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Mt. Gox Working With Japanese Cops; Creditors Want CEO To Testify In US 62

Posted by timothy
from the somewhere-someone-is-on-the-beach-with-a-margarita dept.
jfruh (300774) writes "The latest developments in the sad saga of Mt. Gox's missing bitcoins: the exchange has announced that it's working with Japanese police to try to determine who (if anyone) stole the bitcoins entrusted to Mt. Gox, resulting in the company's collapse. There are serious doubts as to Japanese law enforcement's abilities to deal with the technical issues involved. Meanwhile, Mt. Gox creditors [have rejected] Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles offer to testify in their lawsuit against him from Taiwan, and have demanded that he come to the United States."
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Mt. Gox Working With Japanese Cops; Creditors Want CEO To Testify In US

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  • Yeah right... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 27, 2014 @09:39AM (#46592171)

    Come on over to the US for trial, we promise to treat you fairly.
    It might very well be that the mtgox CEO is corrupt, but in the current state of affairs why whould anyone trust the US government enough to go there of their free will to testify?

    • by i kan reed (749298) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @09:53AM (#46592287) Homepage Journal

      Point of fact: he ran a bank that lost a whole bunch of people's money. If he comes here for trial, he'll probably get a bail out and a bonus.

      • Re:Yeah right... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by gstoddart (321705) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @10:06AM (#46592385) Homepage

        Point of fact: he ran a bank that lost a whole bunch of people's money.

        Point of fact: he ran something which people think looks like a bank, but wasn't.

        This is more along the line of a private company offering to hold onto your money for you.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          >This is more along the line of a private company offering to hold onto your money for you.
          What the shit do you think a bank is?

      • Re:Yeah right... (Score:5, Informative)

        by DarkOx (621550) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @10:11AM (#46592419) Journal

        Which is the wost part of it. At the end of the day there was at least a period where they were accepting money and promising to deliver bitcoins he did not have and had no plan to obtain.

        Yet everyone is jumping all over this to point out: see see you have to have regulations.

        Which is bullshit. What they were doing was simple fraud. It does not matter if bitcoin is a currency, commodity, security or anything else, it does not require additional banking laws. Already a crime without any fancy securities laws, or regulators.

        Common law fraud: is the intentional misrepresentation of material facts presented to and relied upon by another party to his detriment and in order to get them to act.

        • by slew (2918)

          What Mt. Gox did was not fraud in the US because they were not operating in the US as a bank, only as a money services business which is mostly only concerned with reporting to prevent money-laundering.

          What Mt. Gox did was not yet fraud in Japan because they claim it to be theft (someone stole their bitcoins) and there are currently no regulated monetary reserve requirements for such an enterprise (e.g., the mere fact that they didn't hold the bitcoins doesn't constitute fraud). However, it could turn out

      • by NotDrWho (3543773)

        Point of Fact: He dared challenge the U.S. Dollar

        A while back, a certain IMF chief tried that [guardian.co.uk]. Ask him what happened next.

        • It's like how we're invading the EU for the Euro becoming the currency with the highest market cap.

          Wait. We're not doing that at all.

          • by NotDrWho (3543773)

            Starting WWIII is a little different that throwing some asshole in handcuffs on some trumped-up charges.

            • Oh so there's a global hegemony conspiracy except when it's inconvenient, and might involve removing actual competitors.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 27, 2014 @09:39AM (#46592173)

    There are serious doubts as to Japanese law enforcement's abilities to deal with the technical issues involved.

    It's well known Japanese are technically illiterate and that Japan is a third world country with no tecnical expertise.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Chikungunya (2998457)
      As in the case of Yusuke Katayama, Japanese law enforcement proved to be quite ignorant about technology crimes. After getting death threats on messages boards they managed to "get" confessions from several people that later were proved to be just victims of malware in their computers. It is normal to have doubts about their capacity to deal with cybercrime.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Japanese police are used to certain types of crime. Crimes that are common on US shores (threats, bullying, creating fake profiles to defame someone) tend to not be common in Japan, just because it isn't part of the relatively conformist Japanese mindset to be a troll [1].

        Now, if someone tried smuggling or fraud, the Japanese police know exactly what to do.

        [1]: Wish part of that mindset would come to the US... Conforming isn't surrender... it is being able to give up something, no matter how small, so th

        • by causality (777677)

          Japanese police are used to certain types of crime. Crimes that are common on US shores (threats, bullying, creating fake profiles to defame someone) tend to not be common in Japan, just because it isn't part of the relatively conformist Japanese mindset to be a troll [1].

          Now, if someone tried smuggling or fraud, the Japanese police know exactly what to do.

          [1]: Wish part of that mindset would come to the US... Conforming isn't surrender... it is being able to give up something, no matter how small, so the community around one doesn't suck as much.

          The Japanese have a great deal of conformity of behavior, expressed by lots of social protocols and expectations. More than one American has gone there and learned that small gestures that seemed insignificant at the time were major faux pas. Of course anyone who visits a culture without learning about it first is leaving themselves open to such mishaps...

          The Americans have a great deal of conformity of ideas and philosophies, expressed by trends, political forces and a completely homogeneous media. T

          • by iluvcapra (782887)

            I'm well aware of the whisky rebellion, the people involved were really concerned about being able to make and market whisky, their resistance was little more than illegal brigandage. So yeah, they weren't concerned about "singers or actors," they were too busy beating people up for trying to enforce a law. The average whisky rebel's motivations would be easily recognizable to the average confederate soldier.

