Authorities Take Down Biggest Criminal Chat Network Yet

Authorities across Europe take down an organized crime syndicate that used an encrypted chat network to coordinate their illicit activities.

Law enforcement authorities throughout Europe arrested over 800 individuals that allegedly were using an encrypted chat network to coordinate their illicit activities.

60,000 members

EncroChat was using modified Android devices to provide its users “worry free secure communications”. BBC reports that EncoChat has about 60,000 users:

“An estimated 60,000 people, among them up to 10,000 in Britain, subscribed to France-based EncroChat, which has now been taken down.”

Authorities allege that the criminals were using the encrypted messaging service to coordinate illegal activities like the sale of drugs and weapons. However, it is not clear whether they allege that all the users of EncroChat engaged in criminal activity.

EnchroChat Main Page (the site is currently offline)

EnchroChat Main Page (the site is currently offline). Source: https://encrophone.com/

War on encryption?

This comes a week after a bill that, in essence, would ban end-to-end encryption was introduced to the Senate. The same issue was recently raised in the ministerial meeting of the nations that make up the “Five Eye” intelligence community — Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom and United States:

“We discussed the vital importance of collaboration between governments and the digital industry to address concerns with end-to-end encryption where it impacts public safety and the lawful access to information necessary to prevent or investigate serious crimes.”

Taking this into consideration, it is possible that this bust is part of the coordinated campaign to discredit privacy-preserving technologies in the eyes of the general public. If this indeed is the case, then we would expect to see more similar announcements in the coming months.

Continue reading

Visualize Crypto Transaction Privacy Scores With Blockchair’s ‘Privacy-o-Meter’

Visualize Crypto Transaction Privacy Scores With Blockchair's 'Privacy-o-Meter'On June 24, the block explorer and blockchain data platform, Blockchair, announced the launch of a new privacy tool called the “Privacy-o-meter.” According to Blockchair, the new service combats blockchain surveillance companies by highlighting privacy issues for crypto transactions. This week the blockchain explorer and crypto analytics firm, Blockchair, revealed a new tool that aims […]

The post Visualize Crypto Transaction Privacy Scores With Blockchair’s ‘Privacy-o-Meter’ appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Continue reading

Ghost Coin to be Deployed as Payment for Hong Kong Vending Machines

John McAfee-backed privacy coin Ghost Coin partners with ivendPay as a payment option for Hong Kong vending machines.

Ghost Coin, the proof-of-stake privacy coin led by John McAfee, can now be used in vending machines in Hong Kong Disneyland.

Ghost announced on Twitter that it partnered with crypto payment system ivendPay to deploy the coin in over 60 vending machines around Hong Kong, even those in Hong Kong Disneyland. 

“When we 1st launched $GHOST our vision was not only to focus on #Privacy but also on real user adoption,” Ghost said on Twitter. 

The privacy coin and distributed exchange went live last week amid the ongoing controversy surrounding it. Ghost distributed exchange replaced the McAfeeDEX distributed exchange in the process. 

The controversial and eccentric McAfee came under fire after it was found parts of the Ghost white paper were “copy-pasted” from open-source protocol PIVX’s white paper. McAfee admitted that plagiarism was involved but still threatened to sue PIVX for defamation. PIVX is also planning to launch a zk-SNARKS-based privacy protocol from Zcash in the fourth quarter of this year.

Continue reading

6 Privacy-Enhancing Tools That Place Bitcoin Cash Transactions Ahead of the Pack

6 Privacy-Enhancing Tools That Place Bitcoin Cash Transactions Ahead of the PackOn June 24, a Reddit post had a few Bitcoin Cash proponents discussing a number of privacy enhancements BCH supporters can leverage every time they transact. The Bitcoin Cash enthusiast, Mr. Zwet’s r/btc post explained how BCH supporters can use tools like Cashfusion, Cashshuffle, Schnorr Signatures, Local.Bitcoin.com, Neutrino Wallet, and a number of Electron Cash […]

The post 6 Privacy-Enhancing Tools That Place Bitcoin Cash Transactions Ahead of the Pack appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Continue reading