Lawfare’s biweekly roundup of U.S.-China technology policy and national security news.
Latest in Cryptocurrency
A steady rush into retail crypto activity is occurring without a check of the regulatory blindspots. Many illicit actors will likely try to spend their ill-gotten crypto on goods and services online rather than cashing out into regular currency.
The Department of Justice announced on Aug. 13 that U.S. counterterrorism authorities dismantled a series of sophisticated online fundraising campaigns run by three separate U.S.-designated terrorist organizations.
Cryptocurrency obfuscation tools and techniques are likely to play a growing role in financing threats to U.S. national security.
On Nov. 14 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, Eric Meiggs and Declan Harrington were charged with wire fraud, computer fraud and aggravated identity theft, among other charges. The indictment alleges an extensive nationwide scheme to steal victims' social media accounts and cryptocurrency. The full indictment is available here and below.
On June 18, Facebook announced its forthcoming cryptocurrency, Libra. The company says it intends to integrate it into Facebook’s Messenger and WhatsApp products. Although Facebook says it has created an “independent” subsidiary, Calibra, and purports that the currency itself will be controlled by an independent Libra Foundation, the coin is really a Facebook project.
China put its red-hot cryptocurrency market on ice last month when it shut down bitcoin exchanges and banned initial coin offerings (ICOs), an emerging tactic through which cryptocurrency ventures raise capital by selling investors a percentage of newly released coins.