Off The Hook - Dec 04, 2019

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

three expand and let them use it be driving enter a world of color and keep on thinking free. ECLECTIC mix WCHS abusing ninety nine w New York and streaming. WW GOT A and you're listening to a radio station W. B. A.. I in New York. The time is eight o'clock and that means it's time once again for another exciting edition of off the hook. Wow Midstream how did that happen. Let's try that again. Talk now it would uh-huh uh-huh Yeah the author it took and and the very good evening fair rides program is off the hook as we broadcast mar new Atlantic Avenue Studios Welcome. Everybody is menu. You're GONNA join tonight. Wow so we're going to have repeating themes that presented the deal today. See things are still all right. That's enough on thank you sorry. We're still working out the kinks and there are plenty of kings here in the studio. But we're doing okay. So manual joined tonight by Alex. A hold on. I don't have you microphone up there right now. Good evening okay. So many microphones in here. Kyle Hello Robbie firefly is not here. Okay good good so we won't use that microphone. That went off Voltaire. You're here hi oh all right so we gotta we gotTa Pretty Pretty full studio almost what did you say it out. Loud Kyle I can't read sign language. Yes I I'm having some distortion as anyone else enjoying the distortion nine. Perhaps if you're listening to the sound of my own voice I'm not enjoying any all maybe I can handle that Somehow ensure right. I'm hearing a little bit of. Yeah I'm not and the only thing that matters the listeners are you talking about social distortion or or oral only. have an hour folks only one hour and it's an important show because we have some some rather disturbing things to talk about and Involves a friend of ours. Someone who's been on on these radio waves saves someone who's been on our conference someone's been published in the magazine and as has happened for too many times in the past. They are the victim of overzealous prosecution and More disturbing more disturbing than any of that is seeing the reaction the reaction action from not only the American public in general but from people in our community who basically are buying lock stock and barrel everything that is being said. Oh update you on what's going on. Here's the headline as it was released on Friday from the Manhattan. US Attorney's office Manhattan US Attorney Announces Arrest Of the United States citizen for assisting North Korea innovating sanctions. Yeah Jeffrey Berman. United States attorney for the Southern District of New York John Denver's the Assistant Attorney General for National Security. We only did this all their names. But basically they they announced the unsealing of a criminal complaint charging Virgil Griffith a United States citizen with violating the international emergency economic powers. act known as the I.. The EPA by traveling to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in order to deliver a presentation and technical advice on using crypto currency blockchain technology to evade sanctions gray. Who was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport on Thanksgiving Day and will be presented in federal court in Los Angeles? Saturdays have them. We can update on what's going on there but as alleged Virgil provided highly technical information to North Korea area. Knowing that this information could be used to help. North Korea launder money and evade sanctions in allegedly doing so griffith jeopardize the sanctions that both Congress and and the president have enacted to place maximum pressure on North Korea's dangerous regime attorney Esera General John Dimmer said despite receiving warnings not go griffith. Allegedly traveled to one of the United States is foremost adversaries. North Korea where he taught his audience how to use blockchain technology to evade sanctions by this complaint. We begin the process of seeking justice for such conduct. Well it goes on quite a bit but but the shocking thing here is Is what the FBI is doing and the allegations that are being made against him In addition to what we actually know that what we know is that he did in fact go to North Korea This spring in fact he's been been in New York. We've talked to him Since he he visited there I was very worried when he went there. Because you know you worry when people got North Korea I've been to North Korea. It's a scary place because it's unlike anything you've ever seen before and people if they do something stupid can get in a lot of trouble and sometimes again a lot of trouble even if they don't do something stupid it's a it's a risk. But in the hacker world. This is something that people delight in sometimes exploring the unknown trying something different but the thing with Virgil is that he was always upfront about what it was he did and yes. He knew that he violated trump's decree. And when I say that I mean it was completely legal to go to North Korea as a United States citizen before trump decided that it wasn't trump and his oil executive friend REX Tillerson. These are the people that decided that nobody should be allowed to go to North Korea. Okay he was always upfront about the fact that yes he went anyway. He does something else so he does something that A lot of