Issue #27
Week 11 2021

#chatcontrol

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New legislation, same old concerns. Individual’s online privacy must be stood up for yet again.

More and more frequent attempts are being made to overreach when it comes to privacy controls. Some of the reasoning behind proposals like the most recent #chatcontrol might even seem to be based on legitimate concerns. Though what would be relinquished in exchange for this ‘security’ is simply too costly to consider.

chatcontrol-01

Private corporations are becoming evermore intrusive as the digital age evolves. While governments are here to serve us, actors from the private sector typically have much less obligation to exercise any restraint when it comes to respecting individual’s privacy in an evermore digital world.

As it turns out, some data privacy news is making recent headlines in the US as well. On March 2, 2021, the Consumer Data Protection Act (VCDPA) was signed into law in Virginia. Now the second state behind California to enact comprehensive consumer privacy legislation. The Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act will go into effect on January 1, 2023.

The VCDPA creates a rights-based regime similar to the EU’s GDPR and California’s CCPA. In that vein, the VCDPA provides six specific rights for Virginia consumers:

    • The right to access their data

    • The right to correct their data

    • The right to delete their data 

    • The right to data portability

    • The right to opt-out of certain uses of their data, including sale, targeted advertising, and other forms of profiling

    • The right to appeal a controller’s decision with regard to a consumer’s request to invoke the rights listed above.


While this may be positive for Virginia, it also highlights how big an issue data privacy remains for the rest of the United States due to there being no clear, blanket regulatory framework.

Privacy-By-State

Most of the US still lacks any kind of data privacy law. Other states now likely to follow California and Virginia’s emphasis on privacy as soon as this year include Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, New York, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Ohio and Washington. This appears to be a step in the right direction, but it’s also a bit confusing when paired with news like #chatcontrol and it’s consequences.

Of course we’re talking about two different countries here, but at the end of the day we’re also discussing the likely shared fate of our collective world wide web. What good is an individual having their data under ‘control’, made ‘safe’, and kept ‘private’ only in principle, and only from designated groups? Without encryption, without the potential for true privacy, none of this would actually be the case. If the data we’re presumed to have control over is being made off limits for mega-corps to build user models, sell more ads, and guide social behavior, then what is it being gathered for, and by who?

“The End of the Privacy of Digital Correspondence”

“The EU wants to have all private chats, messages, and emails automatically searched for suspicious content, generally and indiscriminately. The stated aim: To prosecute child pornography. The result: Mass surveillance through fully automated real-time messaging and chat control and the end of secrecy of digital correspondence.”

- Patrick Breyer

Some people have devoted their lives to emphasizing an individual's right to data privacy, as well as the gaining and retaining of crucial freedoms. People who have had plenty of time to think this through. Probably not a bad idea to revisit their most essential takeaway on such matters...

“If we don’t have privacy, what we’re losing is the ability to make mistakes, we’re losing the ability to be ourselves. Privacy is the fountainhead of all other rights. Freedom of speech doesn’t have a lot of meaning if you can’t have a quiet space, a space within yourself, your mind, your community, your friends, your family, to decide what it is you actually want to say.”

"Arguing that you don’t care about privacy because you have nothing to hide is like arguing that you don’t care about free speech because you have nothing to say.”

“Because privacy isn’t about something to hide. Privacy is about something to protect. That’s who you are.”

"Privacy is baked into our language, our core concepts of government and self in every way. It’s why we call it 'private property.' Without privacy you don’t have anything for yourself."

- Edward Snowden

Patrick does a great job breaking this all down. Be sure to check out his twitter, follow, and share.

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New Week New DEFI hack

 Pancakeswap and Cream Finance

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Both Cream Finance and Pancakeswap were quick to respond by tweeting out warnings of the DNS hijack and putting warnings on their websites. They also took other precautions like reaching out to information service providers that would link to their websites, like Coingecko, to add a warning note.

What happened?

In this DNS attack, the hakerman hijacked the DNS and diverted the internet traffic to a different website. The attacker was able to gain access to their GoDaddy account and reroute both sites’ URLs to copycat sites. The copycat sites asked for users to input their wallet’s seed phrase. If done by a user, this would give the attackers to the user’s wallet.

You should never put your wallet’s seed phrase on any website.

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Fortunately for both DEFI projects, they were able to regain their DNS, and all their websites went back to normal. This attack seemed to have affected only a small amount of people who fell for the phishing attack. The attack did not involve any smart contracts and only affected the front end of the website.

Since this attack, Pancakeswap has announced they will migrate from GoDaddy to MarkMonitor to ensure this skem doesn’t happen ever again.

The whole moral of this story is NEVER put your wallet’s seed phrase in any kind of website, especially if its DEFI related.

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All Brakes No Gas

Andrew Callaghan, the man behind the popular YouTube channel, All Gas No Brakes, recently announced he was no longer associated with the brand.

We’ll admit this is not a crypto news story, but we think this story is important because we believe the work Andrew Callaghan does is essential and significant for journalism. 

