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Author Topic: Bitcoin FBI Report April 2012  (Read 12947 times)
Stephen Gornick
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May 08, 2012, 10:38:08 AM
 #21

The PDF of the report is available from this thread on another forum -- a straight download (click the link: Download in pdf format).
 - http://www.bitcointrading.com/forum/index.php?topic=525.0

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Raoul Duke
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May 08, 2012, 11:09:09 AM
 #22

Quote
You Must be Logged in to Download a Document

Use your Facebook login and see what your friends are reading and sharing.

 = fail!

As for the content of that doc, it actually seems kind-of bearish for Bitcoin. I tried really hard, but couldn't find any errors for them to fix. Smiley

I'm sorry, MNW, this damning report seems pretty legit to me.

I find it funny how he even confused reports that the FBI publishes to the general public with Unclassified/For Official Use Only reports...

Matthew N. Wright
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May 08, 2012, 11:10:28 AM
 #23

Anyone with a level head would read this and notice the glaring lack of research and round-about way it talks about bitcoin using explanations only bitcoiners use. It screams fake. Everything down to the style it's made in. The very fact that a document in 2008 looked similiar should be proof enough considering the FBI doesn't keep the same style of letterheads for 4 years.

Look at how they talk about Silk Road research. Look at how it sounds like a fanboy masturbating to himself while he pretends to be a cop. FBI doesn't talk like this. FBI doesn't care. If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say it's an elaborate troll to present some kind of legitimacy of Bitcoin so that the price changes.

There are no sources for this document, no trail, etc. It is not recognized by anyone other than a dude on a forum someplace? Give me a break. Have the person who actually retrieved this file swear an affidavit and we'll protect them through freedom of the press laws in the UK. Anything else is just a bunch of nonsense and I'm disappointed to see such a large group of people falling for it. I thought you guys were smarter than this.

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May 08, 2012, 11:22:55 AM
 #24

...
The very fact that a document in 2008 looked similiar should be proof enough considering the FBI doesn't keep the same style of letterheads for 4 years.
...

Sure they do.
From 2004:  http://wlstorage.net/file/fbi-ecoterrorism-tactics-2004.pdf
(http://wikileaks.org/wiki/FBI:_Tactics_Used_by_Eco-Terrorists_to_Detect_and_Thwart_Law_Enforcement_Operations,_15_Apr_2004 )


Healthy skepticism is warranted - you're right that the April 2012 document is currently lacking any other source to back it up.
Your skepticism is a little too strident however.



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May 08, 2012, 11:44:01 AM
 #25

Quote from: julz link=topic=80114.msg888025#msg888025
Your skepticism is a little too strident however.


+1 He sounds very afraid, I wonder why?

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May 08, 2012, 11:56:53 AM
 #26

I'd be surprised if this type of document did not exist.

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May 08, 2012, 11:58:48 AM
 #27

I do however find the 'bitcoinadvertisers.com' in the metadata of the scribd posting suspicious.

Matthew is right to point this out.

OP - care to clarify?  

edit: It's not clear to me whether this indicates anything to do with who posted the doc to scribd - or if it's just scribd software matching keywords to post the bitcoinadvertisers.com ad in the sidebar.
edit2: oh.. though it seems 'tradebitcoin' uploaded the doc.  Well that is pretty sus.

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May 08, 2012, 12:06:42 PM
 #28

The bitcoin logo on the front is strange as well.  With all the time put into research why would they take the time to include some unnecessary picture on the front.

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May 08, 2012, 12:11:03 PM
 #29

The bitcoin logo on the front is strange as well.  With all the time put into research why would they take the time to include some unnecessary picture on the front.

Maybe they need to do something to keep their job interesting?  I'm sure all the white covers get boring after time, so a cool picture might impress their boss?

I'm still on the fence on whether it's fake or not (haven't read it yet)...

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Matthew N. Wright
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May 08, 2012, 12:11:58 PM
 #30

Anyone with a level head would read this and notice the glaring lack of research and round-about way it talks about bitcoin using explanations only bitcoiners use. It screams fake.
Exactly! It's the 21st century. They totally release a fake fake document to "crowd-source" their research. Cheesy

Lol +1

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May 08, 2012, 12:31:10 PM
 #31

Quote from: julz link=topic=80114.msg888025#msg888025
Your skepticism is a little too strident however.