people don't do and that's ask permission first and I imagine he did that because he couldn't imagine in being denied permission and when it was denied permission I guess and again this is conjecture on my part. I guess he just thought this not that big a deal. You know people go all the time people from other countries go all the time so okay. It's like Jaywalking or something. I'll just go to this conference because it sounds like an interesting conference and plus the other factory this. He lives a Singapore. He's lived in Singapore for years in Singapore in Asia and to have somebody body back home. Say No you're not allowed to walk over to this part of Asia. You have to follow the rules. Okay you know yeah their rules and he broke the rules that that is without any question. What really shocked me though? Because the last time I saw him was today he talked to the FBI. He went in voluntarily. He don't talk to them on his own without a lawyer. That was the first thing I said was a big mistake. Please go with the lawyer. I don't usually say that. No offense Alex but I I usually don't tell people go with lawyers avoid lawyers. It's generally a good idea to have one when you're talking too long and I'm very happy to have you literally at my right hand side right now. That's right but you're not representing the just basically in the studio correct. Yes just to make make things less complicated crystal clear. So Yeah Yeah. I saw him that night afterwards and he had talked to then. I was very worried all day. Because I hadn't heard from him. He had been talking to them for a while he he went on his own. He could've skipped down. He could have just gone back to Singapore and Wouldn't have been a huge deal but he talked talk to them because he wanted to tell the truth he wanted to be honest. He didn't feel he had anything to hide. And he had this conversation with them and what. They told him him when he left was they're not going to pursue it because it wasn't that big a deal. He gave them North Korean newspapers. He showed them pictures he basically. I was so happy that they got why he went there and shared his enthusiasm and realized that he wasn't up to anything nefarious. Yes that he was a good person and then six months later this crap comes out where not only really do they decide to charge him with violating the rule that everybody agreed he had violated but the pilot all this additional material that makes them seem like an enemy of the state makes them seem like some kind of a traitor and that is why so many people online and in all kinds of places. These are saying Oh yeah they should hang it now. It's it's one thing to read comments on a news story about various things going on in the world but when it's a friend of yours and you're seeing people calling for him to be executed when you know. He isn't capable of doing anything that he's being accused of on that level. It is really scary. It is more Orwellian than I prepared to handle. I can handle Walian by this. This is too much so so by saying that by by by making it seem like because he went to North Korea and went to a conference and talked about cryptocurrency currency that he somehow was giving away all kinds of what trade secrets giving them Services and products and things. It's like that somehow that is violating the sanctions. And that is that is basically helping Kim Jong Un. Basically he went to Kim Jong UN's house and and hung out with him and told him all the secrets of how to do things and evade sanctions. When nothing of the sort happened at all he went to a conference? He gave a talk. So basically you're charging somebody as an enemy of the state for traveling because I don't know what it is about this country country but we sort of have the feeling that we can travel places without being told we're not allowed to go there and speaking. That's another thing about this country Kinda told that we're able to speak freely famous speech. Imagine that those are the two things that you can prove that he did. He traveled and he spoke. Everything else is wild fantasy and if you know him you know they cannot tell a lie. You Know Oh that he is basically somebody who loves to explain. Things loves to share love to have adventures. That is the person we're talking about on to see him. Being being displayed like this by our own government is really frightening. I was afraid for him when he went to North Korea. I was not afraid for him when he came to the United States. I should have been and that. That is the real sadness and all of this. Let's take a step back for a moment to to and I think this whole situation deserves a little more context as well as I'm absolutely I'm I'm thinking in particular something that you said Emanuel You said the virtual is a good person right known him. How many years Gosh Probably about twenty. Maybe maybe more maybe less since since he was essentially a probably a teenager. Yeah right probably late teens are imagine. Now let's let's add some additional context as it was probably a smart teenager. Somebody curious exploratory. You know he's a hacker wicky scanner. That was he's he's been on on this on this show wiki scanner was something that that basically monitored wikipedia and Basically you told you what office somewhere. What congressional office was modifying page about a particular