Connect with us

Op-Ed

Spain Passes Draconian Laws Affecting Internet Freedom

Published

on

For a few years, there have been grumblings in Spain about the attempts to pass laws which forbid the photographing of police officers as well as various types of civil disobedience. Tolerance of civil disobedience is globally seen as a hallmark of a free society, but now “unauthorized” protesters in Spain will face steep fines, and photographing police in the line of duty is now illegal.

// -- Discuss and ask questions in our community on Workplace.

Perhaps more interesting to our audience, however, are the new heavy-handed regulations regarding online activities such as pirating movies and games. If it can be deemed to be done for “commercial purposes,” which is a vague concept, piracy can now be punished by up to three years in prison. Such laws seem to be popping up worldwide, involving the government in the private affairs of content creators and consumers.

Also read: NYPD Hacks Wikipedia With False Information

// -- Become a yearly Platinum Member and save 69 USD. Click here to change your current membership -- //

Cyberactivism and Anti-Terrorism

21-spain-2In addition to the laws which forbid the photographing of police or the organization of “unauthorized” protests, citizens who post online about civil disobedience events could also be subject to the criminal prosecution. Specifically, the law states:

Distribution or public dissemination through any medium, of messages or slogans that incite the commission of any offense of disorderly conduct under Article 557 of the Penal Code, or serve to reinforce the decision to carry them out shall be punished with a fine of three to twelve months or imprisonment from three months to a year.

Most onerous of this is “serve to reinforce.” Does this mean that people posting on social media in support of protesters will be just as guilty as those protesting? Time will tell, as the laws take effect in July, and following that, will be enforced.

Perhaps worst for hackers of a political bent, it is now a terrorist act to attack a government website. Additionally, the very act of buying a Virtual Private Network subscription can be considered illegal.

Illegal to “Glorify and Publicly Justify” Crime

It may be hard to believe, but the government has actually made it illegal to state in a public way that one agrees with something illegal. While doing so is obviously not the same as actually breaking the law, now those who “glorify” or “publicly justify” something deemed a crime under the new law can be subject to up to eighteen months in prison. From the law:

Glorification and public justification of crimes under Articles 572-577 or those who participated in its execution or performance of acts involving disrepute, contempt or humiliation of victims of terrorist offenses or their families, shall be punished with imprisonment of one to three years and a fine of twelve to eighteen months.

Has Franco Returned?

Often forgotten about Spain is that the fascist Francisco Franco was in power until 1975. During his reign, he executed some between 200 and 400,000 political opponents. His era was one of severe repression characterized by labor camps and strict limits on political freedoms.

Such laws as these would not have been a surprise to Spanish citizens during that time, but in the modern era of democracy, they seem to have no place. While many would consider some of the changes, such as steep penalties on child and revenge pornographers, to be legitimate, these reasonable laws come at the cost of numerous civil liberties. Not to mention, a new widespread reduction of accountability of the police force will now be in effect since it is illegal for citizens to document any police misconduct.

Read the English translation of the new laws here.

Images from Shutterstock.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gv3o7t3-y5s

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

Rate this post:

Important for improving the service. Please add a comment in the comment field below explaining what you rated and why you gave it that rate. Failed Trade Recommendations should not be rated as that is considered a failure either way.
0 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 5 (0 votes, average: 0.00 out of 5)
You need to be a registered member to rate this.
Loading...

5 stars on average, based on 2 rated postsP. H. Madore has covered the cryptocurrency beat over the course of hundreds of articles for Hacked's sister site, CryptoCoinsNews, as well as some of her competitors. He is a major contributing developer to the Woodcoin project, and has made technical contributions on a number of other cryptocurrency projects. In spare time, he recently began a more personalized, weekly newsletter at http://ico.phm.link




Feedback or Requests?

9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. fabrica64

    March 30, 2015 at 5:55 pm

    I think freedom of expression is an absolute concept, so there should be no law restricting it… but pirating media is stealing, so defending it is like defending the right to steal. And “commercial purposes” is not a vague concept, it’s very clear, it’s when you make a profit from handling (distributing or selling) pirated media.

    • jdbo

      March 31, 2015 at 10:50 am

      You are contradicting yourself…. think again you can still have the right to do it now…..

      • fabrica64

        March 31, 2015 at 11:06 am

        Do you mean freedom of expression includes freedom to steal?

