I'm interested in setting up a pool that will pay out bounties to those who find and publicly reveal the offline identities of scammers and thieves. One of our community members recently lost over 1,000 BTC to a hacker. Fortunately this person seems easy to track down, but what if they hadn't been? Since the legal status of bitcoins is still open in every jurisdiction in the world, it is entirely possible at the moment that you can have your life savings stolen with no recourse available. I'd like to do something to remedy that situation.
Contributing to this pool will be an act of charity, in the sense that bounties will be offered on behalf of victims regardless of whether they have contributed. But contributing will still be beneficial to you if you're interested in the growth of our small community. Making life difficult for thieves will keep many of them away altogether, as well as easing the minds of people nervous about trading in such an "unofficial" currency. Businesses will enter more readily, trade will be faster, and more people will be willing to invest. Your contributions can be seen as an investment in the security of the bitcoin-based economy.
There are two major questions I have. One is how to determine policies on things like how to set bounties, when to offer them, and when to pay them. I could just declare that I'll figure that out myself, but then I'm basically saying "Give me your money and I'll decide what to do with it." I think a better idea would be to create a tradeable entity on Nefario's exchange, with one share. (Not exactly a corporation, as it will have no fiduciary duty to shareholders and probably won't pay dividends.) Then we'll leave it to shareholders to elect folks for the actual work.
The other question is legality. Could this be construed as vigilantism? I'd assume it's okay as long as we require bounty hunters to provide some assurance that they haven't violated any laws to obtain their information, but this will probably vary by jurisdiction. (I should note that I actually do expect them to stay within the law---I don't want people breaking the systems of innocent third parties to invade their privacy, even if it's in a good cause.) We may need to hire a lawyer or twenty to make sure we're in the clear.
At the moment I'm not looking for donations, just statements of interest. If you feel you're interested in contributing to such a thing, whether by donating or buying stock or collecting bounties or helping me write a charter, please say so.