Many years ago, a man named Jim Bell wrote the essay "Assassination Politics" about setting up an anonymous online market for funding hits on control freak government officials and discouraging people from working within the machinery of the state. Bell ended up on certain government officials' radar, as a result, and was soon busted for harassment of government officials, and certainly not for exercising his free speech rights, whatever you or I might suspect. His essay just sort of languished, as the years went by... And then came Bitcoin...And Tor.
And don't you know, now there's an Assassination Market inspired by "Assassination Politics"?
Writes Andy Greenberg at Forbes:
As Bitcoin becomes an increasingly popular form of digital cash, the cryptocurrency is being accepted in exchange for everything from socks to sushi to heroin. If one anarchist has his way, it’ll soon be used to buy murder, too.
Last month I received an encrypted email from someone calling himself by the pseudonym Kuwabatake Sanjuro, who pointed me towards his recent creation: The website Assassination Market, a crowdfunding service that lets anyone anonymously contribute bitcoins towards a bounty on the head of any government official–a kind of Kickstarter for political assassinations. According to Assassination Market’s rules, if someone on its hit list is killed–and yes, Sanjuro hopes that many targets will be–any hitman who can prove he or she was responsible receives the collected funds.
For now, the site’s rewards are small but not insignificant. In the four months that Assassination Market has been online, six targets have been submitted by users, and bounties have been collected ranging from ten bitcoins for the murder of NSA director Keith Alexander and 40 bitcoins for the assassination of President Barack Obama to 124.14 bitcoins–the largest current bounty on the site–targeting Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve and public enemy number one for many of Bitcoin’s anti-banking-system users. At Bitcoin’s current rapidly rising exchanges rate, that’s nearly $75,000 for Bernanke’s would-be killer.
If you think Silk Road upset the feds, you ain't seen nothin' yet.
Follow this story and more at Reason 24/7.
Spice up your blog or Website with Reason 24/7 news and Reason articles. You can get the widgets here. If you have a story that would be of interest to Reason's readers please let us know by emailing the 24/7 crew at firstname.lastname@example.org, or tweet us stories at @reason247.