Bitcoin Is #1 Priority: NSA Targets Cryptocurrency Users Globally, Snowden Leaks Show

RT – March 20, 2018: And more mind-blowing news about Bitcoin continues to leak into the open. The US National Security Agency targeted Bitcoin users around the world, according to classified documents released by Edward Snowden. The revelations strike a blow to the financial privacy of Bitcoin users, academics warn.

The National Security Agency (NSA) managed to find ways to ‘track down senders and receivers’ of Bitcoins, according to an internal NSA report dated March 2013. The findings come from classified NSA documents, exposed by ex-CIA whistleblower Edward Snowden and first published by The Intercept.

Crucially, the tracking may also have involved amassing information from Bitcoin users’ computers. One NSA memo suggests that the NSA collected some Bitcoin users’ password information, internet activity and MAC address,  which is a type of unique device identification number.

In order to track Bitcoin, the NSA used a programme called MONKEYROCKET, a sub-programme of OAKSTAR, which gathered data from the Middle East, Europe, South America, and Asia, according to the documents.

Part of this effort involved tricking targets into using privacy software that was actually funneling information directly to the agency.

One NSA document states that the agency was “seeking to attract targets engaged in terrorism” which it could ‘exploit’.  However the memo goes on to say that “other targeted users will include those sought by NSA offices such as Int’l Crime & Narcotics, Follow-The-Money and Iran.” which could indicate a wider purpose, beyond terrorism, for the tracking.

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Assange agrees to share ‘evidence’ in Cambridge Analytica probe by British MPs

RT – March 20, 2018: WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange may soon give evidence to a Parliamentary Committee about Cambridge Analytica, a voter-profiling company which accessed data of some 50mn Facebook users, triggering an international scandal.

“I have accepted a request by the select committee of the UK parliament @CommonsCMS to give evidence, via video link, about Cambridge Analytica, and other matters, later this month,” Assange, currently holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, said on Twitter.

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