person or concept It was it was a great service. Got A lot of media attention. He was on the Colbert report. Fact and got it was in Some kind of a hacker house on a reality show not not the best thing in the world to do. I don't think they just loved having fun. You know he was. He was an adventurer and somebody who always told like it was He was also pretty serious. Dude too I mean I. I didn't know that he had a PhD from Caltech. You know that that's something that came out that I didn't I didn't know at all about him. And so this is somebody you don't get a PhD HD from the Caltech without being you know a pretty heavy and serious hitting intellectual here so he never talked down to people though. That's that's the thing. He would always explain if you asked him to explain something you might have to allocate a little bit of time for him to go go through everything and explain it but he would always explain and he wanted a good conversation. You know so I mean this is a guy who who started out it'd be He. He's a hacker right. He has this mentality. He has this ethos does he wants to learn about things. He's working as a special projects director for the Theorem Foundation. He's based out of Singapore PhD. From Caltech I think he's from Alabama Alabama originally that this is a guy who You know is really going places and doing things. He gets invited to this conference in Pyongyang and he tries to go through the proper channels in order to get authorization to go there. I mean one thing I think we we do have to acknowledge here. Is that If the allegations in the complaint are true He did break the law going to North Korea and he knowingly did that he knowingly. Did that people do that all the time. I'm not minimizing Meisingeth. For God's sake this is a trump decree we're talking about. It's not a law that it's been in place for ever and ever it's been in place the last couple years and it probably won't be in place when he's out right now just to put it in context yes virgil admitted to this straight off the bat. He walked into the office and said yes. I did that right but you know. What the law was and what the low will be not what the law currently is or was when he went to North Korea so we we can all agree that he broke the law when he went to North Korea? But this sir you could like this to the sanctions on travel to Cuba. I mean they were. They were loosened we we reestablished diplomatic relations and then the administration changed reached positions Over the course of a couple years right parallel to give to give you an example so when I lived in Vermont Some of my neighbors Barbara and Wally Smith by the way that he They traveled to Cuba and they wrote a book about bicycling through Cuba cycling through Cuba and they sold this book and because they were in Cuba and they were violating the sanctions laws. The State Department came after them but they didn't try to prosecute them criminally for this. They came after them civilly civilly and they tried to disgorge the prophets of the book and the Center for Constitutional Rights stepped in and defended them and was able to have this entire lawsuit by the State Department dismissed. So I think you'd get exactly where I'm going here too. I think you're anticipating Kyle. Because we can all agree that he broke the law in he knowingly broke the law when he went to North Korea. But that's where where I think. The agreement with the government ends here. Because I've read this complaint many times and what else is being alleged. All seems seems to hinge on what was said at the conference and the intention that Virgil had in going there and from my knowledge and and reading and and getting the context around this it does not necessarily seem like there was any transfer of knowledge. That could not have been googled. A have about blockchain or about cryptocurrency. And we have this concept in the law and I think this is probably what what Virgil was alluding to with Emanuel. which is that you know? Virgil that everything was fine because nobody thought it was a big deal that he went there and he talked about this back in. May because of this concept known as Dominion on Curate LEX which is this old legal maximum? which delivery says the law doesn't care about trifles? We're not going to prosecute to the full extent of the law when you Jay walk across Fourteenth Eighteenth Street somebody like I mean. It's a trifle going over there to to to an extent right if he'd go home trump went over there for God's dilated his own damn law. Rodman Robin goes over. I don't know if he's been. Dennis Rodman predated this and and all that exactly well. That's what I'm saying. You know the laws that said was actually broken right and the rest of it. WHO's going to hinge on intent and the facts of what happened when we were over there? I agree to that but I think it's It's fair to say that there's a certain level of diplomatic schizophrenia. Ed Play here that is it really the law or is it going to change back. I mean it's so sort of unusual in in function that it's hard to even follow right. How do you plan a business? How do you plan to ease relations? When you can't predict whether in six months your business will be able to even be there and that was the thing with Cuba Walter? Yeah family is is really only going to be like a high level talk