Every Friday, Law Decoded provides an analysis of the week’s critical political, regulatory, and legal stories.
The United States is preparing for Independence Day tomorrow. New peaks in COVID-19’s positive tests will slow down some, but not all, of the traditional fireworks, cookouts, and Martina McBride. On the same day, new changes to the Russian constitution will take effect, including those that could allow Putin to remain in power for another 16 years.. In lighter news, pubs are also reopening in the UK.
The closings of COVID-19 have given the perpetual tug of war between personal freedom and general well-being a new immediacy. This week has also seen an increase in legal decisions around the world regarding encryption and data protectionand the government’s relationship with cryptocurrencies as property or privacy zones.
Part of the classic attraction of crypto is opting for a traditional government agency. Possession of Bitcoin is as simple as “if they are not your keys, they are not your coins”.;; Monetary policy is determined by algorithms that do not feel obliged to make economic payments. And yet, the way governments treat Bitcoin is important and will continue to be. Cryptographic independence can only go so far.
Kollen Post, policy editor
They are not your keys, it is not the Kremlin’s problem
In an important decision in St. Petersburg, Russia, The Petrogradskiy court found that there was no obligation to get the thieves to return 100 BTC that they had stolen.
The thieves in question were given access to the BTC by posing as agents of the FSB (the successor to the KGB) to kidnap the victim until more than $ 90,000 in cash and nearly $ 1 million in Bitcoin were handed over.
The perpetrators were sentenced to harsh sentences and the court returned the victim’s money, but it appears that the BTC will keep them.. The court argued that Bitcoin, which has no legal status in the Russian Federation, is not property.
In theory, The verdict will only weigh until the Russian crypto law comes into forceBut when that happens, nobody knows. At the moment, it’s a pretty bold statement from the state: We protect your rubles, but not your Bitcoin.
A logical conclusion is that At the moment, it is not even a crime to steal Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies in Russia. So be careful if you are a resident or a citizen.
Encryption is there and encryption is removed
Yesterday it emerged that an international coalition of European police forces had arrested more than 800 users of an encrypted chat network who allegedly sold drugs and weapons through the platform.
The biggest arrest of its kind is related to a global push to give authorities access to encryption.. In fact, one of the many controversies surrounding public voters over Putin’s changes to the Russian constitution was that the encryption of the blockchain-based platform was weak enough to allow voters and third parties to access it.
Encrypted platforms are often the target of regulatory hasslesand the authorities routinely paint encryption as a tool for illegal actors such as arms dealers, child pornographers and terrorists.
Since it relates more directly to the crypto space, A U.S. court recently upheld the right to search Coinbase’s transaction records in a case focused on child pornography, arguing that access to this third-party information was within the jurisdiction of the government. The IRS is also looking for a tool to track privacy tokens to ensure they are paid.
It is obvious that many of these actors are very evil types of criminals. At the same time, many of the protests against police brutality in the United States were based on the organization of Signal. Telegram, which was charged with facilitating terrorism, could be activated in the Russian Federation after it had proven extremely helpful in disseminating information about COVID-19.. So the question is: how much do you trust that the state is a good actor?
Plaid and the use of private sector financial data
The flip side of the data protection debate often comes from the private sector rather than the government, and that’s data collection. A new class action lawsuit in California claims that Plaid, a well-known provider of interoperable fintech APIs, has used users’ financial information without users knowing the name of the company.
The California Data Protection Act is currently the United States’ test bed for a likely more comprehensive federal law on the use of data by private companies. Many see it as analogous to the GDPR of Europe, except that they preside Silicon Valley.
While Plaid may not have the same brand awareness as, for example Visa (which Plaid bought for more than $ 5 billion earlier this year) has a wide range of online funding. If the plaintiffs in this new class of suit prevailed, it would set a new standard for fintech in the jurisdiction that it effectively carries out worldwide.
Justin Sherman writes around Russia’s decision to unlock the Atlantic Council’s telegram states that the blockade was doomed from the start.
Recent changes to section 230 of the Communications Decency Act will hamper open debate on the Internetsays Derek Bambauer of Brookings.
Peter Van Valkenburgh, from the mint center, summarizes the New York BitLicense updates released on their fifth birthday.