm saying whatever you decide, make sure it's a consistent application.

I would prefer to release the PMs to police instead, but they're apparently not interested since they haven't contacted me yet.

In most cases I would release the PMs of 100% proven scammers to police (proven at the same level as what I require for IP release, not the level for scammer tags). This was such a large scam that I'd like to help the investigation proceed even without police interest.

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November 05, 2012, 06:25:15 PM
 #6

Hasn't the SEC taken an interest in this?  Why not just give it to them?

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November 05, 2012, 06:30:12 PM
 #7

Hasn't the SEC taken an interest in this?  Why not just give it to them?

- I've not been contacted by the SEC.
- I'm not sure that they would use the info to actually find pirateat40.
- They might use the info to prosecute innocent people for violating stupid securities laws.

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November 05, 2012, 07:18:46 PM
Last edit: November 05, 2012, 07:37:21 PM by OgNasty
 #8

I would prefer to go through the PMs myself and make public any info that would be useful in locating pirateat40, but there are thousands of PMs and I don't have time. BCB volunteered to look through them for me.

I don't like the idea of these PMs being released to a random community member.  Perhaps you could put up an address to pay for your time and the community could donate so that you can look through them yourself instead of a 3rd party?


- They might use the info to prosecute innocent people for violating stupid securities laws.

This.

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November 05, 2012, 07:28:53 PM
Last edit: November 05, 2012, 08:34:09 PM by ElectricMucus
 #9

I suggest you use them as evidence to file a police report instead.

Depending on the jurisdiction  and it's interpretation it might even be your obligation to do so. At least it would be considered the right etiquette.

 
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November 05, 2012, 07:59:34 PM
 #10

Why give it to BCB? Either release it publicly or not at all.

If you have reservations about releasing the PM logs publicly, then you should have the same reservations for releasing them to a third party.
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November 05, 2012, 08:03:42 PM
 #11

I'd be careful doing this.  Even though technologically savvy people know that PMs sent through a forum such as this are not private, PM is an acronym for "private message".  

Police with a search warrant = yes, without a doubt give them to them.  

Police with no search warrant = tell them to please go get a warrant, you'll help them with info they need to get a warrant, and then you'll turn it all over to them.  

SEC = I'd be nervous about unintended consequences giving them to the SEC.  Absolutely, make them get a subpoena from a court ordering you to turn those over.  

Random person = you're setting yourself up for trouble if you hand them over.  

  


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November 05, 2012, 08:25:40 PM
 #12


- I've not been contacted by the SEC.
- I'm not sure that they would use the info to actually find pirateat40.
- They might use the info to prosecute innocent people for violating stupid securities laws.

You'd have exactly the same potential issues with law enforcement.  This isn't the kind of crime which gets investigated by a county police department.  

People likely have violated securities laws.  And tax laws.  And probably a few other laws as well.  And many have likely done so knowingly.  The minute someone goes through those PMs and picks and chooses which PMs to pass on to investigators they're imposing their own bias about who is "innocent" and making themselves complicit in shielding those people.

There can be no effective investigation of pirate - whether by regulators or by law enforcement - without the role others played in his fraud coming under scrutiny.  If the PMs are to be released, they need to be released directly to investigators.  They're not going to have any evidentiary value anyway if they don't come from an original source who can verify that they're unedited and provide all the logging information needed to establish the identities of those involved in the communications.

One thing you need to consider, theymos, is whether you're willing to give testimony in respect of the PMs.  There is little point in releasing them if you're not because their authenticity could be called into question.  You also need to consider the possibility that investigators might wish to image the entire forum database if the PMs are to be used as evidence.

There is nothing stopping those who are talking to the SEC from advising Phil Moustakis that further evidence of pirate's activities can be found in PMs sent through this forum and in IRC logs.  There is nothing stopping those people from forwarding their own PMs related to their "investment" in pirate to Phil Moustakis.




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November 05, 2012, 08:52:20 PM
 #13

- They might use the info to prosecute innocent people for violating stupid securities laws.

release them to wikileaks or openleaks or whatever there is that has the manpower to anonymise the PMs to the point where the likelyhood of someone other than pirate gettin hurt is minimized.

half-jokingly, but this would actually be prudent to somehow achieve. Then you could release it publicly.

I'm not in the pirate PMs, but if I was I would probably not be happy about a release of the PMs to some forum member I barely even talked to, let alone to the public.


PGP key molecular F9B70769 fingerprint 9CDD C0D3 20F8 279F 6BE0  3F39 FC49 2362 F9B7 0769
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November 05, 2012, 09:08:49 PM
 #14

People likely have violated securities laws.  And tax laws.  And probably a few other laws as well.  And many have likely done so knowingly.  The minute someone goes through those PMs and picks and chooses which PMs to pass on to investigators they're imposing their own bias about who is "innocent" and making themselves complicit in shielding those people.

