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An Extraordinary Move in Search for Missing Journalist

October 9, 2018 |

Turkey said Tuesday it will search the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul as it investigates why journalist Jamal Khashoggi vanished there a week ago, an extraordinary probe of a diplomatic post amid Turkish officials’ fears the writer had been killed inside the building. That Saudi Arabia would allow foreigners to enter…

Kids Find Body Near Search for Missing Teacher

October 6, 2018 |

Kids playing in the woods Friday stumbled on a body near the home of a missing Maine schoolteacher, the Portland Press Herald reports. A search team was scouring the area around the house of Kristin Westra—who apparently vanished Monday , leaving behind her car and cellphone—when children made the…

An Intense Search in the Smokies, a Heartbreaking Find

October 3, 2018 |

It’s a sad ending to a weeklong search for an Ohio woman who vanished while hiking on the North Carolina side of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Knoxville News Sentinel reports the body of 53-year-old Mitzie Sue Clements was found Tuesday afternoon, less than a mile south of the…

Search for Ruby Rose at Your Peril

October 3, 2018 |

The riskiest celeb to Google this year? Ruby Rose, USA Today reports. The Orange Is the New Black actress, who will soon play Batwoman on the CW network, has been named by Internet security company McAfee as the most dangerous of 2018, meaning online search results for her name are…

Draconian Digital Search Laws Threaten Bitcoiners Passing Through Customs

October 2, 2018 |

Draconian Digital Search Laws Threaten Bitcoiners Passing Through Customs

Draconian legislation in a series of supposedly liberal democracies is encroaching on the rights of travelers. New Zealand is the latest nation to pass laws granting customs agents unprecedented investigatory powers including the right to force travelers to disclose their passwords or face a $ 5,000 fine. The news has understandably been greeted with alarm by bitcoiners who have particular reason to prize their privacy.

Also read: How to Protect Your Bitcoin and Your Privacy When Passing Through Customs

New Zealand Presages the Shape of Border Surveillance to Come

Travelers passing through customs are particularly vulnerable to state intrusion into their personal lives. Airports occupy a sort of netherworld in which the normal laws protecting citizens are relaxed under the guise of protecting national security. While preventing terrorists and other dangerous criminals from gaining entry is a justifiable reason for profiling and potentially searching new arrivals, it’s also used as a dragnet exercise. From cypherpunks to activists, anyone deemed vaguely anti-government – despite presenting no physical threat to the state – are prone to being hauled up for interrogation. Laptop inspected. Cell phone scrutinized. And now, password demanded.

New Zealand’s national security measures are not usually mentioned in the same breath as those of more oppressive regimes such as the US. Its latest customs law has placed the Antipodean territory firmly in the limelight, however, and had bitcoiners vowing never to return. Travelers who refuse to produce the password to their electronic devices upon request could be handed a $ 5,000 fine. The Customs and Excise Act 2018 effectively authorizes “digital strip searches”. While some caveats have been introduced – the search will supposedly be limited to data stored on the device and not to connected cloud accounts – it is nevertheless a cause for concern.

Concerned Cryptocurrency Holders Vow to Take Preventative Measures

The number of travelers who are forced to reveal their passwords by NZ officials is relatively low; 540 devices were searched in 2017. There are fears however that the new Customs and Excise Act will lead to an increase in searches and set a dangerous precedent that could be emulated by the other Five Eyes nations, completed by Australia, Canada, the UK and the US. The quintet are parties to a multilateral signals intelligence agreement. In effect, this means that the US could use New Zealand as a conduit for sweeping up intelligence on a target passing through customs. Thus, despite its diminutive size, the ramifications of New Zealand’s new law are potentially huge.

Draconian Digital Search Laws Threaten Bitcoiners Passing Through Customs

“As border controls become more draconian in conducting digital strip searches it will become more important to protect your data by leaving it “at home” and downloading it later via a tool such as @syncthing,” urged Jameson Lopp. Andreas Antonopoulos was even blunter, tweeting: “It was nice visiting New Zealand twice. Pity I won’t be going back… In today’s society this kind of orwellian bullshit is unacceptable.” has previously published guides on protecting your privacy and concealing your affinity for cryptocurrency when traveling abroad to avoid scrutiny. While owning cryptocurrency is not illegal, it may be enough to invite an enhanced search. Should customs agents subsequently uncover a digital wallet holding a large amount of crypto, law-abiding travelers could find themselves facing some tough questions under the assumption of “Guilty until proven innocent”.

What are your thoughts on New Zealand’s new “digital strip search” law? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, and Twitter.

Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Draconian Digital Search Laws Threaten Bitcoiners Passing Through Customs appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Search for Clues Continues in Death of Maddox Ritch

September 28, 2018 |

The search for clues continues after authorities announced they had found a body believed to be that of a missing 6-year-old boy. FBI Agent Jason Kaplan said investigators still want to hear from people who were in the Gastonia park last weekend when Maddox Ritch ran away from his father,…

Body Found in Search for Boy, 6, Who Ran Off at Park

September 27, 2018 |

A tragic end to the story of the 6-year-old North Carolina boy who went missing while visiting a park with his father Saturday: Authorities say they have found a body believed to be that of Maddox Scott Ritch. A neighbor tells FOX 46 Charlotte that local residents asked whether search…

Google Workers Discussed Tweaking Search Function to Counter Travel Ban

September 21, 2018 |

Days after the Trump administration instituted a controversial travel ban in January 2017, Google employees discussed how they could tweak the company’s search-related functions to show users how to contribute to pro-immigration organizations and contact lawmakers and government agencies, according to internal company emails. What’s News Asia

Deep Web Roundup: New Search Engine + Tor Browser, Same Old War on Drugs

September 9, 2018 |

Deep Web Roundup: New Search Engine and Tor Browser, Same Old War on Drugs

In this latest edition of our periodic deep web series, we bring news of Tor 8 – the most feature-rich onion browser yet. We also take a first look at a clearnet web browser that trawls the darknet, and cover the fallout from the Alphabay shutdown, whose repercussions rumble on to this day.

Also read: Russian Industry Association Launching Crypto Certification Program

Tor 8 Looks Great

The Tor Project has released its latest and greatest browser yet. Tor 8 is a slick looking beast compared to the Tor browsers of yore, partially thanks to its incorporation of Firefox Quantum, which allows for better page rendering and other subtle tweaks. With Tor 8, there’s a new welcome screen to guide first-time users through the process of connecting to the deep web, and there are additional security protections built in. A Tor Circuit button can now be used to switch servers at random, further obfuscating users’ connection route.

Deep Web Roundup: New Search Engine and Tor Browser, Same Old War on Drugs
The Tor Circuit button in action

Tor 8 comes with HTTPS Everywhere and Noscript, and it is recommended that users enable these add-ons, as they’re critical in maximizing anonymity while browsing the web. While the Tor browser is best known as a tool for navigating the dark web, it can also be deployed as a privacy-friendly clearnet browser which minimizes cookies and other web trackers. Finally, the new improved Tor makes it easier to circumvent firewalls in countries where internet censorship is rife. Its development team explains:

For users where Tor is blocked, we have previously offered a handful of bridges in the browser to bypass censorship. But to receive additional bridges, you had to send an email or visit a website, which posed a set of problems. To simplify how you request bridges, we now have a new bridge configuration flow when you when you launch Tor. Now all you have to do is solve a captcha in Tor Launcher, and you’ll get a bridge IP. We hope this simplification will allow more people to bypass censorship and browse the internet freely and privately.

Deep Web Gets a Clearnet Search Engine

Searching the deep web has traditionally been harder than with its clearnet counterpart. The absence of a darknet Google is arguably part of its appeal, making onion sites accessible only to those who know what they’re looking for. It was this barrier to entry that ensured sites like Silk Road were accessible solely to technically adept users in bitcoin’s early days. The deep web has opened up significantly since then, giving up its secrets, and in the same week that Tor released its most user-friendly browser yet, it’s perhaps fitting that a clearnet search engine for the deep web should launch. is a simple but effective tool for generating deep web search results without needing to first connect to the deep web.

Deep Web Roundup: New Search Engine and Tor Browser, Same Old War on Drugs
Onionland deep web search engine

US Government Authorized to Seize Alphabay Suspect’s Assets

Long after deep web marketplaces have been shut down, the fallout continues to make its mark in US courtrooms. Silk Road, Hansa, and Alphabay’s legal wranglings periodically make the news, despite the years elapsed since the sites were first seized. As evidence of this, consider the ruling by a recent US magistrate judge granting the federal government permission to seize and sell millions of dollars worth of assets associated with Alexandre Cazes. The reputed Alphabay ringleader had $ 8 million of assets on his driveway alone at the time of this arrest in a string of high performance sports cars. Including cryptocurrencies, his total net worth was eventually calculated at $ 23 million.

Deep Web Roundup: New Search Engine and Tor Browser, Same Old War on Drugs
The US government’s application for Alphabay asset seizure

Among the showier items in Cazes’ collection was a Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 worth almost $ 1 million with a license plate that read “Tor”. The late Alphabay boss certainly wasn’t subtle, but for all his sins, it is hard not to feel sorry for the 25-year-old who wound up dead in a Bangkok cell from suicide, another needless victim of the war on drugs.

Have you tried the latest Tor browser and if so what are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Tor Project, and Twitter.

Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Deep Web Roundup: New Search Engine + Tor Browser, Same Old War on Drugs appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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