Will the newly enacted General Protection Data Rule (GDPR) “negatively impact the overall security of the Internet and inadvertently aid cyber criminals”? Some industry analysts think so. But are they right? Let’s take a quick look at the issue.
How may the GDPR negatively affect the cryptocurrency scene?
A fortune’s worth of Ripple, Ethereum and Bitcoin has gone missing since December 2017. When the crypto market soared, cyber criminals swarmed. Experts estimate that crooks have absconded with about $1.2 billion, and law enforcement has only recovered about $240 million (approximately 20%).
The CEO of CipherTrace, Dave Jevans, explained:
“One problem that we’re seeing in addition to the criminal activity like drug trafficking and money laundering using cryptocurrencies is the theft of these tokens by bad guys.”
Investigators are feverishly working to unearth the stolen tokens, but some analysts believe their efforts could be hamstrung by the new General Protection Data Regulation.
Mr. Jevans also lamented:
“GDPR will negatively impact the overall security of the internet and will also inadvertently aid cybercriminals. By restricting access to critical information, the new law will significantly hinder investigations into cybercrime, cryptocurrency theft, phishing, ransomware, malware, fraud and crypto-jacking.”
“So what we’re going to see is that not only the European market goes dark for all of us; so all the bad guys will flow to Europe because you can actually access the world from Europe and there’s no way you can get the data anymore.”
What is the GDPR?
The General Data Protection Regulation is a new EU online privacy statute. Even though it is a foreign initiative, nearly all websites in the U.S., which allow overseas users, must adhere to the international rule or risk gigantic fines.
Before the GDPR went into effect, law enforcement agents regularly used the WHOIS database. The site listed domain registrars’ names, emails, and addresses. Law enforcement agents used it as a tool to unearth cyber criminals. However, that information will no longer be available starting May 25, 2018. As a result, pundits argue, hunting down crypto thieves just became a lot harder.
Others, however, point out that skilled hackers mask their WHOIS information anyway. As such, the argument is moot.
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