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State vs. Individual

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State vs. Individual

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xuanling11
·Sep 18, 2022·

3 min read

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The debate on privacy goes beyond what we can imagine. As a matter of fact, the privacy we have is almost zero in the digital age.

Technology has been invasive since they were used. They improved our life but gave us more trouble than they actually offered.

The internet is a marketplace to freely share privacy in the public domain under private company scrutiny.

Not until cryptocurrency was invented to protect your privacy did the technology become privacy protection that is possible for internet participants.

Then the government enters to punish Tornado Cash developers and sanction the technology that potentially can develop to protect individual privacy further.

Office of Foreign Assets Control or OFAC argued that the smart contract mixer a.k.a Tornado Cash has helped to launder more than $7 billion worth of cryptocurrency since its reaction in 2019 including over $455 million from North Korean-linked hackers.

This was the same argument that the government launched a crypto war in the 90s to prohibit developers from accessing cryptographic technology in the first place to prevent jeopardizing national security. However, the government could have an alternative solution rather than banning the technology as a whole and preventing technological progress. The benefit of developing of such technology and advancement has been out win the benefit of banning of using such technology after all.

The same argument applies in Tornado Cash, that the government oversteps its authority to ban the technology, hurting the privacy technology in the long term.

It discouraged privacy and security advancement while may not prevent hacking completely.

If the smart contract mixer can protect users' privacy, that can outweigh the benefits to society more than banning to prevent hackers utilizing to avoid economic sanctions, then such banning is completely outreached beyond what the government should do to protect their own citizens.

Not to mention to locking up developers who write open-source code that wasn't illegal at the time of creation is another overreaching act from the government to punish no harm individuals who utilized for unlawful purposes but the creators who promoted the innovation of the technology.

I think the government is far outreaching its authority to protect citizens from harming technology but lacks the ability to find alternative solutions to protect the innovative technology that is supposed to protect individual privacy and discourage such technology from moving forward so they can reach their authority to become a surveillance state.

At this pace, we are not far from what Novel 1984 suggested.

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