but and they might have like as what they said were the FBI people that they were gonNA knock price you him alive with is he's like once. They realized that they could use the word Cryptocurrency to a a lot more severe than actually is and they get they get free points in the press or sailing. Oh he's he's a factor and He's about to give them a cryptocurrency currency secrets and stuff and well. That's interesting yes because something happened in the six months since he had that interview and since they decided to go after. I JUST WANNA ask Alex you have you have a sense As to how it all ties together the FBI the FBI that that trump is always attacking They're behind this behind this this Prosecution Russian these accusations. How much control does the president have? Over what an agency like the FBI pursues and what they could pressure have been put on them by this administration. Do they operate completely independently in my guests here. Because I've I've never been a president of the United States not yet it. I don't think he would have any control over. You know what the southern district determines it's going to prosecute or not and what the F. B. I. is going to find a reasonable object. The prosecution he should have no reasonable input into these types of things and if he did I think that would be a major league problematic attic for all the reasons we've seen with respect to navy seals and and things like that he does appoint the director of the FBI does he does and couldn't he say to the director of the FBI. BE I. Hey you know like you to do this for me. That would be improper. It would be improper. Yes but if you if you put an improper person in charge you could probably do that. I'm not saying that's what's happening. I'm not I pushing conspiracy theories I'm just trying to balance everything out here and say why after six months did they suddenly decide to go after him. An add all these other things to change change. What we do know is in virgils overeagerness and honesty? I think to tell and show all of the details about what he did over there and what is intentions were because he must have in his own. Heart of hearts believed that he was truly in purely innocent. He gave his phone two F. B. I.. Agents for their review on or around I believe November twelfth of this this past month it seemed like after they examined his phone records. That was when they determined that they were going to prosecute him and that was very likely a mistake to willing to give consent to the FBI to search. Your phone. outweight went when he gave the phone to them. That was recently though that was not back in the spring. I believe that's right right but what happened to have to make them want to have a second interview with them in the fall after they had already talked to him in the spring the saints six months pass by And then they decided to do this I have. I have some some ideas but first I want somebody else into the conversation because When Virgil went to North Korea? He did not go along only went with a group and one of the people who went with him as Fabio Petra Asante from Italy who joins us now on the phone Fabio you there you're on and we have the right Fabio have you with us on that we have the right That's that's me and I want to hear me. Okay this either. This thing is not working gang or we don't have him on the phone. I'm sorry folks. This is a new studio and Apparently not everything is working and we might also have a problem with the phone. Well you're doing now I'll I'll check the phone. Oh ruminate a bit about about you know what I think is going on here and what I think this entire case inches on if we go back act a paragraph three of the actual complaint itself. I'm going to read the the literal language here and I'm going to say more loudly. The operative stuff that I think is really matter full here progress. It was further apart and object of the conspiracy that Virgil Griffith defendant and others known and unknown would and did evade evade and avoid an attempt to evade avoid the requirements of US law with respect to the provision of services to the DPRK eh in violation of various Federal Statutes Fifty USC section. Seventeen O five thirty one. St Afar section five ten to twelve eight A. B. in executive orders. One three four sixty six and one three seven two but it is that provision of services to the DPRK that I think is the operative language of this complaint. And I think is going going to be a real issue of fact for any fact finder determine whether or not there was a service that was provided to North Korea by this talk. How are we doing on the phone? I think we have in February with us. Good we got you back Fabio now you traveled to Hugh North Korea with Virgil Griffith Can you tell us Something about that trip. Well I suppose Saudi for my English perfect and because his suit Thursday. Yeah I'm hearing we apologize for the time you you mean Well consider that they read has been made by such a group who were less than than person and it was all. Thank you people basically into Seattle. Speak of making your own let's say three with the advantage of author so also going in our people are crazy place like North Korea about just for three days. I mean just to go there in different tweet. So the confidence itself. It's like a excuse I'm GonNa toss studios