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Offline fuzzy

Block Chain Absolute Surveillance? "Mark of the Beast"?
« on: January 03, 2014, 06:17:09 AM »

Ok...there are going to be some people who scoff at this post, but I encourage everyone to consider this moving forward and, hopefully, we can speak rationally about this a little bit.  It certainly is a very interesting topic to me---even as a person who has a real skeptical streak about the Bible's Messages and source. 

Of all of these messages, the Mark of the Beast one really hits home with me...ESPECIALLY after learning more about the blockchain.  If I were a Tyrant, I would want data from EVERYTHING "My" citizens do.  The Block Chain, though highly unlikely at this current time, could CERTAINLY be used as a protocol layer that captures, monitors and eventually alters every entity, action, state in the entire spectrum of organic existence. 

If there is a God (which, to me there has to be SOME form of Grand Creator), I would imagine he/she/it would have created a system that would be perfect...and that to truly corrupt humanity a new LAYER would need to be built upon that protocol, and would introduce flaws into an already-homeostatic environment.  I started really thinking about this after reading the following post:

"Okay, I'm being humorous with that one, but on a more serious note- what if we were to consider Bitcoin becomes widely successful and adopted worldwide. What if the government would one day see the value in having near infinite addresses for a finite amount of people in the world. What if governments started dolling out addresses to individuals like Social Security numbers and mandated that you use that address for your transactions.

Certainly businesses could be forced to use specific 'assigned' addresses, (it's easy enough to check if they aren't) and then the government can sit back and watch the block chain to asses their tax responsibility.

What if your Bitcoin address were required as a form of identification? We assume that Bitcoin has an element of anonymity because no one knows who owns the addresses, but governments could do a pretty good job of forcing individuals to keep public accounts and then watch closely.

It's anonymous only so long as addresses aren't assigned. If they are assigned though, the blockchain becomes a pretty incredible tool for surveillance of a population. 

The Mark of the Beast is a reference to the outcry from some Christian groups about how Social Security Numbers were the "mark of the beast". http://usa-the-republic.com/mark%20of%20beast/Forward.htm "

The thread can be found @ https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=86792.msg953480#msg953480

Definitely a good read, but I hope we will all keep this in the back of our minds while we move forward in this technological breakthrough.  Please dont get me wrong here in thinking that I do not see the merits of the blockchain and what can be built with it...but that SAME amazing potential can always be a double-edged sword.  I am interested to see where the community stands with regard to greatest concerns and how to address them in the future. 

As always guys and gals....much <3
« Last Edit: January 03, 2014, 07:39:51 PM by fuznuts »
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Offline Liberty

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Re: Block Chain Absolute Surveillance? "Mark of the Beast"?
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2014, 06:07:06 AM »
I share your concern. The issue has troubled me. I know all this technology is intended to liberate, but I also know that evil will corrupt it for their own purposes. To me, an example of "the mark" is a Keyhotee ID and a mandated software modification so that outputs only reach the blockchain when addresses are on a government approved whitelist. Making the ID an inseparable part of your body is the final "oh shit" event where most Christians figure it out. My reading of the Bible is that these things will come and that Christians have both a choice and an obligation to avoid taking "the mark" when society pressures. What is offensive to God about "the mark" is that it allows governments to control people to the exclusion of God. Of ignorance we already live with much of the evil that God wants us to avoid. God hopes that we will learn from the natural collapse that comes. God will not forgive those that turn back to government control and indoctrination after being liberated.

God judges us as individuals, but collectives try to separate individuals from God's word for some "greater good". We now have a world united and controlled by a system of debt based on the USD. Consider the Tower of Babel. God confused the language to divide the forces working against Him. Consider how Bitcoin and all the alt-coins now release us from the unifying force of the USD. I see Bitcoin a force of good. I also believe believe Bitcoin can be forked as a tool for oppression of the individual for the sake of a collective.

