Snowden is at it again. The famous whistleblower, notorious for revealing some of the most invasive programs of the NSA, a pivotal intelligence agency for USA services, now has revealed that crypto users had been in the eye of the storm for quite some time.
This time, Snowden revealed concerning documents about a new program called MONKEYROCKET, a service that was advertised as an anonymity enhancer for bitcoin users that desired more security; but it turns out that the program was designed to do the opposite of that. Using various software techniques, it would allow the NSA to tap into the computer of the users and record entire data sessions, a great breach of security.
This, conjunctly with XKeyScore, gave American intelligence forces a great quantity of raw information to use. Also, it was revealed that most of the tracked individuals came from outside the USA, mostly from Asia and European countries. The NSA justified the fact of tracking anonymous Bitcoin users by the fact that according to them, the capabilities of money laundering and terrorism funding that this anonymity gave them made them suspicious. But, they clearly went overboard with it, tapping into personal information, according to the article of the Intercept.
The article also mentions that the main source of information for bringing down SilkRoad could have been gathered by means of this program. SilkRoad was the biggest underground market in the darknet, and all transactions there were bitcoin-based, because of the anonymity of the coin. This would be of great importance, making all the legal processes against the SilkRoad creators void, due to the illegal way of gathering the info to take them to trial and effectively jail them.
The international community is in disarray due to the concerning reach of these revelations. Maybe these programs are still in place today, siphoning info from unsuspecting users illegally.