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Conviction of Tornado Cash programmer: Privacy is not a crime!

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On Tuesday a Dutch court sentenced the programmer Alexey Pertsev to five years in prison. The court found him guilty of money laundering because the “Tornado Cash” software he developed enables criminals to carry out completely anonymous and untraceable crypto transactions (so-called “crypto mixer”). “The focus was on preserving the anonymity of the user and concealing the transaction history,” the court alleged. Due to its mode of operation, the court considered the software to be “specifically intended for criminals”. In 36 cases, stolen cryptocurrencies were put into circulation anonymously with the help of the software, for which the programmer was ruled to be responsible. In its judgement, the court accused him of an “ideology of maximum privacy.”

Pirate Party Member of the European Parliament Patrick Breyer warns of the consequences of this conviction: “This ruling criminalises legitimate anonymity and all programmers who make it possible. The anonymity we enjoy when using cash, which protects our financial freedom, must not be criminalised when applied to digital currencies.
The consequences of this approach could well extend to programmers of messenger software or anonymisation networks. It is in this spirit that the EU has recently placed strict limits on anonymous cash payments and is proposing the destruction of the digital privacy of correspondence (chat control or child sexual abuse regulation).

Seeing freedom only in light of its abuse by some individuals curtails liberty and is an authoritarian way of thinking. We Pirates are digital freedom fighters because freedom is the foundation of our society and benefits it far more than the damage that may be caused by its criminal abuse.”