now like he should never be your eyes line and you say the conference was wanted to visit the county and so you lock ritual things together and Yeah and these these three Was I think one of the most of this topic And the Black Mirror of level expedient that the ear and I mean The conference itself was a totally boarding gets present I mean People are leaving the and you loser thinking like Western like Death on eleven conference or something like this it was like out of the womb. Would maybe the forty to sixty people We had known time or later. There was no problem at all to one up the most on the increasing program at all. Yeah I mean there was no program this I mean that. Just keep you India their first morning that you without being Korea and you see all your ability to their journey shallow hawkers. And they're the he they also say guys yet one mission to go a hormone altogether. Okay okay because you you understand that you are not county where you don't even have a diplomatic mission I mean so you have to be To stick to stick to some. I'm a rule ended up makes you just came back to this. Use A sippy consonant. It come Outta so that That well first of all and second materials. Why and the here? There is a very tricky story. When take all of these stories? Say until you feel. It's all totally including Co organizer of the concert and so The guy that leaving and the so called the F. participation shared a bunch of The current blockchain stuff with North Korea like paper on blockchain and fees. One third to Jill Commercial Brochure are looking station. The other state I don't know that we're maybe. I'll favor on blockchain and I I mean I bounce off totally are related stuff. That does insured damn. That's what the what they understood. They're like those are the topic we may speak about. What they did is considered that these these the sale of the conference so we found ourselves? You know so you reach of confidence without a program. That's not really him. Perspective fever was what does being provided an account and there were two days of conference to be done so just in the money we asked ourselves like okay guys we have today that show I mean with the Times on my own What should we do show speak? Nobody is he has to be a speaker so we end adopt saying the okay. Everyone shoes are shoes. A one of these the company material body and prepares I talk about it. We have the can we put a deal you know I know my been approved. It was later the North Korean and these are what you can speak about the concert so like myself. I ended up speaking about cocaine invasion of Taylor state. I don't know anything about this. There was such a and while you lie I mean how. Oh completely unorganized that the and really not sophisticated topic wars I was thinking. Also Slam US paying being about these Where People's leaping at this concert because you feel like a poodle Kartik nation that Coming towards international people coming and so they they send you people through to listen to the concert. But I feel that most of the people there one of one of the things that that Virgil said when he interviewed the FBI Supposedly was that he was asked to talk. DOC about how to evade the sanctions By somebody at the conference. There's no indication that he did that and the only the only way that the government is making this accusation is because Virgil told them that somebody asked him to do this was was there any talk of of of evading sanctions deeply. No I mean if you want to speak about what they've been saying shut up. UPC's breath so I really that's completely outside of Of The table and those of any any concept onset of worker being spoken there Because of I mean the the topic was Saddam does example material and Really not one of the off the point. Surely when you are in the breakfast in the morning bringing yourself always the same the same foods and so on it goes on you know off that day. Pretty Expedience. We've older people that were there that day. Participants were or people between thirty and thirty or less experienced people. Obviously we spoke. Come on ourselves. Also Yeah I mean what they will views blockchain for and the topic of science surely debated Among ourselves shortly. Because you're like hey he's heard that in Pyongyang the electricity blackout Lifetime to could be eight. They don't have enough electricity to turn on the light. You're in the evening. I mean you need to get into the context All of our county that From my experience they will each pool. He's under developed. A the last the try to express they deaconess you from the place worth You going at the National Library that the we've and you find windows. Xp Machine to search the book. I mean you'll be alive there. And probably not an authenticated copy either Bobby I had a question given Senate. There were approved topics. What your what was your sense of the expertise? I mean it was apparent. Right that I in other words I'm asking. Was it apparent to you that there was already a a level of familiarity and expertise amongst north speaking to With with blockchain particular well I feel that that Most of the people nothing to really know about. I don't think generally speaking what what is production so All of the dopey introduction. WHOA women's saying he was very boring easily because no one basically spoke about anything