Comment: Tracking bitcoins is difficult when

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Tracking bitcoins is difficult when

Both the seller and buyer are anonymous, and users can change their node entrance and exit points at whim. You can bet sellers are doing this; why do you think they aren't?

Even if it's the case that your bitcoin traffic can be tracked, it must still be linked to a Silk Road transaction, and no matter how competent you believe the FBI is, the logistics and expense of doing so make it practically impossible. Have you ever been to the Silk Road? The dealers there are small potatoes; $10 here, $50 there. All small discrete packages. The biggest money launderers on the site only do so in blocks of a few hundred to a few thousand USD. You really think the FBI is going to commit many millions of dollars going after individuals? The RIAA and MPAA have already tried that in the recording and movie industries respectively and piracy is still exploding. The FBI may be incompetent, but they aren't stupid. They go after the big guys, the suppliers and importers.

Your idea about the FBI setting up a Silk Road shop to catch 1000s of buyers is ludicrous. For one thing, buyers get a rating based upon successful transactions, and if buyers don't get their product, the seller account is going to get a negative rating very quickly (probably after as few as two transactions), and no one will buy from them anymore. And for another thing, if the Feds actually DO send out drugs to get a positive rep and catch 1000s, it would be a scandal bigger than Fast and Furious. The FBI itself, selling drugs to build a rap sheet; it's untenable. It would be the same as the FBI hosting a child porn site with ACTUAL child porn in order to entrap paedophiles.

The main purpose of CALEA is for VoIP, and even if it did enable deep packet inspection of text think of the complications surrounding the monitoring of a network like Tor: a) the only reliable node to monitor is the user's entrance node. At any time the user can reset their connection and use a different path and exit node. Some clients are set up to do this automatically. Monitoring an entrance node means you've already been identified via other means; how else would they set up the tap? b) Tor traffic throughout the network is encrypted. Deep packet inspection of all such content isn't feasible, even if the FBI had access to thousands of the worlds fastest supercomputers. Quantum computers MAYBE. The issue being that Tor traffic isn't the only content that is encrypted on the internet. It looks just like any other encrypted traffic such as SSL, an encrypted proxy or encrypted P2P over normal networks. In any case, monitoring any of the central nodes is almost useless because the Tor network can reroute at whim; what you are monitoring at one moment, can bypass you the next. c) Monitoring an exit node means those doing the monitoring know where the exit node is, and that the traffic itself isn't double encrypted. HTTPS over the Tor network means the packets emerging from the exit node are still encrypted and avoid this exit node paranoia you seem to have. You really think that every (or even some) sellers who gain trusted status actually have their exit nodes monitored and the FBI is tracking every person who makes a transaction with them? I don't know, maybe there IS an agent under every bed, but if that's the case, they are spending a FORTUNE on what is right now a $2 million/month operation when the entire US illegal drug trade amounts to something like $33 Billion/month. We shall see how it plays out, eh?

My credentials are unimportant. The facts speak for themselves.