XeroBank, Privacy and The FBI. Just A Quick Lunch For Steve Topletz

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Mon, Oct 15 - 6:32 am EDT | 7 years ago by
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I stumbled on to a blog post by Lunch with the FBI. Steve is a very interesting guy. He is currently the Administrator over at XeroBank and a member of Hacktivismo.

XeroBank, Privacy and The FBI.  Just A Quick Lunch For Steve TopletzWhat is Hacktivismo?

Remember the ‘Cult of the Dead Cow’, Hacktivismo was born out of that group and today it is considered sort of, “…an international group of hackers, human rights workers, lawyers and artists”. The group fights Internet censorship and promotes privacy rights. For digital currency users, privacy, is an important issue.

Steve also developed the xB Browser which was previously known as ‘Torpark’. [*The name Torpark is a reference to the development codename for Firefox 1.5] Released by Hacktivismo in September 2006….

“Torpark is an anonymous, fully portable Web browser based on Mozilla Firefox. Torpark comes pre-configured, requires no installation, can run off a USB memory stick, and leaves no tracks behind in the browser or computer. Torpark is a highly modified variant of Portable Firefox, that uses the TOR (The Onion Router) network to anonymize the connection between the user and the website that is being visited.

The post discusses, Steve’s friendly Wednesday afternoon lunch with FBI agents over Chili’s blue-cheese burgers and chicken salad. Their talk seemed to be centered around customer privacy issues at XeroBank. Here is a part of the post from Steve,

“I had to stress that unless the violators are international ‘terrorists’ that pose some immediate threat to human life, child-pornographers, or cash/paypal/e-gold fraudsters then we simply can’t be bothered with anything less than a court order, which won’t trace or identify the client anyway.” “…If the user isn’t violating our terms of service, we have to decline to provide any assistance. Of course, we also know who we are dealing with, and if it is an issue of terrorism, we don’t think we’ll be getting a call from the FBI. In that situations the lights will turn on at the NSA, and the potential threat will be neutralized with little or no involvement from xb whatsoever. As I said earlier, if you are trying to hide from a super-powerful omniscient agency with the ability to monitor all traffic on the internet, you’ve got bigger problems than anyone can help you with.”

Its nice to see his candid working approach to privacy and his understanding of the need for a court order when addressing customer privacy.

Perhaps most refreshing is his clear understanding that if a terrorist was potentially attempting to use your system, its very likely his communication is already being monitored whether you as the admin were informed about it or not. I agree with this statement.

This fact is also true for online banking and digital currency systems.

His working understanding of this greater degree of surveillance over the really bad guys, is opposite of the wild claims made by the print media and by Fox news that somehow the e-gold online payment system could ever afford privacy for a potential terrorist. BusinessWeek and Fox News, you both suck for falsely circulating those claims.

XeroBank offers strong online privacy protection. When accessing digital money businesses and while using your digital money accounts, you may want to try out the XeroBank service. Input is appreciated.

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  • Torizen

    Steve Topletz is a total jerk.