One law, for instance, is the outdated Electronic Communications and Privacy Act, which in a new form introduced by Senators Patrick Leahy and Mike Lee seeks to ensure a warrant protection for all private online messages. The law was originally passed in 1986 to allow the Department of Justice to access private communications with only a subpoena. What happens with that law could have an effect on services like Gliph.
Congressional action notwithstanding, another issue deals with financial censorship, when online payment services shut down users' accounts due to political or controversial speech made by the account holder.
As Bitcoin becomes more organized, "where are the points of potential censorship?" Reitman said. "Where do we put in protections now to ensure one weak link does not affect the rest of the Bitcoin community?"
Using the Mt. Gox case as an example, some question whether technology companies should work harder to prepare for, or even shield themselves from, government data requests, such as by crafting more robust user privacy policies or encrypting their user data more strongly.
"This idea to design a system that's 'unsubpoen-able,' I think that's a hot legal question," said Joseph Cutler , an attorney with Perkins Coie.
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