[Bitcoin-development] Criminal complaints against "network disruption as a service" startups

odinn odinn.cyberguerrilla at riseup.net
Mon Mar 23 02:44:56 UTC 2015


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If you (e.g. Chainalysis) or anyone else are doing surveillance on the
network and gathering information for later use, and whether or not
the ultimate purpose is to divulge it to other parties for compliance
purposes, you can bet that ultimately the tables will be turned on
you, and you will be the one having your ass handed to you so to
speak, before or after you are served, in legal parlance.  Whether or
not the outcome of that is meaningful and beneficial to any concerned
parties and what is the upshot of it in the end depends on on what you
do and just how far you decide to take your ill-advised enterprise.

Chainalysis and similar operations would be, IMHO, well advised to
cease operations.  This doesn't mean they will, but guess what:

Shot over the bow, folks.

Jan Møller:
> What we were trying to achieve was determining the flow of funds
> between countries by figuring out which country a transaction
> originates from. To do that with a certain accuracy you need many
> nodes. We chose a class C IP range as we knew that bitcoin core and
> others only connect to one node in any class C IP range. We were
> not aware that breadwallet didn't follow this practice. Breadwallet
> risked getting tar-pitted, but that was not our intention and we
> are sorry about that.
> 
> Our nodes DID respond with valid blocks and merkle-blocks and
> allowed everyone connecting to track the blockchain. We did however
> not relay transactions. The 'service' bit in the version message is
> not meant for telling whether or how the node relays transactions,
> it tells whether you can ask for block headers only or full
> blocks.
> 
> Many implementations enforce non standard rules for handling
> transactions; some nodes ignore transactions with address reuse,
> some nodes happily forward double spends, and some nodes forward
> neither blocks not transactions. We did blocks but not
> transactions.
> 
> In hindsight we should have done two things: 1. relay transactions 
> 2. advertise address from 'foreign' nodes
> 
> Both would have fixed the problems that breadwallet experienced.
> My understanding is that breadwallet now has the same 'class C'
> rule as bitcoind, which would also fix it.
> 
> Getting back on the topic of this thread and whether it is illegal,
> your guess is as good as mine. I don't think it is illegal to log
> incoming connections and make statistical analysis on it. That
> would more or less incriminate anyone who runs a web-server and
> looks into the access log. At lease one Bitcoin service has been
> collecting IP addresses for years and given them to anyone visiting
> their web-site (you know who) and I believe that this practise is
> very wrong. We have no intention of giving IP addresses away to
> anyone, but we believe that you are free to make statistics on
> connection logs when nodes connect to you.
> 
> On a side note: When you make many connections to the network you
> see lots of strange nodes and suspicious patterns. You can be
> certain that we were not the only ones connected to many nodes.
> 
> My takeaway from this: If nodes that do not relay transactions is a
> problem then there is stuff to fix.
> 
> /Jan
> 
> On Fri, Mar 13, 2015 at 10:48 PM, Mike Hearn <mike at plan99.net>
> wrote:
> 
>> That would be rather new and tricky legal territory.
>> 
>> But even putting the legal issues to one side, there are
>> definitional issues.
>> 
>> For instance if the Chainalysis nodes started following the
>> protocol specs better and became just regular nodes that happen
>> to keep logs, would that still be a violation? If so, what about
>> blockchain.info? It'd be shooting ourselves in the foot to try
>> and forbid block explorers given how useful they are.
>> 
>> If someone non-maliciously runs some nodes with debug logging
>> turned on, and makes full system backups every night, and keeps
>> those backups for years, are they in violation of whatever
>> pseudo-law is involved?
>> 
>> I think it's a bit early to think about these things right now.
>> Michael Grønager and Jan Møller have been Bitcoin hackers for a
>> long time. I'd be interested to know their thoughts on all of
>> this.
>> 
>> 
>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>
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> 
> 
> 
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> 
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sponsored
> by Intel and developed in partnership with Slashdot Media, is your
> hub for all things parallel software development, from weekly
> thought leadership blogs to news, videos, case studies, tutorials
> and more. Take a look and join the conversation now.
> http://goparallel.sourceforge.net/
> 
> 
> 
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- -- 
http://abis.io ~
"a protocol concept to enable decentralization
and expansion of a giving economy, and a new social good"
https://keybase.io/odinn
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