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Author Topic: Gavin will visit the CIA  (Read 136443 times)
benjamindees
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April 28, 2011, 07:08:19 AM
 #101

Henceforth Bitcoin will be known as the Ace Investment Company.

Civil Liberty Through Complex Mathematics
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April 28, 2011, 07:18:36 AM
 #102

A lot of great comments, everyone.  I must say this news make me feel excited.  I dont know if this news is a good thing or a bad thing.  I dont know if this is the beginning of the end for bitcoin or if this marks the beginning of the widespread adoption of bitcoin.  I dont know if the government will squash bitcoin like a bug, or if the government might end up accepting bitcoin as legal tender and for payment of taxes.  I dont know if bitcoin will destroy the US or if bitcoin will "save" the US.  I do know that there are uncertainties and that I am proud to be alive at this historic time and part of the bitco community.  And I know that Gavin probably took great and difficult moral questioning and pragmatist thought in order to reach his difficult decision, and I thank Him (the great Satoshi) for providing Gavin with the guidance and knowledge, and lastly thank Gavin for being considerate for atleast giving us a "heads.up" and being forthright by informing us of his opportunity and decision.

A few quick comments:

1. The continued existence of TOR and its initial government funding proves that the government doesn't necessarily eliminate things which can partially be useful to them.

2. Governments will still be able to exist and tax its citizens even with universal adoption of bitcoin as the sole legal currency.  ever heard of property tax or head tax?

3. If bitcoin has some fatal flaw and if the government chooses to take action against bitcoin and succeds in destroying it, then that means that bitcoin is not good enough.  Survival of the fittest, and it fails.  Learn from mistakes and live on to try something better.

"We will not find a solution to political problems in cryptography, but we can win a major battle in the arms race and gain a new territory of freedom for several years.

Governments are good at cutting off the heads of a centrally controlled networks, but pure P2P networks are holding their own."
ploum
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April 28, 2011, 07:27:22 AM
 #103

PS: Full disclosure: I'll be paid a one-time fee of $3,000 to cover expenses and pay me for my time.  I don't want any "Gavin is on the CIA's payroll" rumors to get started, either...

I consider a free software successful when some people start paying others to work on it/work with it (aka Free Software consultancy). Linux, in that regard, is highly successful. My day job is also related to successful free softwares (GTK+, libreoffice, …).

For the record, this one seems to be the first paying contract for some bitcoin work. Which is really nice for the future of bitcoin :-)

Congratulations!

Blog posts about Bitcoin - 1KdRBbhjo72CqKTrFsQed6s9NMrvwvrUkq
grondilu
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April 28, 2011, 07:37:52 AM
 #104

A lot of great comments, everyone.  I must say this news make me feel excited.  I dont know if this news is a good thing or a bad thing.  I dont know if this is the beginning of the end for bitcoin or if this marks the beginning of the widespread adoption of bitcoin.  I dont know if the government will squash bitcoin like a bug, or if the government might end up accepting bitcoin as legal tender and for payment of taxes.  I dont know if bitcoin will destroy the US or if bitcoin will "save" the US.  I do know that there are uncertainties and that I am proud to be alive at this historic time and part of the bitcoin community.

This is a ridiculously emphatic comment, and yet I feel exactly the same.   Cheesy

Quote
2. Governments will still be able to exist and tax its citizens even with universal adoption of bitcoin as the sole legal currency.  ever heard of property tax or head tax?

True.  We should say that more often.

Quote
3. If bitcoin has some fatal flaw and if the government chooses to take action against bitcoin and succeds in destroying it, then that means that bitcoin is not good enough.  Survival of the fittest, and it fails.  Learn from mistakes and live on to try something better.

Sad, but also true.
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April 28, 2011, 07:52:26 AM
 #105

I may be in the minority here but aside from the potential publicity from this, I don't consider this too big a deal.

