Bitcoin Private Austin Conference #3 – Financial Privacy Reduces Threats & Bribes

So my name is Reegan Lessie. I am a privacy advocate. And I’m really honored to be here and be a part of the Bitcoin private community and sharing my thoughts on privacy with all of you.

I am a small business owner. I live in San Diego California and I own a yoga studio as well as a coffee shop. So that’s a little bit about me and I’m a believer that we all have the right to privacy and security.

So our founding fathers wrote this into our constitution. It’s in the fourth amendment.

“So the right of the people to be secure in their person’s houses papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause supported by oath or affirmation particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized”. So it’s written. You know we have the right to privacy and we’re all here to talk about privacy.

It’s really wonderful to talk to you all in line. It was really warm. So why do you need privacy?

Privacy allows you the freedom to express an idea or an opinion as an individual without the threat of physical harm or negative repercussions? So this is really important.

You know we have the right to believe what we believe and we have the right to state that assembly and express an idea or an opinion as a group with a threat of harm or negative without the threat of physical harm or negative repercussions.

So here we are today. You know we’re here. We’re meeting or talking about Bitcoin private and we have that right. And then the freedom to report on illegal activities, business and government.

Businesses need privacy for protection such as trade secrets from criminals, hackers, and competitors. So again, the right to assemble non-violence. Privacy enables consumer protection.

So without privacy, it’s easy for someone else to impersonate you especially online.

I think everybody’s dealt with fraud. I’m sure if I asked for a raise of hands. Pretty much everybody would put their hands up and ID theft.

You know there’s a lot of that going on I was reading recently. Even children are getting their IDs taken and you know they don’t even know it. And so then when they start to become adults and start to get into having credit, they realize their credit reports are a mess.

And that’s a huge issue which then creates a credit reporting. They have a bad credit report so then that would then you know reflect upon how they can purchase things. And you know our freedom to make a private purchase is really important as well.

The statement where if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear. I think that comes from you know you you can only understand from your own level of perception. So if you’ve never had your privacy violated then you might not understand that.

And you know maybe I don’t want my credit card to reflect you know buying wine or going to the doctor. And that should be my right. So we have a secret ballot. Everywhere we vote, we vote privately. Secret ballot. There’s no husband’s, there’s no wife’s that go in there. We have no friends that go in there, no recedes and this goes back to the 4th century BC even Aristotle talks about this.

How important it is that we have a secret ballot? And it’s a crucial part of our democracy. The secret ballot ensures free and fair elections.

Only the voter knows how they have voted so nobody can threaten you for your vote. Nobody can tell you to vote a certain way. But you know something happened in the 70s.

I’m not sure if you’ve guys have watched any of James D’Angelo’s YouTube videos. If you haven’t, I highly recommend him. He’s a privacy advocate and he talks a lot about our Congress and how the heart of our democracy votes transparently.

So this really gives an opportunity for bribes and threats. Bribes specifically being transparent allows politicians to sell their votes. So you know they might not be getting money right then and there when there are congressmen.

But what we see in history is that after they are congressmen or women they often get hired by big business, companies to then come in and consult and do things like that. So the legislative reorganization Act of October 26th, 1970 the way our Congress voted opens the door for bribery and corruption.

This was really a different way that they voted. So in the 70s, before that when Congress would vote a lot of times they would go into the committee of the whole. And when they would do that it was not recorded.

It was not really known how they were voting and I think it was about 1973 they put these like spent like a million dollars. And they put these electronic registers for the way that our Congresspeople vote and it was recorded. Prior to that, the recording just took too long so they didn’t do it or they would just everybody would stand up and then.

You know if it wasn’t unanimous or if it was kind of close they would count it. But the name and the vote wasn’t really put out. You know it wasn’t recorded but once they did this, they really started to then see a change.

And again I highly recommend you go look at his YouTube videos. He’ll talk about how that’s affected us and in business and in so many ways it’s pretty amazing. Freedom to express your ideas and opinions is threatened.

Freedom to associate with other people is threatened. Freedom to assemble and unite with other people is threatened. The effects of no privacy are you will think twice about connecting or meeting specific types of people.

You know we have freedom of association congregate in the same location with a specific type of people, freedom of assembly. Participating in activities with a specific type of people that might make you look bad. And the result is having a chilling effect on our well well-functioning democracy activism journalism political dissent or seeing.