On an Instagram post, Andrew said he is no longer making any money from the All Gas No Brakes’ YouTube channel, and its Patreon plus will no longer make videos for the channel. This is a big blow for not just YouTube but journalism as a whole. 

He has made countless videos going to places where no major news publications will go, showing America’s true side. He has covered the passionate people of a Flat Earth Conference to people protesting COVD-19 lockdowns. I think his best work is when he covered the Portland Protest that went on in the summer of 2020. This video showed us what Andrew is all about, great journalism that covers the whole story. He interviews people in the front lines of the protest and gives a perspective that mainstream media doesn’t.

It’s easy to notice that Andrew has not been active on the All Gas No Brakes media accounts, as he has not posted a video on the YouTube page since November. 

Although it is not known if Andrew was fired or left All Gas No Brakes, what is known is he got into a contract that was not favorable to him with Doing Things Media. Doing Things Media is a social media brand company that owns a lot of meme pages which unironically post memes that look like they belong in 2015.

Andrew’s announcement seems to show that Doing Things Media truly believes they can keep All Gas No Brakes going without Andrew. Without him, it is just All Brakes No Gas; he is the reason why All Gas No Brakes is such a big thing. 

Andrew lost everything that he built up from these past two years. Not only did he lose All Gas No Breaks, but he also lost his podcast, Brake Check, a podcast he just recently started to venture out of his traditional video interviews. Another blow is losing the Patreon he created, which at one point had over 19,000 supports on it.

all-my-homies-hat-doing-things-media

So what is next for Andrew?

From what he has posted on his Instagram, it seems like Andrew will still create more videos just under his own name now. He will become more independent, which seems best for him since his whole journalism style is to be as independent as possible and tell the story. We at the gazette wish him well and hope he can continue his great work that is needed in this ecosystem of news.

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Crypto Q1 2021

During the final quarter of 2020 investors allocated a record $3.9 billion into digital assets. Now, with over a week still left in Q1 2021, a new record has already been set.

A total of over $4.2 billion worth of crypto purchases have been made in less than 3 months. Bitcoin’s market cap is now above $1 trillion, and Ethereum’s is over $210 billion, with demand for both assets at an all time high. The cumulative crypto market cap has surpassed $1.8 trillion as prices continue to climb.

BTC-Q1-2021

It feels like more than just the BTC price has been growing fast this year…

Bitcoin may well have reached the point where it could be considered legitimate by more people than not. Banks, funds, and fortune 500 companies are now keeping (and continually adding to) their own BTC balances as predominant enthusiasm for the digital asset continues to accelerate. Put simply, institutional sentiment surrounding Bitcoin has transformed dramatically, from one of negativity to one of opportunity.

Ethereum appears stronger by the day as well. Despite user’s frustration with high gas fees, the blockchain ecosystem is undeniably thriving. A multitude of new users are adopting crypto as a whole after realizing the immeasurable potential, value, and opportunity Ethereum and NFTs can provide.

Exchanges are reporting record purchases and outflows of ETH recently. ETH reserves on crypto exchanges hit a two year low last week. Perhaps some of the excitement can be attributed to the next stages of the highly anticipated ETH 2.0 upgrade, scheduled to occur within the next several months.

ETH-Q1-2021

A number of current factors are likely playing into ETH’s dramatic Q1 Price rise…

The upcoming EIP-1559 upgrade aims to establish “the market rate” for block inclusion, and to burn the majority of the ETH in the transaction fee. This will actually provide a deflationary mechanism to Ether’s supply, which adds to the overall scarcity of ETH. Additionally, over 9 million ETH are now locked in DeFi instruments, and over 3.5 million ETH is staked in the ETH 2.0 contract. The absolute explosion of mainstream NFT interest has been a sight to see. $250 million in NFT volume has been transacted over the past month alone, with the four largest NFT projects driving $10 million in daily volume. Not to mention the attendance of world-famous tech tycoons, athletes, artists, musicians, and all around business moguls.

Every time you look up another amazing NFT deal has been made.

I might have been interested, if only the gas fees weren’t so steep! :) Great purchase DANNY!

Perhaps most exciting of all right now, Ethereum developers are working especially hard to complete a major upgrade, potentially within the next few weeks! Optimistic Rollups. This particular layer-2 solution is poised to scale the Ethereum blockchain and provide massive relief of gas fees incurred during simple ETH transactions as well as smart contract transactions...\

“Rollups are a powerful new layer-2 scaling paradigm, and are expected to be a cornerstone of Ethereum scaling in the short and medium-term future (and possibly long-term as well). They have seen a large amount of excitement from the Ethereum community because unlike previous attempts at layer-2 scaling, they can support general-purpose EVM code, allowing existing applications to easily migrate over. They do this by making a key compromise: not trying to go fully off-chain, but instead leaving a small amount of data per transaction on-chain.”

- Vitalik Buterin

Short-term possibilities boggle the mind.
I couldn’t be more eager to see what Q2 brings.

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