Law enforcement should give up trying to access everyone’s data, says legal expert


While some believe that the Tornado Cash ban may negatively affect other projects focusing on privacy, others believe that these projects will continue to push forward and maintain their commitments against censorship and decentralization.

In an interview with Cointelegraph, Ahmed Ghappour, the general counsel at the privacy-focused project Nym Technologies, shared insights on the importance of privacy in the crypto space, how to balance the interests of regulators and people who want privacy and what’s next for privacy. in Web3.

According to Ghappour, there are contradictory concepts in the Web3 space. This is the promise of returning data to the people while having complete transparency on blockchain transactions. The lawyer noted that to accomplish these contradictory goals, privacy is the key.

However, with the Tornado Cash incident, it is apparent that privacy technologies are in the sights of US regulators. The lawyer emphasized that this hinders the space’s ability to innovate. He said that:

“The US is trying to hit a fly with a sledgehammer. […] An OFAC designation is intended to trigger economic sanctions primarily against countries and groups of individuals, such as terrorists and drug traffickers — not ideas, algorithms, or code.”

Ghappour explained that there is good reason not to sanction ideas. It is because the effect will be to neutralize a target by criminalizing almost any association with it, even innocuous associations with clearly no links to any other criminal behavior.

Related: Anonymous user sends ETH from Tornado Cash to prominent figures after sanctions

When asked if there was a way to balance the interests of regulators and the people who want privacy, the lawyer emphasized that it depends on the interests of regulators. Ghappour said striking a balance requires regulators to align their interests with the people and account for the need for privacy. He explained that:

“Achieving balance requires law enforcement to abandon unrealistic assumptions about unlimited access to everyone’s data on a silver platter.”

Despite this, Ghappour is also worried that the interests of regulators are not at all aligned with the people but with the maintenance of the financial surveillance status quo. Even so, the executive believes there will still be a push for projects prioritizing privacy and security at the core of technologies.