that we make that interesting ethical from an expedient people suspect is for most of the people a really after the basic condescending question all walked we have speaking about There were few people on the second day and the throws Deals for personal that off. Good this some more technical question but like a Waffler the defensively green now Threw for four can do for state and maybe through outside our to try to to To try to express a what's the effects explaining what the decide between proof of stake Jacaranda Rufa four. I've been being at what level knowledge It gives you the same of the technical proficiency the people around the topic so so fabio and thank you again for for being up so late and and talking with us we definitely appreciate shade it sort of entering into the areas that I wanted to ask you about here which shows that most of what was discussed their. If not all of Ed as I understand it it are things that you can just get from Google right that you you and and frankly probably use google translate to determine whether other you know you know the difference between proof of work proof of stake. You know it sounds to me like all of this was just very very surface. Fist level knowledge. That was being discussed here. you know sort of you know to give Glib understanding of blockchain could be gleaned from from any public source would that be a correct characterization of of what went on the Yeah Jeff and I want the one that line that When we least among ourselves the topic to speak about because we add that to speak about fell picker I to these documentation and real estate Hey I'd be better know anything about the real estate but we go back tale. We fired that our one dollars Reno the internet and went to Google and a little too so could evasion state. Hey did for our. WHO's having no well now? I have my goal. So that's the level right so so nothing complex. Nothing complicated you know you. Warren getting into the intricacies of you know how money moves around the network or is validated anything that would give anybody some nefarious ideas about how to use. Let's say a theory or any other crypto currency but that being that just impossible to speaker about a complex topic also because A unique to think of they now of the content. You don't have someone of spending again Lisa. And you don't paths a reality of laser fully means that You say Blah Blah Blah. Then you'll stop then the North Korea out of later translate to North Korea. If someone didn't on to that and saying the person tell you beckoning. Hey they didn't understand it and so you have to repeat it English and then the North Korea and I it's back and then And then you can move forward so so you understand that in a situation is even the best care. Communication is equal to explaining their complex dolphins. Even the best approve of four to screw. Then you save complicated because even if you have something that and we are complex called the unique simply communicating over suicides ways I mean I found myself in Sean on the speaker tweet. Politician advocating for deregulation on the use of Troja. I can I can imagine I mean the logistics of of the talk make. It seem like it's very difficult to get anything done. Let alone provide highly detailed technical knowledge about evading sanctioned mentioned But but let me ask you. This is more of a personal question for you Fabio. You are somebody WHO's involved with block chain crypto currencies. You've probably into a lot of other conferences. Would that be correct to say well. No I don't think from blockchain award and even Infosec Hawkers Environments and knowledge. You have you. Have you been to conferences like the CCC or or or hope or anything like that DEFCON. On the yes sure every year up well great so this is this is perfect. I'm just laying the foundation here for the next question in which is so if you were to compare the types of talks let let's say at Defcon or hope or CCC in the type of Knowledge College and detail that talked about those talks with what you guys discussed in North Korea. What how would you compare? Compare the two of them are are they. You know anywhere near the same level or is one of the level of of an infant a two year old level and the other one's in college college I mean what what are the relative types of detail between those two types of conferences Infosec conference and what happened to North Korea well the confidence level. I would not even consider that I call parents like a little we the introductory level topic for especially the If we can make on the Camparis is on a flight Baker airplane. They want you make the school there. Sousse are real vying airplane airplane. Because because I was very basic introduction Topic ready for High School. I don't know or going through. I'm not saying I know special. His confidence liking so they're welcome to the wonderful world of blockchain straight. I'll be okay. Let's just pause for a moment to Play a clip From from a show we did years ago. When Virgil was in the studio I shouldn't Virgil was on the phone? I'm sorry And this was a very a somber occasion for all of us because it was a couple of days after the suicide of Aaron Swartz Very good friend of virgils and someone who also shared A unique talent for Both mischief and knowledge and he had had been mercilessly