It concerns me that anonymity was weak with Bitcoin, and is non-existent in BitShares DACs. Over time multiple combinations of the same input addresses will appear in different blockchains. The inputs imply ownership in a wallet. The hidden wallet addresses that bitcoin uses for obfuscation doesn't help much when patterns can be observed across DACs. It wouldn't be hard to figure out all the coins in a wallet and then follow the money between wallets. A government would monitor and intimidate as an address (and implied wallet) gets associated to a real person.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2014, 06:26:10 AM by Liberty »

Offline Bitcoinfan

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Re: Block Chain Absolute Surveillance? "Mark of the Beast"?
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2014, 09:57:47 AM »
bytemaster plans to use anonomity in the future:


"Our goal is to have as much Anon. as possible.  Including using things like CoinJoin, ZeroCoin, etc.   Ultimately privacy is protected at a higher level than the block chain based upon how clients generate transactions and use the chain."

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=279771.260

Offline barwizi

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Re: Block Chain Absolute Surveillance? "Mark of the Beast"?
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2014, 10:48:38 AM »
To answer your question, while we cannot deny that Governments around the world probably have started monitoring these block chains there are already many options being put forward to deal with keeping us anonymous. One of those ideas is Zerocoin, another is to create chains with native double blind mixing services that mix coins in transactions to make it imposible to trace coins.

For the time being you are advised to diligently use different addresses for your transactions and maintain separation between online services and anything that may lead back to you.
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Offline Mrrr

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Re: Block Chain Absolute Surveillance? "Mark of the Beast"?
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2014, 07:29:01 PM »
First of all, thanks for this highly needed philosophical sit-down.

A long long long time ago I wrote a paper on the politics of a community driven MMO game. You'd have several game servers with different rules and policies and the total control of each one of them residing in the hands of one single person (commonly referred to as a god). I identified an interesting dynamic: although the god in the virtual environment had total control over every single aspect in virtual life, they had no incentive to abuse this. If the abuse would outweigh the server's benefit people would move to a server with a more benevolent god. Leaving the abusive god with an empire of dirt. A server being all abandonware, open source and running on a Pentium I, the successful servers thus had an an omnipotent yet benevolent tyrant.

So to arrive at the discussion at hand:

The blockchain does indeed offer a model of total surveillance if correctly implemented into a society. The concept of the blockchain is however, by definition, open source and community driven. Abuse of a blockchain would therefore prompt the community to make up a new blockchain and a government that would try to impose a malevolent version onto an unwilling population would soon find itself emperor of the aforementioned dirt empire. The power of the blockchain ultimately resides with the people. The abusive government would stand and fall by the veto of the network. Any attempt at centralization would spark a decentralized alternative, and put the power right back where it belongs.

We should not be afraid and not be hiding in the ever diminishing illusion of anonymity. We should stand up and realize we wield the power that can force our tyrants to be benevolent.

Your ID is then no longer a mark of the beast, but a mark of liberation.

Offline bitcoinba

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Re: Block Chain Absolute Surveillance? "Mark of the Beast"?
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2014, 08:46:52 PM »
First of all, thanks for this highly needed philosophical sit-down.

A long long long time ago I wrote a paper on the politics of a community driven MMO game. You'd have several game servers with different rules and policies and the total control of each one of them residing in the hands of one single person (commonly referred to as a god). I identified an interesting dynamic: although the god in the virtual environment had total control over every single aspect in virtual life, they had no incentive to abuse this. If the abuse would outweigh the server's benefit people would move to a server with a more benevolent god. Leaving the abusive god with an empire of dirt. A server being all abandonware, open source and running on a Pentium I, the successful servers thus had an an omnipotent yet benevolent tyrant.

So to arrive at the discussion at hand:

The blockchain does indeed offer a model of total surveillance if correctly implemented into a society. The concept of the blockchain is however, by definition, open source and community driven. Abuse of a blockchain would therefore prompt the community to make up a new blockchain and a government that would try to impose a malevolent version onto an unwilling population would soon find itself emperor of the aforementioned dirt empire. The power of the blockchain ultimately resides with the people. The abusive government would stand and fall by the veto of the network. Any attempt at centralization would spark a decentralized alternative, and put the power right back where it belongs.

We should not be afraid and not be hiding in the ever diminishing illusion of anonymity. We should stand up and realize we wield the power that can force our tyrants to be benevolent.

Your ID is then no longer a mark of the beast, but a mark of liberation.


Nice post. I think we are all tired of feeling paranoid, so let's use these new tools to their full potential in order create the environment that we want to live and do business in. I agree that since Bitcoin has already laid the foundation, and if it or any other blockchain gets too corrupt, moving off of it and creating better alternatives should be relatively easier and more accessible as we progress.

 

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