It’s happening every day you’re just really you know and the thing is is that like I said before. We only understand from our own level of perception. So if you haven’t been through it then how can you understand why that person would need their privacy you know a way to get out of a difficult situation.

And you know freedom implies learning, curiosity, inquiry. And we need privacy because we act differently when we’re under surveillance. People feel a loss of control when they know they’re being watched and an increase in anxiety.

So I recently had to deal with some personal my privacy was violated and it was a really uncomfortable feeling. But the thing was that I let control of the information about myself go like I didn’t have control of that information.

And this is a definition of privacy. Privacy is the control over the information that is out there about you. So if we don’t know that our information out there has even been hacked or anything like that then how do we have control over the information that is out there.

So security plus privacy arguing that you don’t care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide. It’s no different than saying you don’t care about free speech because you have nothing to say.

So that is a really well-said statement, Edward Snowden said that. Widespread police surveillance is definitely a definition of policy excuse me of the police state and that’s why we should champion privacy even when we have nothing to hide.

Did you guys see that ICE (US Immigration and Customs Enforcement) is now taking pictures of all of our license plates? Yeah, and they have been but now they have a private contract. And they claim that they’re not gonna you know to keep that information or anything.

So yeah exactly and I listen to the podcast it’s called note to self. Has anybody heard of that podcast?. Manoosh Summer OD she’s a big privacy advocate.

She even has a five-day plan where you can take back the information that’s online about you. I just started it and since I’ve been traveling I’m a little bit behind. But it’s pretty scary when you start to look at how so many places you’re you’re being watched.

So she says somewhere along the way we struck a bargain and we didn’t even realize it. We started trading free apps and services for our personal information and the government decided in order to keep us safe, they needed all that information, too.

Okay so challenges to defending your privacy. According to privacy international, the most significant challenge to privacy is that the right can be compromised without the individual being aware of it. With other rights, you’re aware of the interference of violation.

So like when you’re being detained, when you’re being censored like on our youtube channel Cryptocurrency market when YouTube decides to take one of our videos down, they let us know that they’ve censored that video. And in other words, you’re always fully aware of the person violating your right.

However when your privacy rights are being violated. You are not informed about the monitoring you are placed under. You are not given the opportunity to question the violations and most people are not capable of doing anything about the violations.

Communication versus financial privacy. Privacy allows you to freely share, transfer and extend your reach and influence over a long distance. Two distinct ways: communication privacy and financial privacy.

Standard communication privacy such as human messengers, phone calls and text messages, cell mail or email and allows you to create an extension of who you are to share transfer and extend your ideas and beliefs to the other side of the world. Money is speech. The money in my pocket is the same as the money in your pocket.

So this is a really important factor here I think we’re all here to you know support privacy and also the fact that you the way that you spend your money is your own personal privacy.

It’s your own right. Financial privacy allows you to share, transfer and extend your value. So you can put your money where your mouth is. Financial privacy is crucial to extending your reach and spreading your ideas and beliefs over long distances.

And anyone who controls financial privacy has the ability to control your ability to spread your ideas and beliefs over long distances.

Reasons to take away your financial privacy. So individuals want to take away your financial privacy so they have a competitive edge over you. And governments want to take away your financial privacy so they can maintain power and control over its citizens. Businesses want to take away your financial privacy so they know what you like to buy so they can assist their advertisers to sell you more stuff.

I think I think things sometimes and then I go on Facebook and there’s like commercials on the side. Has anybody experienced that? Even last night we were talking about chickens.

I know that sounds weird but we were and like on the TV all of sudden there were chickens. I think that was a coincidence but I don’t know as we all heard really it was pretty interesting. So yeah this current technology allows for mass surveillance that was unimaginable before.

At my coffee shop, we have that point of cell and there’s a camera on that. I didn’t even know that I was like oh my goodness so it’s like everywhere. So why Bitcoin private? Leon fu he posted this on Twitter the other day and I thought it was quite appropriate.

“People want the money that is:

  1. Independent of their country government or corporation like gold.
  2. Anonymous and censorship-resistant like cash.
  3. Can move tax assets across can move across the world like Bank wire and PayPal”.

And crypto does all three and will take over the world’s money. So going back to its original intent for Bitcoin privacy.


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