pursued by the federal government for daring to Make published academic works available eligible to people published academic works that. The authors of those works wanted to to have available There's a lot of details to the case is plenty of information online but the fact of the matter is he was prosecuted for no good reason and for something that should never have been considered a crime and it was too much for him to take and that is something that I think a lot of us. Forget sometimes we we forget how how fragile at all is and to see this happening again to somebody else somebody who was a good friend of Erin's and It's just it's it's hard to watch. It's hard to realize that this is happening And and almost powerless to do something completely powerless list but somewhat powerless to do things about it. Anyway let's go back to January sixteenth. Twenty thirteen joining us on. The phone is Our friend Virgil Show Griffith from California. Good friend of Erin and somebody that has the same kind of spirit I think. Virtually with us here so You know it's for years. I know you're trying to introduce Aaron to me. I know that when you came into to New York it was. It was Aaron that you'd stay with and I just trying to picture the two of you conspiring and thinking together and boy the trouble that you could You could get into and this the amazing things you could accomplish it must. We're still trying to process it here but I can't even imagine what What it must be like you? You know in Well actually it was really No it was sad so I actually read about I in the New York time Right and I was just like what you know and I don't know it actually was kind of sitting that I read it all the time because I mean like like I mean because I would always read I mean I mean I will I hear about things About Aaron for from like the news so so I used to subscribe like Aaron Law But but and I emailed them your identified a few months. And then I I you know the thing that I was unsubscribe from his blogs. Because I didn't I didn't actually need separate said because it was redundant with with with all all my other news sources because everything he did made some other news channel so I didn't actually needed striped with blog. So yeah I I was looking being at his website and it is filled with all kinds of interesting things. It's still it's still up. It's still I think. UNTOUCHED AARON W DOT COM and. Yeah is there any kind of Story of particular bit of mischief for our creativity that But you might remember sure so they were. They were a few one so I mean I remember. Okay so what is it so so an-and wanted to re download the Pacer Database. You know these are the thing he got he got he got I got raided once for it and he but he only got like only serve the database but he got away with a slap on the wrist and he and he's GonNa be Virgil. I just know I got a new pre trial to the Taser database But the problem th that they blacklisted. Everyone everyone with the sports so so I need to use When you both a name and a credit card number so I can sign up for this free trial vile because I can't do it and so two and until until like an errand? Well you know Don't go around charging for hundreds of thousands dollars on my car. He's like no. I probably okay here you go. Here's the card and so yeah and and and I know what you know Like a few days later I got a call from the Department of Justice acting as after a while downloading so much I was like and Yeah I don't know there I mean working working with Aaron with always exciting right I think I think because what would he do. I mean I don't know he would. He would he would sing We do things in Cuba convert brute force kind of way or or. I don't know like you take no for an answer. You is Yeah no no this example. Yeah so the example where he get rid one for the Pacer database and So in was raided for it I it's not what you doing with Actually Eagle so so so so the next night can't be like oh I'll do that again. Well and he sounds he sounds extremely determined. Like any good hacker would be and just somebody who went about something until he got the desired result and I guess pretty relentless in that regard and that was from a show taped in January Kan. of two thousand thirteen Voice Virgil Griffith remembering Aaron Swartz. Who took his own life? Only a few days before that aired and and It sure brings back memories of of just The kinds of things at the hackers Virgil hackers like Erin Would Would what do we talk about You might have heard the word conspire in there. But it's you know it's the good kind of conspiracy where you're trying to figure something out you're trying to crack security security. You're trying to be the first to have a particular bit of knowledge. And that is the magic of hacking. And that's what makes people like this A real treasure some something something we should learn from and not try to prosecute version currently He's out on bail now but he's being charged with being an enemy of the state pretty much in in those words aiding North Korea by going to a conference and talking about cryptocurrency. And of course violating the Current United States travel ban on North Korea. He lives in Singapore and Currently I guess is is stuck in this country. We're on the phone with a friend of virgils Fabio Petra Santa who traveled to North