Could someone who thinks that Mt. Gox cooperating with authorities is bad please tell me this:
How is a centralized, incorporated exchange supposed to exist if it is to be expected to break laws? Businesses that act like they are immune to subpoenas and warrants don't last long and aren't good places to keep your money. Although located in Japan, they do substantial business in the US, and so could be compelled to cooperate. The US likely couldn't close them down, but they sure could make getting money into or out of Mt. Gox difficult. Besides, you can bet your ass that your bank in the US would gladly voluntarily hand over information on suspicious transactions, unrequested, to authorities and would also give records of non-suspicious transactions involving Dwolla or Mt. Gox if those were properly requested.
MagicalTux said this: "As a company handling Bitcoins, it is not our intention of doing anything illegal. We sent a letter to the Drug Enforcement Administration to address this issue."
They need to keep within applicable laws. You all know that. So, why did you send money to them to buy bitcoins in order to buy drugs if you knew that; 1) either they were planning on existing uncooperatively and illegally or; 2) they would be required to turn over your info if legally requested? The former, giving your money to an illegal enterprise, is just plain stupid. The latter is just ignorant.
Now, I don't buy the claim that cooperation with US agencies means voluntary or unchallenged submission of user information. That would be a hilariously bad move opening the company up to all kinds of liability. At worst, they might be required to alert authorities about suspicious transactions, just like any bank or exchange. But since this is bitcoin, it's a grey area on whether they would even need to do that. However, aside from hacked accounts and fraudulent money transfers, please tell me how, praytell, are they supposed to tell that you bought drugs and thus mark your Mt. Gox account as suspicious?
Even though bitcoins are easily trackable, in order to do this, Mt. Gox would need to be privy to information about specific Silk Road-associated bitcoin addresses. They aren't. If anyone is, it's federal agencies.
It logically follows then that Mt. Gox won't be giving any user info that the DEA couldn't already specifically request. The info that is requested properly, well, they don't have a choice but to comply with certain laws or they would not last long as business (or out of jail).
On the bitcoin show the other night, the Mt. Gox guys stated that cooperation meant that the FBI, DEA or whatever would need to make inquiries through the Japanese government. This is different from handing over user info willy nilly and unrequested by the DEA.
(Edit: Okay I just watched the video and found that part here
. The dude even said "willy nilly" as well. If you don't want to watch, they said that they will run requests through their lawyers and comply if legally obligated to. That's pretty much the best possibly thing they could be expected to do.)
Now, the criminal matter of the hack and the FBI, that's a different matter and I don't think I know enough to be able to make an argument one way or another except to say that not reporting the crime would be a massive error and potentially would hurt them from being able to find the hacker, reclaim stolen funds, or have as strong a case in court. And that's not just regarding the improbable court case against the hacker, but in defending against conspiracy theorists with lawyers (e.g "If you rolled back trades because of this crime, why didn't you report it?")
I just wanted to add that, while it seems like I'm defending them, I really don't fucking want Mt. Gox to send any of my data to any government agency whatsoever, and they darn well should challenge every subpoena.