        • jdbo

          March 31, 2015 at 1:37 pm

          This is YOUR meaning… Thus the contradictions:
          freedom AND stealing
          freedom of speach AND “pirating media”.
          Your “… but” is mainly propaganda against freedom of speach.
          Am I wrong? Why? Think again…

          • fabrica64

            March 31, 2015 at 1:50 pm

            Sorry but I don’t understand you. I am for freedom of speech but I think distributing works done by others without their permission and making profit on it without sharing this profit with them is stealing. I don’t see contradiction unless you think private property is against freedom of speech.

          • jdbo

            March 31, 2015 at 1:59 pm

            You don’t want to understand:

            THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO LINK BETWEEN FREEDOM OF SPEACH AND “stealing work done by others”.

            How is it possible you don’t understand this????
            Or maybe you don’t understand at all the meaning of “freedom of speach”.

            There is ALREADY many many many many many many laws against the stealing of work done “by others”….

            Here the propaganda wants ONLY to link any stupid thing to “freedom of speach” in the minds of the readers in order to FORBID “freedom of speach”.

            Totally useless propaganda… You are answering always very quickly than you are the propaganda, aren’t you? Why? Are you a cop or related?

  2. Pete Rossetti

    March 30, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    whats that got to do with the price of milk?

    • jdbo

      March 31, 2015 at 1:38 pm

      religions… mainly… again! loool….

  3. Private_Eyescream

    July 6, 2015 at 5:40 am

    The Jews are pushing again to imprison the world in their tyranny and they are over-reaching again.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Op-Ed

Is Manipulation Behind Bitcoin Cash’s Absurd Rally?

Published

on

Although you wouldn’t know it by today’s prices, bitcoin cash (BCH) has topped the crypto market leader board this month. The digital currency more than doubled over the span of 18 days, and in doing so far outpaced the broader market. But a closer examination of the value drivers suggest manipulation could be partly responsible for the rally.

// -- Discuss and ask questions in our community on Workplace.

As a reminder, the author has no vested interest in smearing BCH as I believe it to be one of the more advantageous coins on the market today. That said, the circumstances surrounding the most recent rally are peculiar to say the least.

What’s Up with Bitcoin.com?

A Hacked user informed me earlier this week that Bitcoin.com has been using the “BCH” ticker next to the word “bitcoin”. Normally, the ticker “BTC” is reserved for bitcoin, which is the original blockchain we all know about. Instead, the website quotes “BTC” next to the term “bitcoin core”.

In other words, BCH is quoted next to bitcoin and BTC is referred to as bitcoin core. See here for yourself:

// -- Become a yearly Platinum Member and save 69 USD. Click here to change your current membership -- //

 

For most readers of Hacked, the distinction is easily discernible, but for new traders the difference isn’t easily gauged.

The first question I have is, how many people bought bitcoin (BCH) thinking they were receiving actual bitcoin (BTC)?

Bitcoin.com describes itself as the “premier source for everything bitcoin.” Although the website doesn’t appear to offer a full-fledged trading platform, users can purchase bitcoin and bitcoin cash using the following link.

It is unclear how long the website has been referring to BCH as bitcoin. For those of us who’ve been following the market for some time, the way BTC and BCH are quoted is certainly strange.

Antpool

A large cryptocurrency mining group by the name of Antpool has also been accused of pumping BCH in recent weeks. The pool announced about six days ago that it is responsible for confirming more than 8% of all bitcoin cash transactions. In addition to confirming those, Antpool is also said to be burning BCH on a daily basis in order to reduce supply and boost prices.

Of course, crypto pumps do not require such elaborate setups to achieve their goals. Pump-and-dumps can be orchestrated rather easily through a chat group on social media. But Antpool does have a large and privileged position in the BCH ecosystem, which has raised suspicion over its recent actions.

Bitcoin Cash is Overbought, According to Tom Lee

Fundstrat’s Tom Lee recently weighed in on the bitcoin cash phenomenon, concluding that the cryptocurrency was overbought. In his view, investors should stick with bitcoin if they had a choice between Core and Cash.

In a segment on CNBC’s Fast Money, Lee said:

“I prefer not to pick winners and losers when we’re looking at cryptocurrencies like bitcoin/bitcoin Cash… Both have merits but if I was putting new money to work today… I would be a lot more interested in buying a lagger that could attract inflows rather than something that’s potentially overbought.”