If the CIA wanted to stop Bitcoin, there would be no reason to tap Gavin. He has no control over third party clients. The CIA probably knows this and so they are probably just trying to gather information on Bitcoin.

That being said, there ultimately is no partnership to be made between Bitcoin and the U.S. government. Bitcoin is completely antithetical to the government operations of central banking and taxation. As it has been speculated previously in this thread, the CIA and other government agencies could use Bitcoin to send untraceable international remittances to agents. Therefore, while Bitcoin is relatively small, it could have uses for the government. However, the endgame is the end of taxation as we know it and central banks.

As it has been stated before, some forms of taxation could exist in a Bitcoin economy, but they wouldn't produce nearly as much revenue as the traditional tax system with paycheck withholding and the income tax. The cost of collecting taxes at current rates in a Bitcoin economy would skyrocket, making it futile.

The best outcome of this presentation will be increased publicity for Bitcoin and to allay the fears of the CIA and other government agencies to stall any direct attack on Bitcoin.

What's funny is that they clearly don't understand Bitcoin and it's decentralized nature. If they did, they wouldn't have contacted Gavin at all. They have a statist mindset brought about from being used to negotiating with some leader or ruler in power. It appears Gavin is the closest thing to a 'leader' of Bitcoin other than Satoshi. But in reality there is no one to negotiate with because anyone can write a new Bitcoin client and put it up for download.
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April 28, 2011, 08:00:55 AM
 #106

I must say I feel a lot of apprehension.  It is obviously great to see the interest in the Bitcoin reach the U.S. government.  But we must remember that Bitcoin represents empowerment of individuals and thereby a loss of control for governments.  We saw how easily Visa and Mastercard (and also PayPal) froze account for donations to Wikileaks at the request of the U.S. government.  (I should say that Wikileaks now accepts Bitcoin donations by the way).  So they would not be able to tax or freeze accounts linked to Islamic extremism, criminals or other undesireables.  Being able to pay people anonymously may also raise great concerns with them.

I don't mean to sound negative and of course I wish Gavin all the best at his presentation.  The publicity is an inherently positive factor for both you and Bitcoin, but I guess I am voicing some of the concerns that may be present there with you.
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April 28, 2011, 08:03:47 AM
 #107

Is there any chance that this be recorded?

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April 28, 2011, 08:06:36 AM
 #108

I must say I feel a lot of apprehension.  It is obviously great to see the interest in the Bitcoin reach the U.S. government.  But we must remember that Bitcoin represents empowerment of individuals and thereby a loss of control for governments.  We saw how easily Visa and Mastercard (and also PayPal) froze account for donations to Wikileaks at the request of the U.S. government.  (I should say that Wikileaks now accepts Bitcoin donations by the way).  So they would not be able to tax or freeze accounts linked to Islamic extremism, criminals or other undesireables.  Being able to pay people anonymously may also raise great concerns with them.

I don't mean to sound negative and of course I wish Gavin all the best at his presentation.  The publicity is an inherently positive factor for both you and Bitcoin, but I guess I am voicing some of the concerns that may be present there with you.

What?
em3rgentOrdr
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April 28, 2011, 08:16:47 AM
 #109

If Gavin starts his talk by pulling some paper money out of his pocket and burning it, that would be a real attention grabber and would wake up the conference attendees.  I can imagine audience would be very tired from sitting through a bunch of technical talks.


"We will not find a solution to political problems in cryptography, but we can win a major battle in the arms race and gain a new territory of freedom for several years.

Governments are good at cutting off the heads of a centrally controlled networks, but pure P2P networks are holding their own."
mpkomara
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April 28, 2011, 08:28:02 AM
 #110

two thoughts that haven't gotten too much attention on this thread.

1) Why do we think Gavin's talk will be available to the public?  It's the CIA, not TED.
2) If Bitcoin is decentralized, why do we look to Gavin as a leader? Shouldn't the whole project exist more like a headless mob?
The Script
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April 28, 2011, 08:37:10 AM
 #111

two thoughts that haven't gotten too much attention on this thread.

