FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Freedom is Winning in the Encryption Arms Race

At tax time in the US, as Gaurav Sangwani  of India’s Financial Express reports, many American cryptocurrency users weren’t interested in discussing that aspect of their lives with the Internal Revenue Service. In an early April TeamBlind survey of 2,600 people who earned money from crypto, 46% said they wouldn’t be reporting those earnings to Uncle Sam. Meanwhile, per Investopedia’s Nathan Reiff, fewer than 100 of Credit Karma Tax’s 250,000 most recent filers  had reported cryptocurrency transactions as of April 13.

That’s bad news for the IRS, but great news for America. People whose ancestors fought a revolution nearly 250 years ago on the slogan “no taxation without representation” are finally acquiring the weapons to fight a new revolution on a new slogan: No taxation without CONSENT.

Taxation as we know it is really nothing more than the typical mob protection racket: “Nice livelihood you got there — be a shame if anything happened to it.” And since the birth of employer “withholding” during World War Two, the mobsters have mostly had it easy. They rake what they want right off the top of your paycheck and encourage you to think of any partial refund as a gift.

The racket has always had two weak points, though.

One is that it’s dependent on a model of employment — centralized workplace, lots of employees, one employer — that’s increasingly giving way to a “gig economy” in which more and more people are becoming de facto self-employers.

The other is that it’s dependent on an easy access to personal information that once favored the mobsters but that has likewise been breaking down since the dawn of widely available Internet access.

Since the late 1980s, Americans have been engaged in an arms race with the federal government: Our strong encryption versus their attempts to compromise that encryption. Win some, lose some, but cryptocurrency is potentially our side’s decisive super-weapon.

If you thought the perpetual whining from law enforcement about encryption was about fighting terrorism, think again. It’s mostly about the money. Like other mobsters, politicians and their accomplices hate the idea of their rackets coming to an end.

Government will get much smaller and much less powerful once it has to ask nicely for a share of the wealth you produce, and justify the request, instead of just taking what it wants. That day draws closer as the percentage of people using cryptocurrency and declining to tell Uncle Sam about it grows.

 

More articles by:

Thomas L. Knapp is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in north central Florida.

Weekend Edition
August 17, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Daniel Wolff
The Aretha Dialogue
Nick Pemberton
Donald Trump and the Rise of Patriotism 
Joseph Natoli
First Amendment Rights and the Court of Popular Opinion
Andrew Levine
Midterms 2018: What’s There to Hope For?
Robert Hunziker
Hothouse Earth
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Running Out of Fools
Ajamu Baraka
Opposing Bipartisan Warmongering is Defending Human Rights of the Poor and Working Class
Paul Street
Corporate Media: the Enemy of the People
David Macaray
Trump and the Sex Tape
CJ Hopkins
Where Have All the Nazis Gone?
Daniel Falcone
The Future of NATO: an Interview With Richard Falk
Cesar Chelala
The Historic Responsibility of the Catholic Church
Ron Jacobs
The Barbarism of US Immigration Policy
Kenneth Surin
In Shanghai
William Camacaro - Frederick B. Mills
The Military Option Against Venezuela in the “Year of the Americas”
Nancy Kurshan
The Whole World Was Watching: Chicago ’68, Revisited
Robert Fantina
Yemeni and Palestinian Children
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Orcas and Other-Than-Human Grief
Shoshana Fine – Thomas Lindemann
Migrants Deaths: European Democracies and the Right to Not Protect?
Paul Edwards
Totally Irrusianal
Thomas Knapp
Murphy’s Law: Big Tech Must Serve as Censorship Subcontractors
Mark Ashwill
More Demons Unleashed After Fulbright University Vietnam Official Drops Rhetorical Bombshells
Ralph Nader
Going Fundamental Eludes Congressional Progressives
Hans-Armin Ohlmann
My Longest Day: How World War II Ended for My Family
Matthew Funke
The Nordic Countries Aren’t Socialist
Daniel Warner
Tiger Woods, Donald Trump and Crime and Punishment
Dave Lindorff
Mainstream Media Hypocrisy on Display
Jeff Cohen
Democrats Gather in Chicago: Elite Party or Party of the People?
Victor Grossman
Stand Up With New Hope in Germany?
Christopher Brauchli
A Family Affair
Jill Richardson
Profiting From Poison
Patrick Bobilin
Moving the Margins
Alison Barros
Dear White American
Celia Bottger
If Ireland Can Reject Fossil Fuels, Your Town Can Too
Ian Scott Horst
Less Voting, More Revolution
Peter Certo
Trump Snubbed McCain, Then the Media Snubbed the Rest of Us
Dan Ritzman
Drilling ANWR: One of Our Last Links to the Wild World is in Danger
Brandon Do
The World and Palestine, Palestine and the World
Chris Wright
An Updated and Improved Marxism
Daryan Rezazad
Iran and the Doomsday Machine
Patrick Bond
Africa’s Pioneering Marxist Political Economist, Samir Amin (1931-2018)
Louis Proyect
Memoir From the Underground
Binoy Kampmark
Meaningless Titles and Liveable Cities: Melbourne Loses to Vienna
Andrew Stewart
Blackkklansman: Spike Lee Delivers a Masterpiece
Elizabeth Lennard
Alan Chadwick in the Budding Grove: Story Summary for a Documentary Film
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail