Australian Government Spying on Citizens Using Cryptos

Australian Banks Allegedly Blocking Crypto Based Transactions

Freeezing Citizens Crypto Accounts

Why is the Australian government passing laws to spy on all citizens using cryptocurrency under the guise of stopping the funding of terrorism? Sure this gives Cryptocurrency some sort of credibility and should bolster people’s faith in the currency due to major governments trying to regulate it.

But let’s be honest here, terrorism is being funded by governments like The United States, Saudi Arabia, and so on, it is out in the open, not regular people. This is just how governments get over reaching laws to be passed without the public getting upset.Australian Government Spying on its Citizens Using Cryptos

Because of this new bill being passed, Big banks in Australia have been blocking some of their customers from even using cryptocurrency exchanges like coinbase and others. The government doesn’t want citizens to have the option to use the fully anonymous coins like Dash, Zcash, or Monero. One person had reported that their account was closed for that very reason. National Australia Bank, ANZ, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Westpac Banking Corporation to name some.

Bill Requires You To Report All of Your Transactions

The bill is basically telling their citizens where they can spend their money. It is effectively requiring you to report all transactions to your government including who you made the transaction with. It goes beyond taxes, it is collecting information about you, because some businesses like Amazon work with governments to not pay taxes on products sold. Though they haven’t been so successful with that in the EU. The government wants to know who you are doing business with at all times. How long will it be before all exchanges (regardless of location) that don’t hand over private information about you and your activities to your government become illegal businesses? This new law makes this reality seem possible. How else will they be able to track your spending habits?

According to the ATO they are wanting your input (your compliance) on the new regulation being imposed on cryptocurrency exchanges. How kind of them.

With this “community consultation” they are trying to make citizens happy to let their government track every purchase made with crypto as they already have that capability with your credit, and debit cards. You can see in the new simple guidelines laid out here for exchanges.

I pulled this out of their extremely simple guidelines posted inside. This can be used to gain records on anything and anyone using crypto that they want to in the future.

“You need to keep the following records in relation to your cryptocurrency transactions:

• the date of the transactions
• the value of the cryptocurrency in Australian dollars at the time of the transaction (which can be taken from a reputable online exchange)
• what the transaction was for and who the other party was (even if it’s just their cryptocurrency address).”

As far as I can see this can be applied to every transaction you ever make involving cryptocurrency if the government so wishes. And I pulled this right out of the bill and it outlines what they fear of Crypto

National governments and actors in the traditional financial system and are in the process of grappling with the policy and regulatory challenges associated with digital currencies as their use increases.”

In the context of money laundering and terrorism financing, AGD summarised the key risks associated with digital currencies as:

• greater anonymity (or pseudonymity) compared with traditional non-cash payment methods
• transactions are made on a peer-to-peer basis, generally outside the regulated financial systems, and
• different components of a digital currency system may be located in many countries and subject to
varying degrees of AML/CTF oversight.

And to address those fears they passed that bill which at the very least is:

• requiring echanges to monitor and report certain transactions to AUSTRAC.  Will need to identify, and verify the identities of customers using their services:

• report suspicious matters, international transactions and any transactions involving physical currency that exceeds $10,000
• have an anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing program in place to monitor, mitigate and manage money laundering risks
• maintain records of certain transactions and customer identification for a period of seven years.

Government Can Label You as Terrorist

And in the public outreach it labels every transaction a Taxation event, and requires a record of what was purchased, how much was exchanged, and with whom, or what account. Sure, buying cryptocurrency can be an investment, and it largely is right now. But it is moving towards an actual mainstream currency that will be used on a daily basis. That means that the government is going to have your daily spending habits at their disposal if they want to label you a “terrorist” or “suspect” you to be laundering money. It just amounts to spying, and people are being asked to give up freedoms in the name of “fighting terrorism,” and this is wrong, it’s disingenuous, and needs to stop.

Australian Government Spying on its Citizens Using CryptosThis new bill is just shedding light on this practice already in effect for your traditional accounts. In the US they can spy on you through just about any means in the name of fighting terrorism, when the government is straight up funding the terrorists. Regular people are not doing that, the few that may be are a drop in the bucket, and it is an insult to thinking people to present it this way.

I am tired of seeing laws being passed around the world with the intentions of fighting “terrorism” by taking freedoms or privacy away from law abiding citizens. If you want to tax purchases made by citizens, fine. Make sellers responsible for collecting that tax on items sold, and leave the customers information out of it.

Every purchase of crypto in the near future is not going to be an investment, neither is every purchase using that crypto. Right now cryptocurrency is being used to move money from one country to another saving people time and money, some purchases, and soon people will be able to use cryptocurrency at thousands of retailers in South Korea like Arcanebear has covered in a past article. Bithumb is one such company helping this become a reality. We don’t want the government getting all of our purchase history with our crypto, and if more laws like this are passed they will.

 

Author: Steven Johnson

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