Bitcoin cash added around $1,000 to its value between Apr. 6 and 23, with prices peaking near $1,600. The cryptocurrency corrected sharply lower on Wednesday and was still declining as of Thursday’s early-morning session. At the time of writing, BCH/USD was down 4.6% at $1,268.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

 

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

Rate this post:

Important for improving the service. Please add a comment in the comment field below explaining what you rated and why you gave it that rate. Failed Trade Recommendations should not be rated as that is considered a failure either way.
8 votes, average: 4.13 out of 58 votes, average: 4.13 out of 58 votes, average: 4.13 out of 58 votes, average: 4.13 out of 58 votes, average: 4.13 out of 5 (8 votes, average: 4.13 out of 5)
You need to be a registered member to rate this.
Loading...

4.5 stars on average, based on 410 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he specializes in cryptocurrency, economics and the broader financial markets. Sam has nearly eight years of progressive experience as an analyst, writer and financial market commentator where he has contributed to the world's foremost newscasts.




Feedback or Requests?

Continue Reading

Decentralization

JP Morgan’s Surprise Cryptocurrency Fees are a Reminder of Why Decentralization Is Sorely Needed

Published

on

JP Morgan Chase & Co has been hit with a class-action lawsuit by cryptocurrency traders over allegations of unannounced fees and higher interest rates on purchases of digital currencies. Though the allegations have not been proven, extra fees are a tactic routinely employed by traditional banking institutions. In the case of JP Morgan, this has karma written all over it given the way its chief executive has ridiculed digital assets by associating them with fraud.

// -- Discuss and ask questions in our community on Workplace.

Class Action Lawsuit

Traders from across the United States are seeking statutory damages of $1 million for unannounced interest charges and fees on cryptocurrency transactions between January and February of this year. The named plaintiff in the lawsuit is Brady Tucker, an Idaho resident who paid a total of $163.91 in fees and surprise interest charges over a six-day stretch.

According to information obtained by Reuters, the lawsuit accuses the bank of violating the U.S. Truth in Lending Act, a piece of legislation that requires credit card issuers to inform customers in writing of any notable change in fees.

The lawsuit asserts that Tucker tried to resolve the dispute by calling Chase’s customer support service directly. His request was turned down, prompting him to seek legal help. According to Bloomberg, the case in question is Tucker v. Chase Bank USA NA, 18-cv-3155, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

// -- Become a yearly Platinum Member and save 69 USD. Click here to change your current membership -- //

The Growing Case for Decentralization

Depending on who you ask, the allegations against JP Morgan are akin to cryptocurrency fraud not unlike the kind Jamie Dimon talked about while ridiculing bitcoin. But the irony in Dimon’s comments extend far beyond Chase’s latest dealings.

As the actions of Chase bank and other financial institutions have clearly demonstrated over the years, those who control the size and growth rate of fiat money cannot be trusted to do the right thing. As Nassim Taleb argues in The Black Swan, banks have a tendency of losing as much money as they make in the long run due to shady business practices and high-risk ventures. Decisions like these are easy when you are Too Big to Fail.

Decentralization, like the kind advocated by blockchain startups and cryptocurrencies, allows users to trade directly with each other without having to go through a (predatory) middleman. Decentralized systems not only help participants avoid unnecessary fees, red tape and other forms of unwanted intervention, they are virtually impossible to shut down. In this vein, decentralized currencies give people a fighting chance in their battle against never-ending inflation. As we’ve argued before, this is not only a prudent fight, but a noble one as well.

Cryptocurrencies that rely on decentralization offer society a unique value proposition unlike anything we’ve seen in recent history. What’s more, their adoption is not contingent upon us leaving the realm of traditional finance – at least, not yet. That’s because cryptocurrency started off as an obscure and esoteric asset class but has since become a value store for investors. Tomorrow, it will become a viable medium of exchange accepted worldwide.

That said, we are still in the very early days of the crypto revolution and it may be a while still before we can conclusively prove people like Dimon wrong. But crypto backers and investors should take comfort in knowing that big banks rarely lead in disruption these days. They have the resources to play catch-up, which they are clearly doing with blockchain.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. 

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

Rate this post:

Important for improving the service. Please add a comment in the comment field below explaining what you rated and why you gave it that rate. Failed Trade Recommendations should not be rated as that is considered a failure either way.
2 votes, average: 3.00 out of 52 votes, average: 3.00 out of 52 votes, average: 3.00 out of 52 votes, average: 3.00 out of 52 votes, average: 3.00 out of 5 (2 votes, average: 3.00 out of 5)
You need to be a registered member to rate this.
Loading...

4.5 stars on average, based on 410 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he specializes in cryptocurrency, economics and the broader financial markets. Sam has nearly eight years of progressive experience as an analyst, writer and financial market commentator where he has contributed to the world's foremost newscasts.




Feedback or Requests?

Continue Reading

Altcoins

Will Dash Be the Bitcoin Killer?