+1 He sounds very afraid, I wonder why?

Because he wanted a signed affidavit from the leaker to make himself feel important because he would protect him under the freedom of the press laws for unpublished magazines on the UK... Roll Eyes

Or he's just mad because being a magazine(?) editor he should be the one to score the scoops, yet he has none to show on his magazine(?) even after 5 months of publishing delay

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May 08, 2012, 12:59:44 PM
 #32

Nice find and I agree although not 100% certain it probably is legit.   The language, tone, and structure is consistent with govt bureaucratic reports.  I read enough of those working for the DOD.  So either it a very comprehensive and yet at the same time pointless troll (what is the point? there is no alarmist rhetoric or call to action) or it is a legit leak.  As for a leak being impossible?   Um has nobody heard of wikileaks?  None of those docs were intended for public release.  Maybe it was an act of civil disobediance by a FBI analyst who also sees the value in Bitcoin?  Also don't count out a counter-insurgency type move.  The leak could be intentional by the FBI.  A way to point out to potential investors and businesses that Bitcoin is on the FBI radar to keep it marginalized.

One thing that sucks is that it is an image scrape.   Anyone really good with OCR?  I would be willing to put some coins towards a bounty to convert the doc into machine readable format (txt or otherwise).    It would be a tricky conversion (the low res blurred image doesn't help) so it may not be possible but maybe we got some OCR wizards.
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May 08, 2012, 01:29:21 PM
 #33

I have read enough (U//FOUO) documents in my time, and this one fits right in.  The tone, the balance, and the constant declaration of "confidence" in a given statement is consistent with legitimate reports.  The crappy resolution is completely irrelevant, as the document was probably scanned or modified in some way to hide any information that could trace it back to the person who leaked it.

I'm impressed with the balance of the report.  I'm disappointed it doesn't mention any more about the legitimate uses of Bitcoin, but it is an organization devoted to fighting crime.  I can forgive them for that...

By the way, do you really think a troll would spend the time creating 4 pages of endnotes?    Plus, there's nothing really groundbreaking or sensational in the report that would justify spending weeks putting this together as a sham.  It's too boring to be a troll...

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May 08, 2012, 01:36:36 PM
 #34

It's too boring to be a troll...

This (or the boring-est troll in the history of the intertubes)
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May 08, 2012, 01:38:08 PM
 #35

It's too boring to be a troll...

This (or the boring-est troll in the history of the intertubes)
I like the survey at the end. It seems to be scraped from a webpage accessible by run-of-the-mill LEO.

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Gerald Davis


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May 08, 2012, 01:40:03 PM
 #36

It's too boring to be a troll...

This (or the boring-est troll in the history of the intertubes)
I like the survey at the end. It seems to be scraped from a webpage accessible by run-of-the-mill LEO.

That troll pwned you with the fake survey at the end.  The extra hour that took was SOOOO worth it. 
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May 08, 2012, 01:55:02 PM
 #37

One thing that sucks is that it is an image scrape.   Anyone really good with OCR?  I would be willing to put some coins towards a bounty to convert the doc into machine readable format (txt or otherwise).    It would be a tricky conversion (the low res blurred image doesn't help) so it may not be possible but maybe we got some OCR wizards.

I was already working on this when I saw you post this, because I started to try to read it and my eyeballs started bleeding.

Unfortunately, I think any OCR program is going to struggle hard with this blurry low-res text.  Here's the best my meager offering could come up with.  Is this any better?   Roll Eyes  Here's a sample of the first page:

