Edward Snowden discusses government monitoring of protest movements

Edward Snowden discusses government monitoring of protest movements

Yesterday, Friday, prominent whistleblower Edward Snowden moderated an online conference as part of a fundraising campaign for the „Tor Project“ anonymisation service.

Besides Snowden, three other experts from the fields of data protection and human rights took part in the discussion. The four panelists discussed the worldwide protest movements of the Bitcoin Lifestyle past year, whether in Belarus or the USA.

Alison Macrina, founder of the Library Freedom Project, said: „What we saw in the protests for ‚Black Lives Matter‘ around the world this summer is that police authorities are also monitoring the activities of protesters in the social media.

Accordingly, the protesters would have been more careful about what they share and write:

„One thing that is already widespread in the US is that fewer and fewer protesters share photos or videos showing the faces of others. It’s great that there is an awareness that the people photographed or filmed might otherwise face punishment“.

Berhan Taye, an expert on privacy and Africa, cites the ethnic tensions in northern Ethiopia as an example

„There is an armed conflict in the Tigray region, and then the situation was made worse by the fact that the region was cut off from the Internet less than a month ago“.

As Taye continues, many people in the region have used Sudanese SIM cards to continue communicating with the outside world. When a massacre with 600 dead followed shortly afterwards, the population was killed not only because of their ethnicity, but also because the Sudanese SIM cards were found in their mobile phones.

Snowden concludes by addressing all Western audiences, noting that state surveillance „is not something that is very far away“, although he admits that there are certainly gradations in scale between countries. Nevertheless, he cites as an example that during the BLM protests in Baltimore, planes were sent into the air to collect telephone data of protesters.

„We have a two-tier system where the government can do whatever it wants while the population is oppressed,“ Snowden says.

In the wake of protests around the world, decentralisation has come up for discussion this year. Blockchain technology could play an important role in this respect. In addition, cryptographically encrypted messenger services such as Signal and Telegram are becoming increasingly important for organising protests.

/r/BTC Moderator leaves split Bitcoin Community

One of the moderators of /r/BTC said goodbye to a quarreled community.

Despite the current high altitude, the sky of Bitcoin is not full of violins. The Bitcoin community has been somewhat divided for some time now. On the one hand, there are those who fully support Bitcoin Core. On the other hand, there are members of the community who want a different approach to development.

Various subreddits were set up for the pros and cons debates, but in the end they do not differ so much. /r/BTC is ultimately an example for these subreddits and for good intentions gone bad.

The goal of /r/BTC was simply defined after its foundation: Exchange of ideas, thoughts, worries and opinions were the main intentions behind the subreddit. In the end they wanted to create an alternative to /r/Bitcoin. A clash of different ideas was welcomed as this would lead to new innovations. Unfortunately, however, it looks as if /r/BTC has developed in an unexpected and actually undesirable direction.

/r/BTC – a home for Bitcoin trader?

SouperNerd, one of the /r/BTC moderators, has now officially resigned. As already indicated, many people joined this subreddit because they were annoyed by /r/ Bitcoin trader. Theymos and the other moderators on onlinebetrug.de have a strict regiment there: their policy on controversial issues resembled censorship. No wonder people turned their backs on this forum.

But at /r/BTC things aren’t really better. Like many other communities, the Bitcoin community has to deal with trolls. This unfortunately creates a rather ugly atmosphere in which answering questions plays a secondary role. Instead of a solid exchange of information, opinions and thoughts are sometimes repeated without reference to the original topic.

While /r/Bitcoin was censored, /r/BTC threatened to become a meeting place for crypto trader

For SouperNerd, the task of moderating /r/BTC was therefore not the most enjoyable – which eventually led to his crypto trader conclusion. The situation is generally annoying. In the end, Bitcoin needs an active crypto trader community that works together despite all differences. The splits don’t really help Bitcoin.

In this respect, finding a common basis is the order of the day – but it’s easier said than done. In itself, strategically dividing different ideas into different subreddits is a good way to share ideas, but it only deepens the gap between the different camps. For the moderators on these forums, the task of finding a balance between censorship and laissez-faire is difficult to impossible.

This is actually tragic, because Bitcoin, with all current technical innovations and broad acceptance in the world, is actually in a situation that should lead to constructive cooperation. The internal quarrels only hold Bitcoin up.