Bitcoin decals could cause problems for their owners
It is quite common to see laptops, tablets and even suitcases decorated with decals or stickers that are pleasing to the owner. Normally, these decorations can describe part of the personality and tastes of the owner of the object. However, those Bitcoin enthusiasts who decide to decorate their belongings with adhesive labels related to the famous cryptocurrency could face some problems.
Although putting a sticker seems innocent, the police authorities in the United States take it as a serious matter. So much so, that those with Bitcoin stickers in some of their belongings is already treated as a suspect in airports, customs and borders.
"The conferences, the borders, the airports, the public places - the stickers can make you the target of an investigation of the opposition, industrial espionage, legal scrutiny or investigation," said Matt Mitchell, director of digital security and privacy of Tactical Tech , a group of technology and activism, in an interview with Motherboard.
In 2014, Davi Baker, a well-known personality on the "Bitcoin Not Bombs" website, had a rather strange meeting with the authorities of the Security and Transportation Administration (TSA) of the United States.
When he was on his way to a conference, TSA agents stopped him for a thorough check of his luggage. After that and ask a few questions suddenly one of them asked "What's wrong with Bitcoin?". Baker was stupefied at this question.
"This was beyond any control I received from the TSA, and a little scary that they were looking for Bitcoin. I said I did not understand the question, "he said, according to Bitcoin News. But the official continued saying that they had seen "Bitcoin in his purse and they needed to verify it".
After a long discussion in which Baker tried to explain that Bitcoin was not physical money, the officers gave up and let him continue with his trip.
On that occasion, Baker wore a Bitcoin Not Bombs hood, which, he said, caused the awkward situation with the agents. "If I did not wear the hood, it probably would not have happened," he said.
For this kind of situation is that Mitchell says that carry items, especially tags, that relate to Bitcoin in some way can cause problems.
However, the police authorities are not the only ones that could generate uncomfortable moments because of the cryptocurrency stickers. Hackers and hackers are also a risk.
By having many Bitcoin stickers on the laptop, hackers can assume that cryptocurrencies are stored on that computer, so they can try to enter it or steal it to steal the digital coins it stores.
On the other hand, adhesive labels could be the salvation against common criminals. This happened to Mortiz Bartl, part of the leaders of the Tor anonymity network, when thieves broke into his truck and took almost everything of value with the exception of his laptop full of decals. "The police assumed that it was left behind because it is difficult to resell," Bartl said.
Mitchel's last piece of advice on this topic is that "it's good to be yourself and have fun. Support your favorite non-profit organizations, open source projects and surveillance circumvention technology, "but always remember that" nothing comes without cost or risk. "