FBI Bitcoin wallet blockchain
Image placed on silkroadvb5piz3r.onion by the FBI.
Internet users are sending tiny donations with critical messages to what they believe is the FBIвЂ™s Bitcoin wallet. The wallet, which is worth US$3.3 million, is thought to contain digital funds seized from users of the online black market Silk Road.
Following the arrest of Ross William Ulbricht (alias вЂњDread Pirate RobertsвЂќ) and the shutdown of underground online marketplace Silk Road, which Ulbricht is suspected to have run, Reddit users came after the statement in the indictment against Ulbricht, which says that federal agents are authorized to вЂњseize any and all Bitcoins contained in wallet files residing on Silk Road servers.вЂќ
It was not long before Bitcoin users came up with a way to attract the webвЂ™s attention to the alleged FBI haul, using the site Blockchain.info to send tiny donations with publicly streamed messages to the account. The wallet has since been dubbed вЂњSilkroad Seized CoinsвЂќ on the Blockchain.info page.
The donations could be as small as .000001 BTC, but each one enabled users to post their opinions of the FBIвЂ™s closure of Silk Road вЂ“ which, for the most part, were far from approving.
One public note directly referred to Dread Pirate RobertsвЂ™ arrest, saying that he was not вЂњthe bad guy, вЂќ and urging others not to be вЂњbrainwashed.вЂќ Another one questioned: вЂњMembers of the FBI, are you more interested in control or in justice?вЂќ
Particularly critical users blasted the вЂњimmoral government actionвЂќ and demanded to вЂњstop ruining peoplesвЂ™ lives.вЂќ Anti-government and anti-tyranny quotes from famous historical figures followed.
Others doubted the effectiveness of shutting down an online network allegedly linked to illegal activities, such as drug and arms trafficking.
вЂњProhibition doesnвЂ™t work. Good try. Many more will rise, вЂќ one user wrote. A list of вЂњalternativesвЂќ for Silk Road available through the Tor proxy network was also provided in one of the notes.
The rest simply вЂњtrolledвЂќ the US government, the FBI and other agencies with deriding messages.
вЂњThis is a donation for the US government which is in desperate need for money these days. Consider this a small contribution to get around the fiscal cliff, вЂќ one message read, with another one boasting: вЂњIвЂ™m Behind 7 Proxies.вЂќ
The public nature of the Bitcoin wallet also sparked a discussion among proponents of a transparent government. вЂњImagine if we could trace every single dollar the government spends? Why canвЂ™t we do that today? This is the age of the internet, but the govвЂ™t is clouded in secrecy.вЂќ
Just two users congratulated the FBI for вЂњgreat work, вЂќ but one of them raised hopes that the agency will now вЂњcrack down much more dangerous criminals, вЂќ suggesting HSBC bank as one such target.
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