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Author Topic: Freedom of Information Act Request on Bitcoin?  (Read 3377 times)
SuperP
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April 01, 2012, 01:57:49 AM
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In the United States, the Freedom of Information Act allows any US citizen to submit a request for information on a particular thing from the government.  As long as that information isn't classified, it will be sent to them.

I've searched for bitcoin using their partial search tool, and there were some things about that guy who tried to trademark bitcoin, a couple news articles, and a couple cybersecurity presentation slides.  This only searches information that must be proactively made public.  There is likely more information that is not on this list.

http://search.usa.gov/search?affiliate=foia.gov&locale=en&m=false&query=bitcoin

Along with the FBI, there are several other departments requests could be submitted to.

http://www.fbi.gov/foia/requesting-fbi-records
http://www.foia.gov/report-makerequest.html

I'd be interested to see if there were any results.  Up to a certain amount of pages is free, but then they charge per page.  I don't know what kind of information would come up.  Does anyone know if this worth starting a bounty on or even worth doing at all?
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drakahn
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April 01, 2012, 02:05:15 AM
 #2

BitCoin (digital anonymous currency often double spent) - lol

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SuperP
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April 01, 2012, 02:16:35 AM
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BitCoin (digital anonymous currency often double spent) - lol
lol indeed.  The other presentation seems to understand it better.
samadamsbeer
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July 13, 2012, 02:50:02 AM
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May be worth looking for related info on Satoshi Nakamoto or other topics....
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July 16, 2012, 12:46:09 AM
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It would be interesting to see what a FOIA request turns up, but it's not possible to use FOIA to request information on a living person other than yourself, so Satoshi's secrets are safe with the FBI.
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July 16, 2012, 01:07:44 AM
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In the United States, the Freedom of Information Act allows any US citizen to submit a request for information on a particular thing from the government.  As long as that information isn't classified, it will be sent to them.

I've searched for bitcoin using their partial search tool, and there were some things about that guy who tried to trademark bitcoin, a couple news articles, and a couple cybersecurity presentation slides.  This only searches information that must be proactively made public.  There is likely more information that is not on this list.

http://search.usa.gov/search?affiliate=foia.gov&locale=en&m=false&query=bitcoin

Along with the FBI, there are several other departments requests could be submitted to.

http://www.fbi.gov/foia/requesting-fbi-records
http://www.foia.gov/report-makerequest.html

I'd be interested to see if there were any results.  Up to a certain amount of pages is free, but then they charge per page.  I don't know what kind of information would come up.  Does anyone know if this worth starting a bounty on or even worth doing at all?

Send the requests.  If they ask for a fee, then ask for donations.  Otherwise, there is no way to know how much you will need to collect.

https://www.bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf
While no idea is perfect, some ideas are useful.
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samadamsbeer
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July 16, 2012, 03:10:45 PM
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It would be interesting to see what a FOIA request turns up, but it's not possible to use FOIA to request information on a living person other than yourself, so Satoshi's secrets are safe with the FBI.

Hmm, even if its just a pseudonym?
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July 16, 2012, 10:56:53 PM
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It would be interesting to see what a FOIA request turns up, but it's not possible to use FOIA to request information on a living person other than yourself, so Satoshi's secrets are safe with the FBI.

Hmm, even if its just a pseudonym?

They'll take any opportunity they can get to deny the existence of records or to avoid disclosure - and, frankly, in this case I think it's fair - after all, there is at least one underlying human, but we just don't know their name.

http://www.muckrock.com might be a good starting point for this project.

EDIT: Someone's already done it, see https://www.muckrock.com/foi/view/united-states-of-america/bitcoin-and-silk-road/1385/.
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July 17, 2012, 01:18:07 AM
 #9

I asked FINCEN about de-centralized virtual currencies a few weeks ago; here's what I got:
  http://dl.dropbox.com/u/38065353/FincenFOIA.pdf

Only the first page is interesting.  Reading between the lines, it looks like they're thinking about us.

How often do you get the chance to work on a potentially world-changing project?
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July 28, 2012, 09:54:36 PM
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I can do the FBI one if you want.  I'm actually kind-of curious, will do it later.
EDIT:
Just sent the email.

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July 28, 2012, 09:56:44 PM
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I asked FINCEN about de-centralized virtual currencies a few weeks ago; here's what I got:
  http://dl.dropbox.com/u/38065353/FincenFOIA.pdf

Only the first page is interesting.  Reading between the lines, it looks like they're thinking about us.

They're probably thinking about you more now that you put that on Dropbox.  Smiley

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August 06, 2012, 06:47:33 PM
 #12

An FOI request in the UK has been turned down for "reasons of national security". This means UK authorities neither confirm nor deny the existence of any records related to Bitcoin or the Silk Road.

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/119099/response/301544/attach/html/3/CR23081%20Response.pdf.html

Courtesy of Runa Sandvik (@runasand) on Twitter.
SuperP
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August 16, 2012, 11:00:30 PM
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Well... the FBI has something.
Quote
The FOIPA request is presently assigned to a Disclosure analyst who is reviewing the records to determine if any redactions are required pursuant to subsections of Title 5, U. S. Code, Section 552 and 552a. Upon completion, the responsive records will be forwarded to a supervisor for review. If approved, a release of responsive records will be made. However, the supervisor may send the records back for further review and/or corrections which may delay the release.
https://www.muckrock.com/foi/united-states-of-america-10/bitcoin-and-silk-road-1385/
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August 24, 2012, 02:06:18 PM
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I got the processing letter from the FBI yesterday.  Parents freaked out.

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August 24, 2012, 04:16:23 PM
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I got the processing letter from the FBI yesterday.  Parents freaked out.
lol

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SysRun
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August 24, 2012, 04:29:01 PM
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Are they charging a processing fee?

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August 24, 2012, 09:29:09 PM
 #17

I got the processing letter from the FBI yesterday.  Parents freaked out.

Haw!  "Dang it Mother, I told you he was up to no good down in that basement!"

Just kidding, plz keep up the great work.

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danieldaniel
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August 25, 2012, 09:53:56 PM
 #18

Are they charging a processing fee?
Not sure yet, they didn't mention it in the letter.  I'll make a dropbox with it in a sec.  Also going to make a separate thread, this one seems kind-of old.

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August 25, 2012, 10:08:29 PM
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http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=103276.0

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