Coinbase Suspected to be involved in Surveillance Capitalism – Several Coinbase Users Delete Twitter AccountsMarch 2, 2019
Coinbase has acquired Neutrino, blockchain analytics startup. This has been blown up as an issue of Human Rights Abuse. The senior members of the Neutrino Team used to be working for a company known as the hacking team. The hacking team used to develop spyware for governments, which was focused on committing human rights abuses.
The hacking team is a surveillance software developer who has been selling spyware to governments like Sudan, Saudi Arabia, and Ethiopia. All of these companies are related to abuses of human rights.
An assassination order was issued to Jamal Khashoggi, a journalist from Saudi Arabia. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been suspected of having issued this order. It is suspected that the Saudi Crown Prince made use of the spyware provided by the Hacking Team to make this decision.
This has, in turn, triggered several Twitter users to cancel their accounts with Coinbase. Several crypto influencers have publically declared that they will be deleting their Twitter Accounts. The activity of the influencers has, in turn, led to several other users deleting their accounts.
One of the most influential tweets read thus: “If you are going to use Coinbase, you are paying for your surveillance and the salary of the person who contributed to the murder of journalists, targeting minority populations, and spouseware across the world.”
In response to the current situation, Coinbase responded stating: “They are aware that Neutrino’s co-founders previously worked at the Hacking Team, which we have reviewed as being a part of our security, technical, and hiring diligence.” They further reinstated that, “Coinbase does not condone and that it will not defend the actions of the Hacking Team, but it was important for Coinbase to bring this function in-house to full control and to protect our customer data and Neutrino technology was the best we encountered in the space to achieve this goal.”
With the overall strength of Coinbase users being above 13.3 million, it is not clear if this move of the users in deleting their Twitter accounts will have any impact at all.
Several users have not been using their accounts for quite some time now deleting their accounts.
Coinbase has reportedly frozen the funds of a crypto entrepreneur over a regular Bitcoin Purchase for nearly 72 hours now. Milne stated, “Bitcoin intermediaries are worse than legacy banks. Their attempts at trying to save block space backfires.”
The Acquisition of Neutrino shows that Bitcoin is being used for Surveillance Capitalism. Several Crypto Advocates believe that Coinbase should not have made their deals with Neutrino.