[ExI] Untraceable nastiness

Rafal Smigrodzki rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com
Fri Apr 5 02:38:44 UTC 2013

On Thu, Apr 4, 2013 at 3:39 AM, Anders Sandberg <anders at aleph.se> wrote:
> There is an  asymmetry between the criminal market and the law enforcement
> market. Somebody can set up a roughing-up service, and it would connect
> people who wants to rough up other people with nasty characters willing to
> do it. These nasty characters already exist and perform some violence, but
> now they can be untraceably hired and directed against targets.

### Indeed, ubiquitous decentralized untraceable payment methods
without the need for direct personal contact open up whole new
business models for criminals. Stanislaw Lem once imagined a society
where it would be possible for any citizen to secretly vote to make
anybody's head explode: Once enough votes are cast, the person dies.
Obviously, a reasonable person would keep a low profile while voting
to kill almost everybody else, and hope to make it until there are not
enough people around for a kill-quorum. In this and in BTC-enabled
implementations of systems where first-mover advantage favors
destruction, the end results are dire.

> It is the same thing with kidnapping: currently the main problem is getting
> paid untraceably. Better untraceable payment methods, likely more
> kidnappings. I also suspect one reason the various frauds and thefts of
> bitcoins have been successful (besides clients being unused to how to secure
> them) is that the fencing is trivial. All crimes and activities like
> corruption where "follow the money" is a good heuristic to catch people
> benefit from bitcoin.

### One the other hand, what technology taketh away with one hand, it
bestoweth with the other: Ubiquitous decentralized surveillance of the
physical layer would make it easy to detect and destroy whoever
undertakes the disapproved-of physical  activity, whether
spontaneously or prompted by an untraceable payment. You may not be
able to know your criminal Nemesis but you might be able to cut off
his hands.

That is, assuming there are no remote-control 3D-printing shops sloppy
enough to let kill-drones sneak out of their doors.


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