1) Why do we think Gavin's talk will be available to the public?  It's the CIA, not TED.
2) If Bitcoin is decentralized, why do we look to Gavin as a leader? Shouldn't the whole project exist more like a headless mob?

He's not the leader, he's a "prominent community member".   Smiley  I had this thought as well. 
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April 28, 2011, 08:40:07 AM
 #112

Why would we want additional people in the CIA to understand bitcoin?

Finally someone who shares my view about this!

Because we have nothing to hide?
I sense much of the community members mentality have some irrational extremist hate against the government. Any slight injustice is taken to the extreme and paranoia rules their logic.

Why would anyone ever feel hatred towards governments?
They only murdered (NOT including wars)  more than 150 Million people in the last century alone.

Including:

61,911,000 Murdered: The Soviet Gulag State
35,236,000 Murdered: The Communist Chinese Ant Hill
20,946,000 Murdered: The Nazi Genocide State
10,214,000 Murdered: The Depraved Nationalist Regime

I guess in your book, that is only a "slight injustice."

I for one,  want absolutely nothing to do with the CIA.
I wish they would stay far far away.




262 million, according to RJ Rummel:  http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/20TH.HTM

Additionally, governments survive off of what is commonly known as "taxes" but which is the same thing as "theft". 
em3rgentOrdr
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April 28, 2011, 08:40:49 AM
 #113

two thoughts that haven't gotten too much attention on this thread.

1) Why do we think Gavin's talk will be available to the public?  It's the CIA, not TED.
2) If Bitcoin is decentralized, why do we look to Gavin as a leader? Shouldn't the whole project exist more like a headless mob?

(1) Haven't you heard of President Obama's "open government" initiative?  That was a pillar of his winning campaing platform.  He's already setup the white house website to run on the open-source CMS known as drupal.  Maybe we as the bitcoin community can submit questions for re CIA conference people to answer on an open forum.  Obama's making government "work".  For re people.  Yay!  And the conference videos will be put on the CIA-TED YouTube channel.

(2) We don't and we shouldn't.  Gavin is not representing bitcoin bit is rather trying to help explain to out friends in the CIA how it works.

That reminds me:

FROM THIS POINT ON, WE SHOULD BE LESS TRUSTY OF GAVIN'S (or any other) CODE COMMITS TO THE BITCOIN CODE REPOSITORY.

"We will not find a solution to political problems in cryptography, but we can win a major battle in the arms race and gain a new territory of freedom for several years.

Governments are good at cutting off the heads of a centrally controlled networks, but pure P2P networks are holding their own."
Cdecker
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April 28, 2011, 08:57:10 AM
 #114

I actually welcome the CIA's initiative. It gives the Bitcoin community to explain its views directly to an interested public, that might have a lot to say when it comes to governmental ruling about it. The CIA doesn't make the rules it advises people who make them and execute them. Gavin having an intimate knowledge of the inner workings of the protocol and the community is a great choice for representative Smiley

Want to see what developers are chatting about? http://bitcoinstats.com/irc/bitcoin-dev/logs/
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grondilu
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April 28, 2011, 08:58:34 AM
 #115

FROM THIS POINT ON, WE SHOULD BE LESS TRUSTY OF GAVIN'S (or any other) CODE COMMITS TO THE BITCOIN CODE REPOSITORY.

I'm still running version 0.3.19 and I have never tried Gavin's version.   I'll wait a few more months.
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April 28, 2011, 09:51:29 AM
 #116

All the code that Gavin contributes to this project is completely open source and peer review-able.  If you are at all concerned about Gavin's code then just open up the source and check it yourself.  As long as you or someone you trust checks out and approves the source, and then you only use the program that is compiled from that source, then there is nothing to worry about.
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April 28, 2011, 09:59:54 AM
 #117

I am sorry Gavin is accepting Tax payer's money in order to do something like that.