Published

on

Well, it has finally happened.  We’ve gone a full week with crypto prices showing positive returns.  OMG, what a big surprise; ether is leading the pack, advancing nearly 15% at the time of this writing.  This is encouraging because it shows that perhaps finally value investors are stepping in and helping set a pricing bottom.  

// -- Discuss and ask questions in our community on Workplace.

It hasn’t hurt a bit that stock and bond market investors have become seasick from all the volatility.  Suddenly, a tiny little weekly Litecoin move of +0.46% or even a 2.47% bitcoin cash gain, looks like pure serenity.  

 

// -- Become a yearly Platinum Member and save 69 USD. Click here to change your current membership -- //

For a while now our focus has been on relative value and there is very little argument that, after the first quarter price collapse, a whole lot of risk has been taken out of bitcoin, ether, Ripple and thousands of others.

The question is where to go and what to go with from here.  The big crypto names are the safe way to go in the short run, but each has become mired in network limitations on scaling and the concomitant cost issues.  

Yes, transaction fees have dropped like a stone from their prohibitively high levels of December but then transaction volumes have fallen by half and more.  That is not the stuff an investor wants to see.

Both bitcoin and Ethereum hope to solve scaling issues with the Lightning Network and Raiden. But for now, if transaction volume were to suddenly rise, the same network limitations would be there.  So even though the big crypto names offer the safest short term options, does that mean we shouldn’t look further out to find value?

Will Dash Solve Bitcoin’s Problem?

Dash emerged last year as one of the most popular and most valuable altcoins. At the time it was considered a real competitor to bitcoin and the leading cryptocurrency of the future. The price of Dash increased from $11 to over $1,430. Dash had a capitalization of over $11 billion at its December peak. Since then it has tumbled more than 80%.  Is now the time to move into Dash? The timing could be very good but before making that decision, we should consider a few things.

Judgement Time

If a jury of its peers were to grade Dash on its performance in 2017, the majority would say it lived up to its billing.  Using Dash, users could send money instantly using the InstaSend feature that allowed for complete anonymity. At the peak, transaction costs were around $0.60, which were dwarfed by bitcoin’s high of $30. 

Since then, Dash fees have fallen to about $0.20, making them attractive for small sized transactions. All alone this represents a compelling feature of Dash.  Add to that the immediacy of InstaSend and you have the makings of a genuine challenge to Bitcoin.

Caveat Emptor

In appraising Dash’s performance it is useful to look at Metcalfe’s Law, which values social media assets based on a formula of network size.  For Dash, it’s network is processing a tiny fraction of bitcoin’s. The limitations of its network have very likely not yet been tested, so proclaiming Dash the speed king is a bit early. There is still a larger issue to consider.

In the case of Metcalfe’s Law we need to include merchants and other service providers that accept Dash as payment.  That is the big hump for them to overcome before overturning bitcoin. So far, after all, bitcoin is accepted by only about 10,000 or so merchants.  

Further progress by bitcoin is stymied by transaction costs that remain far too high.  Even so look at how many years it has taken bitcoin to attract merchants. Dash faces the same hurdles.

In other words, the trick for Dash is the find a way to gain mass acceptance quickly. That is when the huge $11 billion valuation of last December will begin to be justified. Look over your shoulder bitcoin – faster, lower cost competition is looking to eat your lunch. Dash could be one of those.

 Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

Rate this post:

Important for improving the service. Please add a comment in the comment field below explaining what you rated and why you gave it that rate. Failed Trade Recommendations should not be rated as that is considered a failure either way.
5 votes, average: 4.20 out of 55 votes, average: 4.20 out of 55 votes, average: 4.20 out of 55 votes, average: 4.20 out of 55 votes, average: 4.20 out of 5 (5 votes, average: 4.20 out of 5)
You need to be a registered member to rate this.
Loading...

4.4 stars on average, based on 76 rated postsJames Waggoner is a veteran Wall Street analyst and hedge fund manager who has spent the past few years researching the fintech possibilities of cryptocurrencies. He has a special passion for writing about the future of crypto.




Feedback or Requests?

Continue Reading

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

A part of CCN

Hacked.com is Neutral and Unbiased

Hacked.com and its team members have pledged to reject any form of advertisement or sponsorships from 3rd parties. We will always be neutral and we strive towards a fully unbiased view on all topics. Whenever an author has a conflicting interest, that should be clearly stated in the post itself with a disclaimer. If you suspect that one of our team members are biased, please notify me immediately at jonas.borchgrevink(at)hacked.com.

Trending