This happens all the time and is known as redaction.

I'm not saying handing the PM's to anybody is or is not a good idea, but if Theymos determines it is a good idea, then redacting anything he pleases is entirely appropriate.  The most honest way to redact is with black strokes (e.g. print everything, redact with a fat black marker, and scan it back in using 1-bit color, all pixels must be either black or white).  This eliminates the risk of leaking through hidden but recoverable text (like the recent TSA redaction fail) and also makes clear what's missing, so one needing to uncover something knows what to ask for.

That said, I'm not promoting the release or non-release of the information to anybody - my "why not the SEC" was simply a curiosity question and I agree with many of the concerns and viewpoints expressed in the thread.

Companies claiming they got hacked and lost your coins sounds like fraud so perfect it could be called fashionable.  I never believe them.  If I ever experience the misfortune of a real intrusion, I declare I have been honest about the way I have managed the keys in Casascius Coins.  I maintain no ability to recover or reproduce the keys, not even under limitless duress or total intrusion.  Remember that trusting strangers with your coins without any recourse is, as a matter of principle, not a best practice.  Don't keep coins online. Use paper or hardware wallets instead.
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November 05, 2012, 09:24:22 PM
 #15

release them to wikileaks or openleaks or whatever there is that has the manpower to anonymise the PMs to the point where the likelyhood of someone other than pirate gettin hurt is minimized.

half-jokingly, but this would actually be prudent to somehow achieve. Then you could release it publicly.

I'm not in the pirate PMs, but if I was I would probably not be happy about a release of the PMs to some forum member I barely even talked to, let alone to the public.

I guess the burning question is what is the objective of releasing the PMs.  It's not as though pirate is likely to be shamed or embarrassed by their release, so how is the public release of the PMs going to "hurt" pirate in any way?  If the PMs provide evidence that would be useful in an investigation, then investigators need access to unsanitised versions.

I'm as curious as anyone else about what pirate was saying privately, but it very much matters to whom he was saying stuff and what they were saying in response.  pirate's PMs may well provide evidence of others being knowingly complicit in his fraud.  

Quote
This happens all the time and is known as redaction.

I absolutely agree that the PMs can be released in redacted form.  My question remains what is the purpose of releasing them and how you eliminate bias form the redaction process.

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November 05, 2012, 09:32:26 PM
 #16

I absolutely agree that the PMs can be released in redacted form.  My question remains what is the purpose of releasing them and how you eliminate bias form the redaction process.

I have no idea what it would achieve. In Theymos' shoes I probably wouldn't release them to anyone but authorities I'm obligated to give them to.


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November 05, 2012, 10:03:41 PM
 #17

I absolutely agree that the PMs can be released in redacted form.  My question remains what is the purpose of releasing them and how you eliminate bias form the redaction process.

I have no idea what it would achieve. In Theymos' shoes I probably wouldn't release them to anyone but authorities I'm obligated to give them to.



You can't get in trouble doing that.  That's always my recommended course of action. 

Charlie Kelly: I'm pleading the 5th.  The Attorney: I would advise you do that.  Charlie Kelly: I'll take that advice under cooperation, alright? Now, let's say you and I go toe-to-toe on bird law and see who comes out the victor?  The Attorney: You know, I don't think I'm going to do anything close to that and I can clearly see you know nothing about the law.
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November 05, 2012, 10:10:01 PM
 #18

One way to generalize this would be to let anyone who can reasonably show that they've put a large effort into the investigation of Pirate, and are reasonably trusted, have access to the PMs under a NDA. And of course, the other way of doing it would be to have the Bitcointalk.org staff go through it and redact stuff, then post it publicly.

Hopefully, there will be something in there that will interest the authorities to ask for the messages directly. If they end up needing the full database, I can testify what the sha-256 hash of each encrypted database was on each day since about February 17th, although most of my backups have been long since pruned.

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November 05, 2012, 10:14:22 PM
 #19

One way to generalize this would be to let anyone who can reasonably show that they've put a large effort into the investigation of Pirate, and are reasonably trusted, have access to the PMs under a NDA.

I'd trust Bruno with 'em.

...I might be alone in that, though.

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November 05, 2012, 10:18:43 PM
 #20

- They might use the info to prosecute innocent people for violating stupid securities laws.

release them to wikileaks or openleaks or whatever there is that has the manpower to anonymise the PMs to the point where the likelyhood of someone other than pirate gettin hurt is minimized.

half-jokingly, but this would actually be prudent to somehow achieve. Then you could release it publicly.

I'm not in the pirate PMs, but if I was I would probably not be happy about a release of the PMs to some forum member I barely even talked to, let alone to the public.



cryptome.org might be better.

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