Korea with him Fabio For you there's no problem going to North Korea right that it's not in any way restricted No for my European Union Perspective I mean who apply an refuse to North Korea has noticed fiction in there that are either like doing business and so on But basically the weather in this part of the eastern front between United States Union. That's both counties he's Both regional say go the United Nations actions. Both the United States went to beat Florida harder. They United Nation so You a united Sta- pain you'll be a union of both got up to the United Nations Sanction Directive Measurer measurer rock United States. Apply the addition receive major of like a travel ban Yeah the government is trying to portray this as like Virgil trying to give away like high tech secrets that will help enable oppressive government. But it sounds like from your description of if the travels there that there's more of like a cultural exchange type thing which is actually legal in places like Kiva where we have embargoes That meant to to break down barriers and decrease hostilities between countries. Fabio you there it'd be lost This last point it's basically volterra saying it's IT'S A. Ah More of a cultural exchange. What you guys were doing over there than anything else Yeah definitely I mean. All the people at the winter were driven by the reality of this country and to have a good location to so basically I mean norm. Now we nurse would business for being there for. I don't know you deal all these range saintly this goes whoa what I tell you something When I I knew visual together to tolerate developer meeting and we were talking on the energy And anyone that is passionate about freedom of speech about the anti censorship technology about the anonymity technology that also means challenging the oppressive governments because not security threat model for Anti Censorship. For Sheep for you are fighting for the speech and Fighting Government Cultural Perspective from my perspective or create unique. It is not that the place you appreciate place that you want to see because in the The topic of interest of IBM for freedom of speech through the chronology eats one of the most fundamental Charleston's because they're nineteen medium people that doesn't know what side I mean myself and another curve. Some of the group Also have taken POW leader res. He's running owning the open observatory of metal interference the toll project softer for metal. Mesh of Mansa wrong. The Internet Wifi of yourself to make and so she measurement for the foreign there so we finally have I all the greer. I mean they. The group is made of people that are into Southie at all value and like wheels and culturally into and I really see completely. Outside of any blind to that. He's alive liked the willingness to have been government because the issue came from a Western country. And you always work at the The following your emails that are good ethical emails by applying Technology Doing Code Hawking and whatever you will never help the North Korean government that will press these people. And that's I think one of the tournament's background that it's missing think year. Yeah I hear that definitely appreciate your your detail and and Adding some of the characterizations what it was like for for you and I just wanted to Express how much how much of a difference that is between the allegations given the he's sort of being made out as as as Emmanuel pointed out to be sort of an enemy of the state or mastermind in a place that I think we can get into discussion on our next show about this in greater detail that North Korea itself is is not unfamiliar with blockchain or crypto currency yet. The allegations make it. Sound like That's that's that's what Virgil and the rest of your group brought over there. They introduced this entire concept to the North Koreans which is just simply not true. In fact Let alone the abilities give like sort of a basic rundown of it seemed like it was pretty hard from from the way you talked about Talking at all just logistically -gistically and through translators and so let alone like it wasn't a basic rundown and and something new nor was it sort of a really advanced level thing and I think fat as you know we've heard that the cultural exchange that that Robert pointed out is probably more advantageous and those exploring the network from the inside those other little. Bits that you're able to bring back in that virgils able to share with us. And with willingly willingly with the government I think should be looked at with a lot greater nuance than this on the surface and Fabio one really quick questions. I know we gotta get off the air very quickly. Do you think you learned more about North Korea than they learned about blockchain from you and Virgil both breath. Fabio WanNa thank you so much for joining us this hour and Italy and Hopefully we'll have a chance to talk more and hopefully we'll have a chance to talk with Virgil as well as he's absurd charges hopefully Get get cleared and revealed for what they are. We have a lot more to say about it. We'd like like to hear from our listeners. Know T H at twenty six hundred dot. com is our email address and we'll be back again hopefully next week here on. WBAI NEW NEW YORK. Have a good night the it means Yeah Yeah I uh-huh.

Coming up next