The Canadian government has widened the scope of Terrorist Funding rules to include innocuous activities including cryptocurrencies and crowdfunding, giving Trudeau the power to arbitrarily freeze bank accounts in response to freedom protests.
Trudeau opts for Nuclear Option
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has invoked the so-called Emergencies Act, which gives his administration the supreme power to freeze Freedom Convoy Protestors’ bank accounts and monitor “large suspicious transactions“, including crypto.
In a press conference on Feb 14., Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said this manoeuvre against protestors broadens the scope of Terrorist Financing rules. It targets “crowdfunding platforms and the payment service providers they use.”
These changes cover all forms of transactions including digital assets such as cryptocurrencies.
The Canadian government can now seize citizen’s assets at its own discretion. So far, Western leaders have not denounced this obscene overreach from Trudeau.
Protesters gathered $19 million in funds using GoFundMe and GiveSendGo platforms. But those funds never reached the convoy as they were blocked. This led to organisers starting a Bitcoin funding round.
Cryptocurrencies aren’t going away. Buy Bitcoin & Litecoin here.
The HonkHonk Hodl group raised 22 BTC ($1 million) through the Tallycoin BTC fundraising platform. The Tallycoin page closed today (Feb 15.) after reaching the fundraising goal. The funds will be distributed to the freedom protestors in due course.
The Tallycoin bitcoin fundraiser supporting the Canadian Freedom Convoy protests has been voluntarily shutdown by organizers. Known private key holders have transferred funds to new key holders. pic.twitter.com/9cgwlaroZ1
— no bullshit bitcoin (@nobsbitcoin) February 14, 2022
GoFundMe refunded donors after coordinating with government officials, but GiveSendGo experienced a questionable information leak that exposed the identity of “thousands of names of those who donated to the Freedom Convoy” per a tweet from Daily Dot writer Michael Thalen.
BREAKING: GiveSendGo, the crowdfunding website used by the Freedom Convoy, is now redirecting to the domain GiveSendGone[.]wtf.
A video from the Disney film Frozen now appears alongside a manifesto condemning the website and the Freedom Convoy. pic.twitter.com/3TLAwfvZ3w
— Mikael Thalen (@MikaelThalen) February 14, 2022
Meanwhile, Quebec Premier Francois Legault said that Trudeau’s invoking of the Emergencies Act is like “throw(ing) oil on the fire.” Still, the Prime Minister insisted that the emergency powers would be applied “temporarily and in a highly specific manner.”
Of course, Canadians and Westerners remember all too-well the last time temporary powers were applied, which should have lasted two weeks and yet are only now being partially lifted.
The Canadian Civil Liberties Association pointed out that the government has overstepped its remit in doing so, noting: “The federal government has not met the threshold necessary to invoke the Emergencies Act.”
This law creates a high and clear standard for good reason: the Act allows government to bypass ordinary democratic processes. This standard has not been met.
Off the Deep end
The latest moves from Trudeau’s government have rightly been denounced across social media platforms as draconian, undemocratic and tyrannical. In a turn of somewhat dark humour, comparisons between Trudeau and Fascistic dictators from history have also been drawn in a video that overlays Hitler’s face onto the Prime Minister’s.
Who did this pic.twitter.com/FW6iRF2HDI
— Farooq Ahmed⚡️ (@FarooqAhmedX) February 15, 2022
Financial Privacy is a human right
That said, the unprecedented and chilling announcement highlights not only the importance for Bitcoin and Litecoin, but for financial privacy as well. While Canada is not comparable to Communist China just yet, the thought of total arbitrary surveillance is something we tend to read about in science fiction, not experience in real life. And if revolving private-public sector doors cannot respect individual financial privacy when it matters, then is this not a damning admission of a rift between what policy makers say and what they do?
Within this context, Litecoin developers have for years developed a privacy-focused update called MimbleWimble Extension Block (MWEB). As the lead developer David Burktt said, the update allows for “optional confidentiality MWEB provides gives the user notable and needed protections for small everyday items, to salaries or even buying a home.”
With the advent of several governments falling foul of their commitments to liberty and seeking the public good, this begs the question: what other motives are being hidden from the publics?
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