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How I learned from October 23-30 to stop caring about elections and to love them

October 30, 2020

The United States is preparing for an election that has lasted much longer than we should have allowed. On the other hand, What did you expect when so many people spent most of the past year isolated from their normal lives and circles, and became increasingly dependent on social media to connect with the outside world? It is not a prescription for sanity, even if it was a race between healthy people.

The modern phenomenon of the flow of information has received tremendous attention since the last equally terrible election cycle, forcing ordinary people to think in the uncomfortably paranoid way that cybersecurity professionals and blockchain programmers in particular are used to. What is the fear of election fraud if not a double spending problem? And how can you be sure that all voting machines work in America? And how I know that this news report is not fiction or even a malicious invention?

Given the collective paranoia and suspicion that America is stomach-clicking like the first leg of a bad roller coaster, it’s important to keep some stabilizing truths in mind. The internet is relatively new, but disinformation has always been with us (what is Gilgamesh other than propaganda for an Uruk king?). America’s presidential elections have always been tense, and likely peaked around 160 years ago. And despite the shortcomings, the country actually has an incredibly resilient system.

How I learned from October 23-30 to stop caring about elections and to love them
How I learned from October 23-30 to stop caring about elections and to love them

Today’s Decoded Law is less focused on cryptocurrencies than I’ve traditionally tried to maintain, but it’s important to maintain what supporters call “the space” without isolating it. While only the first of the stories considered is explicitly linked to choice, the connecting thread that I will clumsily try to unravel in front of all of you is the question of who has power and who can do justice to that power. Because that is exactly what a functioning electoral system promises: The answer to “Who will watch the observers?” Are we.

Comments according to § 230

The titans of technology and especially online public media They practically showed up in front of Congress to answer for anything.

Ironically, at the center of the brand’s political intimidation were viral sound bits Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act 1996 and a flurry of bills seeking reform or revision.

Senators from both sides of the aisle saw the hearing as an opportunity to shift responsibility for this and the 2016 election to Facebook, Twitter and Google. Separately but related is the question of whether these companies have illegally amassed too much power, which is a separate legal issue on the subject of which my personal opinion is “behind them”.

However, in terms of the challenges at Section 230, everyone seems unaware of the extent of their protection. Photographing the social media giants has become easy. Senator Ted Cruz was a little delighted after dramatically asking Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, “Who the hell picked you?” There are many ways in which this pressure can lead to a new level of transparency in the content moderation practices of these companies that have become more critical to a coherent sense of what is happening than anyone could have imagined 24 years ago. But any crackdown on Section 230’s freedom for platforms to moderate user content at its own discretion It’s going to have a big impact on an entire galaxy of smaller oil rigs that couldn’t survive such adhesion, everyone says.

The Justice Department doesn’t seem to like Visa buying plaid

Along with a formal request for more information from the consulting giant Bain Company, The Justice Department admitted it was investigating Visa’s takeover of ubiquitous fintech company Plaid as an antitrust issue.

Plaid offers cross-functional functionality between virtually every consumer-centric finance app and the online banking system you know and love. They are also the subject of several class action lawsuits accusing them of misusing consumer data. The DoJ’s investigation could well be based on fears that Visa, which already knows everyone’s spending data, is also paying $ 5 billion to expand this pool of information on how everyone’s money moves between systems.

I mean, to be fair, speculation. Even more speculative is the hope that antitrust law will ultimately prevent giant companies like Visa from using the data collected from their customers to create a snowball effect.

FinCEN wants to know more

Last Friday, the American anti-money laundering watchdog, FinCEN and the Federal Reserve have jointly requested an opinion on a proposed significant increase in information that financial institutions, including cryptocurrency companies, should be keeping.

The famous For decades, the travel rule has required banks to provide identifying information for people and accounts sending $ 3,000 or more. FinCEN and the Fed are trying to lower this threshold up to USD 250 for international transactions.

These regulators are likely to consider appropriate changes due to technological change in recent years. Corporations may be able to manage exponentially more data than could be imagined in 1970 when the banking secrecy law was passed. But in addition to the fact that USD 3,000 is much less today than it was then The proposal neglects the ability of technology to work for the other side of the law. Strongholds with juicy financial and personal data are more accessible than ever to hackers.

In addition, these regulators never seem to have much faith in the Principle’s arguments. $ 250 is a standard consumer transaction. Is this level of privacy really critical to ending money laundering?

I continue my determination to stick to damn moderation and I don’t like money laundering. I don’t like the idea that dictators and drug lords can transfer money to penthouses in Manhattan from citizens living under their reins. But I don’t think these people are using $ 250 transactions to get these penthouses.

further reading

Jerry Brito and Peter Van Valkenburgh from Coin Center wrote to FinCEN and the Fed arguing against the $ 250 threshold.

Aditi Kumar and Eric Rosenbach ask what China’s CBDC could do for the primacy of the US dollar in foreign affairs.

The lawyers of Manatt, Phelps and Phillips collapse, which means extraterritorial application of the law USA for crypto markets.