-------------------------

(U) ExecutlveSununary

{U/IFOUO) Bitooin-a det:enJra/ized, 1 peer-to-peer {P2P) network-􀄎d t•irfllill currencypro\'
ides a venue for indi \'idual􀁤 to generate, transfer, launder, and steal illicit funds with some
anony1nity. Bitooin offers rnany of the sarne challenges associated with other \'irtual currencies,
such as Wehr\•loney, and adds unique complexit ies for investigators because of iL� decemrali7..ed
nature.
{U/IFOUO) The FBI a􀁥sesses with nlt!diUin confidence1 that, in the near tenn, cyber cri•ninals
will treat Bitooin a􀁥 another p.ay1nem option alongside 1nore traditional and established \'irtual
currencies which they have little reason to abandon. This a􀁥sessmem i.�; ba..􀄏ed on Ouctuations in
the bitcoin exchange rate in 2011 and li.n.ited reponing indicating bitcoi1lS are being accepted a􀁕
p.ay1nem by so1nt cyber criminal􀄒.
{U/IFOUO) The FBI assesses with low confidence, based on current user and vendor acceptance,
thatrnalicious actors will exploi1 Bitcoi n to launder money. This assessment is based on
observed cri1ninal acti vi1ies, investi􀄐tions, and prosecutions of individual􀁤 exploiting other
vir!Ual currencies, such a􀁕 e....Qold and Webf\·loney. A lack of current .eponingspecific to Bi1coin
restricts the confidence level.
(U/IFOUO) Even though there is no oentral Bitooi n server to compro1ni.􀂎e, the FBI a􀁕sesses wi1h
high confi dence, ba..􀄑ed on reliable industry and FBI reponing, that cri.n.inals intending to steal
bi1coins can target and e:<ploil third-p.any bi1ooin services and an individual's Bittbin wallet.
f\•lalicious actors can comprom.ise personal co1nputers and accounts using ma/waw and hacking
techniques to steal useJS' bitooins and use b<Jtnets to generate bi1coins.
{U/IFOUO) Bi1ooin will li kely continue to attract cybercri1ninal􀁤 who view i1 as a means to
.nove or steal funds a􀁕 well a� a 1neans of making donations to illici1 groups. If Bi1coin stabili?"..es
and grows in popularily, it will beco m e an increasingly useful tool for various i !legal acti vi lies
beyond the cyber .eal1n. Since Bitooin does not have a oentrali7..td authority, law enforoe.nent
facesdifficuhies detectingsuspicious activily, identifying users, and obtaining transaction
recon:ls-proble.n.� that m.ight attract •n.alicious actors to Bitooi n. Bi1coin m.ight also log ically
attractrnoney launderers and other criminals who avoid traditional financial systems b y using the
Internet to conduct global 1nonetary transfers.
{U/IFOUO) Although Bitooin does not have aoentrali7..td authority, the FBI as..�esses with
medium confidence that law enforce1nem can identify, or di.􀂎cover more information about
1n.alicious actors i f the actors conven their bilcoins into a fiat currency. Third-p.any bi1coin
services 1nay require customers to subm.it valid identification or bank infonn.ation to co.nplete
transactions. Furlhennore, any third-p.any service that qualifies as a mbney transm.iuer 1n.ust
register a� a mbney services busine.u with the Financial C1i1tleS Enforoe1nem Netwo•·k {FinCEf\1')
and i•nple�tll!'nt an anti-nlOney laundering program.

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May 08, 2012, 01:59:23 PM
 #38

Yeah that is what I figured.  It is going to take a lot of work to get it into a usable format. 
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May 08, 2012, 02:05:06 PM
 #39

Yeah that is what I figured.  It is going to take a lot of work to get it into a usable format. 

Yup, when the scan is that bad, usually the fastest/easiest thing to do is get someone in a low-wage country to just re-type it for you.  It's like trying to OCR 20 pages of CAPTCHAs.

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May 08, 2012, 02:21:16 PM
 #40

Why do you guys care so much?

Dunno if it's real or not, but I'd assume it is, since a troll would be wasting his time producing a paper of medium quality that doesn't really make any statement. Apart from the obvious, anyway.

Basing forecasts on the 2011 price fluctuations alone suggests economic cluelessness. But one way or the other, this text thingy makes no difference. Government is gonna govern its own paperwork as always, lots of blabla will be had, bad events will be given fancy names with an evil ring to them, business as usual. If there weren't a multi-page-thread on the topic, I'd not feel any urge to comment.

If they'd go rampage and attack us screaming "OMG THOUSANDS OF ANARCHIST MONEY LAUNDERING CYBERCRIMINALS," admittedly there'd be reason to think of something. Not the case though.
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