[Chugalug] Silk Road and Bitcoins

Dan Lyke danlyke at flutterby.com
Mon Oct 7 15:12:00 UTC 2013

On Sun, 06 Oct 2013 21:10:58 -0400
William Roush <william.roush at roushtech.net> wrote:
> No, I meant that we're having a public discussion that includes a
> lot of ranting about the government and not having our doors kicked in
> over it.

I was born in Germany, my family was there because my father served in
the U.S. Army doing military intelligence work. When  he left the army,
for a while he worked for assorted three-letter agencies, or military
contractors/intelligence shell companies.

While I was growing up, my parents had a lot of friends who'd escaped
from behind the Iron Curtain. I grew up with stories of crawling under
concertina wire, or loading up the trunk with hopefully impermeable
things and driving fast through the checkpoints, hunkered down below
the windows while the glass exploded from the machine gun fire.

I have no idea if these two things are connected. I suspect at some
level that they were. At any rate, I grew up with a good dose of
stories from the Iron Curtain.

The security state is a continuum. It's not police on every corner,
it's the notion that you don't know if there are police on every
corner. You don't know who will twist something you say to get you
taken in front of a secret court. It's random enforcement, random
surveillance, which leads to a self-censorship and a generic fear.

Fear, not of doing anything wrong, but of making enemies of the wrong

My sister just got permission from her parole officer to come visit me
for the weekend. I dropped her back at the airport shuttle this morning
at five for the flight home. The process by which she pled guilty in
order to minimize collateral damage against her husband and various
other friends, in which prosecutors and police officers flat-out lied,
and have a paper trail of lying, but there's no authority to bring these
complaints to, makes Kafka look like an optimist.

There are things that the family now does not discuss over electronic
communications, that we only talk about in person, and that's even with
me making it very clear that I do not want to know any details which
aren't public knowledge. But the case clearly consisted of metadata,
tapped electronics, fabricated telephone calls, and parallel
reconstruction. I don't know how high it went (he was charged as a
"Major Drug Offender", pled that way down, so recent revelations about
the DEA parallel reconstruction programs could mean the NSA snooping
was involved, but he was gone after by local authorities, so it's
unlikely it went that high).

Do we live in a hundred percent Stasi state? No. But it ain't zero,
either, and now we're quibbling where along the line we are. As the old
joke goes "we've established that, now we're just haggling over the


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