If he accepts 3,000$ to give a presentation about bitcoin, what would he do for 300,000$ or 3,000,000$?  Would he accept a full time job as trying to find a way to destroy bitcoin?

Why do CIA need to have someone explain bitcoin in flesh and bone?   Can't they read Satoshi's white paper, source code and other information available on this forum?

I must say I am a bit disappointed by Gavin.  I hope he reconsiders.

From now on, I'll be even more suspicious about any source code Gavin will publish.

Excellent comment. I agree most with the source code statement because that is what happened to PGP under NAI in 2001. Published bitcoin code will require more rigorous review but that is always the case with open-source crypto code.

Even if Gavin reconsiders, someone else from the bitcoin community would step up and I think Gavin realized that. This is merely a show for the CIA to order in some Chinese carry-out and fill time to justify salaries. Trust me, the people that matter are already well aware of the Bitcoin Block Explorer and the vulnerabilities of the IRC network. They even have a separate division/fund that invests in startups. http://www.iqt.org/

Even while intelligence community may facilitate transfers with bitcoin, the true threats to the rest of mankind will come from the coordinated multi-government crackdown on the global exchanger network.  There are over 2,000 digital currency exchangers today in various legal jurisdictions around the world and it is fairly trivial for those exchangers to add bitcoin as an offered product. So, an invitation to present at the FBI/Treasury AML crowd will be the canary in the coalmine.

Founding Director, Bitcoin Foundation
I also cover the bitcoin economy for Forbes, American Banker, PaymentsSource, and CoinDesk.
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April 28, 2011, 10:08:06 AM
 #118

I don't get what the risks are?
The confirmation is that Bitcoin is being observed and tracked by the CIA.

Why is it such a disappointment for some that Gavin gets invited to speak?
Why should he not go, Grondilu and others?

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April 28, 2011, 10:08:28 AM
 #119

FROM THIS POINT ON, WE SHOULD BE LESS TRUSTY OF GAVIN'S (or any other) CODE COMMITS TO THE BITCOIN CODE REPOSITORY.

I'm still running version 0.3.19 and I have never tried Gavin's version.   I'll wait a few more months.

I also run that. Mainly because Im waiting till theres ubuntu repositories of the latest versions.


The CIA has its own investment vehicle called in-q-tel. http://www.iqt.org/about-iqt/history.html

It could be something to do with that.


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April 28, 2011, 10:13:24 AM
 #120

I am sorry Gavin is accepting Tax payer's money in order to do something like that.

If he accepts 3,000$ to give a presentation about bitcoin, what would he do for 300,000$ or 3,000,000$?  Would he accept a full time job as trying to find a way to destroy bitcoin?

Why do CIA need to have someone explain bitcoin in flesh and bone?   Can't they read Satoshi's white paper, source code and other information available on this forum?

I must say I am a bit disappointed by Gavin.  I hope he reconsiders.

From now on, I'll be even more suspicious about any source code Gavin will publish.

Excellent comment. I agree most with the source code statement because that is what happened to PGP under NAI in 2001. Published bitcoin code will require more rigorous review but that is always the case with open-source crypto code.

Even if Gavin reconsiders, someone else from the bitcoin community would step up and I think Gavin realized that. This is merely a show for the CIA to order in some Chinese carry-out and fill time to justify salaries. Trust me, the people that matter are already well aware of the Bitcoin Block Explorer and the vulnerabilities of the IRC network. They even have a separate division/fund that invests in startups. http://www.iqt.org/

Even while intelligence community may facilitate transfers with bitcoin, the true threats to the rest of mankind will come from the coordinated multi-government crackdown on the global exchanger network.  There are over 2,000 digital currency exchangers today in various legal jurisdictions around the world and it is fairly trivial for those exchangers to add bitcoin as an offered product. So, an invitation to present at the FBI/Treasury AML crowd will be the canary in the coalmine.



ah I just realised you posted that before I submitted my reply  Cheesy


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