Monday, May 03, 2021

Feds Arrest an Alleged $336M Bitcoin-Laundering Kingpin

FOR A DECADE, Bitcoin Fog has offered to obscure the source and destination of its customers' cryptocurrency, making it one of the most venerable institutions in the  dark web economy. Now the IRS says it has finally identified the Russian-Swedish administrator behind that long-running anonymizing system and charged him with laundering hundreds of millions of dollars worth of bitcoins, much of which was sent to or from dark web drug markets. What gave him away? The trail of his own decade-old digital transactions.

Bronte Capital founder and former Treasury official John Hempton has lashed the appointment of ex-Deutsche Bank general counsel Joseph Longo as Australia’s top corporate cop, arguing the bank was a “cesspit” of fraud.

Mr Hempton said the only support he had seen for the move is from the managing director of the wound-up Mayfair 101, James Mawhinney, who regulators secured a 20-year fundraising ban against in court a fortnight ago and who tweeted his support for the new leadership team on Thursday.

“Deutsche Bank was a cesspit walking from one investment banking fraud to another and where the legal team would have gasped for breath before walking into another pool of pus,” Mr Hempton, who has trained Australian Securities and Investment Commission staff in how to spot frauds, said.

Criminal lawyers could soon begin challenging a tool Australian police routinely rely on to extract messages, photos and other information from mobile phones for investigations after the discovery of security flaws that meant data could be falsified.

Last week Moxie Marlinspike, the founder of encrypted messaging app Signal, published a blog post outlining a series of vulnerabilities in Israeli company Cellebrite’s surveillance devices.

Signal’s hack of surveillance tech used by police could undermine Australian criminal cases

Artificial Lawyer – “A new product, Map Engine, created by Ryan McClead’s Sente Advisors and Nicole Bradick’s Theory and Principle, allows lawyers to quickly visualise multi-jurisdictional data. It’s another example of the growing interest in using visualisation tools in the legal sector. Initially this is focused on using a map of the US, but other areas are planned, including: Canada and Europe, and also a map based around US Federal District courts. As the two legal tech consultancies explained: ‘Map Engine is a tool that allows users to easily upload a spreadsheet containing jurisdictional data and instantly generate a beautiful interactive map visualisation. ‘The user is provided both a link to a unique URL to share the map and a code snippet to embed the map in their websites, blog posts, or client portals. Maps can be secured with a passcode or made available publicly.’ Given how visually-based this all is the one-minute video below is useful…”

To Be Tracked or Not? Apple Is Now Giving Us the Choice

The New York Times – “On Monday, Apple released iOS 14.5, one of its most anticipated software updates for iPhones and iPads in years. It includes a new privacy tool, App Tracking Transparency, which could give us more control over how our data is shared. Here’s how it works: When an app wants to follow our activities to share information with third parties such as advertisers, a window will show up on our Apple device to ask for our permission to do so. If we say no, the app must stop monitoring and sharing our data. A pop-up window may sound like a minor design tweak, but it has thrown the online advertising industry into upheaval. Most notably, Facebook has gone on the warpath. Last year, the social network created a website and took out full-page ads in newspapers denouncing Apple’s privacy feature as harmful to small businesses…”


Raúl Castro said he is stepping down as chief of Cuba’s ruling Communist Party, leaving behind a demoralized country running on little but post-revolutionary fumes as it struggles with growing food shortages and rising discontent.