Category Archive 'Canadian Trucker Protests'

20 Feb 2022

Bitcoin Wallet Companies Declined

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Red State reports, however, that not all Finance and Tech fell obediently into line.

[W]hile banks like the TD Bank crumbled like a cheap suit, bitcoin companies gave some great responses to requests from the government to adhere with the new orders under the Emergencies Act.

Bitcoin wallet company Nunchuk announced that they’d gotten a request to freeze accounts from the government, “Yesterday, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice sent us a Mareva Injunction, ordering us to freeze and disclose information about the assets involved in the #FreedomConvoy2022 movement.” But Nunchuk explained to the clueless government that they don’t hold any money like a custodial financial institution, they don’t collect user information apart from emails, and they don’t hold the keys to any of the wallets — that it’s all private to the user, by design.

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice asked self-custody wallet provider @nunchuk_io to disclose user information and freeze user’s bitcoin.

    This was the team’s response.

    — Pomp 🌪 (@APompliano) February 19, 2022

“Please look up how self custody and private keys work,” the company chided the government. “When the Canadian dollar becomes worthless, we will be here to serve you too.” Now, that’s gold. They even learned a lesson from this experience with the government, and now will be making it even more private by not even holding the email information in future updates.

Speaking of which, we will add a non-email login option and make it a priority in our roadmap.

    — nunchuk_io (@nunchuk_io) February 19, 2022

Edge wallet had an even more direct response to the fascistic request from the government.

    In the wake of ongoing turmoil taking place in the Canadian capital of Ottawa, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland has requested, via the Emergencies Act, that various financial services companies freeze accounts of those linked to protesters occupying the region, as well as those providing funding to the protests, but not present physically.

    Regardless of whether the protests resonate with individuals or not, financial seizure is an unprecedented action that must be taken seriously. It’s with great consideration that we would like to share our official response to the request that Canadian users’ Edge accounts be frozen:

They finished with this meme.

    — Dr. Nickarama (@nickaramaOG) February 19, 2022

“And most importantly, we can’t, even if we wanted to.”

Nicely done.


20 Feb 2022

Brave New World Canada

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Leighton Woodhouse notes how readily the Canadian state has employed the establishment’s alliance with Big Tech and Finance to deprive opponents not only of the means to protest and resist, but even of the means to live.

When Edward Snowden warned that the digital mass surveillance state built by tech corporations and government intelligence agencies amounted to a “turnkey tyranny,” what’s happening right now in Canada is exactly what he meant. Just as armed drones have made waging war as easy as playing a video game, information technology has taken the friction out of building an authoritarian state. It used to be hard to repress people. You’d have instill enough fear or distribute enough patronage to get the police and the military in line with your ambitions; you’d have to actually send the goons out to crack skulls; you’d have to control the judges and set up kangaroo courts to fill your prisons with your political enemies. It was all very ugly and messy and at every point along the way you’d be sure to meet stubborn and potentially violent resistance.

And in fact, Trudeau has sent the goons out to crack a few skulls, but that’s almost parenthetical to the real power the Canadian government is wielding against its citizens: the power to force consent by depriving families of their livelihoods. The Canadian government has directed financial institutions to freeze bank and credit card accounts not only of direct participants in the trucker convoy, but of those who have donated to them. It’s basically an old school starvation siege, but executed digitally instead of physically and with the aim of clearing out a city rather than conquering it. And Trudeau’s government has made clear that it won’t end with the truckers going home.

The power the Canadian government has arrogated to itself is both stupefying and technically easy to do. Per Snowden, that’s what sets this century apart from the last one: radically abridging the civil liberties of entire populations requires no particularly strenuous effort, just an audacious act of will. …

In the last century, what’s happening in Canada might have been described as a class war waged from above. That is, it’s a war of the ruling class on an organized and rebellious cadre of the working class. But in 2022, a more useful framework can be found in Martin Gurri’s conception of “the center” versus “the periphery” (actually, Gurri says “the border,” but for reasons I won’t bore you with, I prefer “periphery”). The “center” is the political, economic and cultural establishment, embodied by Justin Trudeau better than anyone in the world. The “periphery” is the anti-establishment riff-raff, organized loosely and spontaneously online, fusing together dissidents of all flavors: left, right, and neither. Occupy Wall Street, the Indignados, the Yellow Vests, the truckers — these are the postindustrial peasant revolts of the periphery.

In its confrontation with the center, the periphery uses instruments its opponent cannot control: the tools of memetic propagation and online mobilization. Culturally, the internet is a flat, decentralized and chaotic place, which bestows an inherent advantage on the anti-establishment public in its campaign of asymmetric warfare against the center. But structurally, the internet is the opposite: it’s a hierarchical, highly centralized and strictly ordered space where attention is channeled through a small number of colossal platforms and money flows through a half dozen giant payment processors. This concentration of power is a potent tool in the hands of the center: to shut down the periphery, it needs only to influence the actions of a handful of actors, each of whom are themselves high profile members in good standing of the establishment. All the center needs to do is apply sufficient political pressure on a few chummy corporate leaders and a rebellion can be suppressed without a single shot fired: much cleaner, safer and aesthetically inoffensive than bringing the full, naked power of the state down on dissidents like it was 1989 in Tiananmen Square. …

This is what we have to look forward to: surgical authoritarianism. In the twenty-first century, the brute coercive power of the state will not require the construction of a totalitarian apparatus to control our actions and thoughts at all times in all places, as it did in the last one. In normal times, dissent will be happily tolerated. But when the state feels truly threatened, it will merely log into the operating system of our digital society, switch to God Mode, hit a few keystrokes and nuke its opposition.


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