'US govt benefits most from NSA leak as people now know it has surveillance weapon'
The US government will benefit from the information on the NSA secret surveillance programs that were revealed by Edward Snowden, who has remained in the transit zone of Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport after arriving from Hong Kong last weekend.
RT:What is a crypto-economist and why would Snowden's case be of interest to you?
Joerg Platzer: As crypto-economists we are working on establishing the future financial and economic system which is going to be a crypto-economic system, which has a lot to do with privacy, anonymity and personal freedoms. So, of course we a looking at things that are going on there very closely.
RT:Would the crypto financial world be immune from the surveillance and monitoring that we are now seeing from the NSA?
JP: It will not be immune, but there will be and there are ways to apply crypto currency or use crypto economic mechanisms without being traceable and without being monitorable.
RT:So, what Snowden revealed is of interest to crypto economists?
JP: Of course it is. But actually of much more interest to the US government itself. Surveillance is a weapon deployed by the government against their biggest enemy – the people. Just like many other weapons, it unfolds most of its power by merely letting people know that one has that weapon by deterrence. I mean what use is the surveillance system for the government if people don’t know about it? I think the biggest benefit out of this leak is going to the US government.
RT:When we talked about the Bitcoin that the US was very concerned it was done on an anonymous basis – people could do transactions, for e.g. in the criminal underworld, where it’s drugs or weapons, etc. So, the Bitcoin and other crypto economic methods are being targeted?
JP: They will be targeted of course. In the financial world everyone knows that there is total surveillance already. What we just found out about Google, Facebook, mail, postings is something that in the financial world has been completely clear for many years now. Everyone knows that every transaction will be monitored, documented and if at all suspicious – be reported to the government.
RT:Are we going to see a huge boom in encryption services?
JP: I don’t think we are going to see a boom, because crypto technology has been there for two or three decades already – just most people are not using it. If you used an encryption service you would already again deal with a third party that you would have to trust, which is not necessary.