[FoRK] Bitcoin: "tied cryptologically to all the criminal activities that contributed to its shared value"

rst at ai.mit.edu rst at ai.mit.edu
Tue Apr 16 12:46:51 PDT 2013


Gregory Alan Bolcer writes:
 > On 4/16/2013 12:04 PM, Stephen Williams wrote:
 > > It doesn't matter at all in either case.  If someone gave you stolen
 > > goods, which are not money, in the US at least, then you can't take
 > > them.  This is one reason I don't understand the final outcome of this:
 > > http://laptopiniran.tumblr.com/
 > 
 > Wow, I'm guessing that the people identified in the pictures live in 
 > fear of the state. Even though they aren't the original criminals, they 
 > probably committing some minor crime that could ensue in very harsh 
 > punishment if documented by the pictures.  I think they still cut off 
 > people's hands in Iran.
 > 
 > I'm assuming he doesn't want her hands chopped off.

They may also have bought the laptop in a flea market or through some
sort of Iranian Craigslist, while being unaware of where it originally
came from, or how.  It's very likely the case that gray- to
black-market channels are the only way they can buy consumer
electronics of any kind, due to trade sanctions.  To give you some
idea, the hospitals in Iran are having trouble importing even basic
medical supplies, which are supposed to have an exemption, due in part
to funds transfer restrictions, and in part to overseas sellers just
not wanting the hassle:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jan/13/iran-lifesaving-drugs-international-sanctions

(This is one of the intended results of the sanctions policy, which is
justified, in part, as intended to generate internal domestic
discontent, as a way of motivating the Iranian government to clean up
its act --- or of motivating the people to get another government.  To
which one Iranian of my distant acquaintance might reply that they
already tried that, in the Green Revolution, and it didn't work out so
hot for anyone other than the government.)

rst


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