            Is the Whisky Rebellion really your sine qua non of an enlightened citizenry defending its rights

            • by causality (777677) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @12:01PM (#46593381)
              If I didn't use the word "enlightened", it was not an accidental omission. Effectively putting words in my mouth by adding connotations I was careful to omit, and then complaining about the presence of the connotations you just added, well, that really doesn't benefit anyone. It does, however, represent the general decline of Slashdot because far too many people are either doing that, or disclaiming claims that were never made in an attempt to prevent someone else from doing that. Look deeply at the situation and you will find within yourself a subconscious (you see and understand that word "subconscious", right?) need to display your cleverness and to appear "right" in the eyes of others, i.e. what is commonly called insecurity. It leads to all sorts of absurd behavior like this.

              The point (that you had to work to miss) was: in a supposedly representative republic that supposedly carries out the will of The People, extremely unpopular laws were impossible (and downright dangerous) to enforce. It's no coincidence the population at that time had far fewer opiates in the form of entertainment, sports, and becoming obese. Now contrast that with, for example, the modern ongoing prohibition of marijuana that most people do not support.
              • by iluvcapra (782887)

                If I didn't use the word "enlightened", it was not an accidental omission.

                That's extremely disingenuous; you characterized the whisky rebels as manifesting superior and contrary values to celebrity-obsessed moderns. If you aren't saying they were fighting for the true values of the revolution, which we should all say were enlightened, then what are you saying?

                Look deeply at the situation and you will find within yourself a subconscious (you see and understand that word "subconscious", right?) need to disp

                • This whole discussion reminds of me of Monty Python's Constitutional Peasants ...
                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

                  We now return you to your scheduled bickering ...

                • by causality (777677)

                  That's extremely disingenuous; you characterized the whisky rebels as manifesting superior and contrary values to celebrity-obsessed moderns. If you aren't saying they were fighting for the true values of the revolution, which we should all say were enlightened, then what are you saying?

                  I have already clarified what I said about the Whisky Rebellion and that there was a reason why I stopped short of characterizing it. I can tell a man that two plus two equals four, or that there is not in fact a Venusian standing in the corner, but it is ultimately up to that man whether he will believe me.

                  I think what's going on is you're one of those people that constructs an argument so abstruse and subtle, so obfuscated by insinuations, and so muddled by generalization, that it fails to say anything, and for every 100 words of positive argument you spend 1000 words telling people they're interpreting you wrong.

                  Neither the mods operating in this thread nor the two other posters replying to it had any difficulty interpreting my meaning. That tells us something. It tells us that some, like you, want to play

        • Conformance Japanese style, from "Japan at War", a collection of post-WWII interviews with Japanese who had been involved:

          One man found he was selected as part of the suicide corps, intended to pilot an oversized manned torpedo (kaiten) into an Allied ship. He considered trying to get out of the assignment, when a classmate pointed out that might bring dishonor onto the whole class. (Spoiler: he never got a target, and thus was never sent out, and thus was considered a waste of protoplasm, but he did

      • by causality (777677)

        As in the case of Yusuke Katayama, Japanese law enforcement proved to be quite ignorant about technology crimes. After getting death threats on messages boards they managed to "get" confessions from several people that later were proved to be just victims of malware in their computers. It is normal to have doubts about their capacity to deal with cybercrime.

        That's not a problem with their capacity to deal with "cybercrime" (which is merely old-fashioned fraud, with a computer).

        That's a much more fundamental problem with their ability to coerce confessions. If you let any police force do that, just so they can maintain an illusion of competency and effectiveness, you will have these problems. It has worked out that way every single time it has been tried. Japanese police in particular are known for worrying about their appearance first, and the facts seco

      • by jythie (914043)
        It is normal to have doubts about Japanese law enforcement in general. They do not exactly have a reputation for fairness and are often regarded as even worse then the US when it comes to 'as long as you catch someone, we will make sure they go to jail, guilt is irrelevent'
      • by cusco (717999)

        It's pretty reasonable to have doubts about any law enforcement organization's ability to deal with cybercrime. They become cops because they want to 'catch the bad guys', not because they want to be computer experts. They don't have budgets necessary to hire computer experts or contractors. By and large, if they can't touch it they don't want to be responsible for securing it.

    • The tech companies are good, but the government? Local police?

      There is currently a story out about 800 government employees working in a hole. All they do is manually process new federal employee retirement papers, sans any computer automation. Kind of scary processing retirement papers counts as a medium-sized business (> 400 employees).

    • by Animats (122034)

      There are serious doubts as to Japanese law enforcement's abilities to deal with the technical issues involved.

      Surprisingly, this is correct. The National Police Agency, as of last summer, was just setting up their computer crime unit. [phys.org] It's mostly aimed at infrastructure protection. The Tokyo Metropolitan Police also set up a cybercrime squad in 2013. [houseofjapan.com] So they're just getting started on this.

      For better or worse, security paranoia after 9/11 has funded substantial computer crime analysis capabilities in the US. Japan's JPCERT [jpcert.or.jp] is a small industry-funded nonprofit. US CERT [us-cert.gov] was a small nonprofit before 9/11. It's now

  • by QuasiSteve (2042606) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @10:05AM (#46592381)

    Unlikely to be the cause of the vast majority of the claimed 'lost' coins, that is.

    Bitcoin Transaction Malleability and MtGox
    http://arxiv.org/abs/1403.6676 [arxiv.org]

    In Bitcoin, transaction malleability describes the fact that the signatures that prove the ownership of bitcoins being transferred in a transaction do not provide any integrity guarantee for the signatures themselves. This allows an attacker to mount a malleability attack in which it intercepts, modifies, and rebroadcasts a transaction, causing the transaction issuer to believe that the original transaction was not confirmed. In February 2014 MtGox, once the largest Bitcoin exchange, closed and filed for bankruptcy claiming that attackers used malleability attacks to drain its accounts. In this work we use traces of the Bitcoin network for over a year preceding the filing to show that, while the problem is real, there was no widespread use of malleability attacks before the closure of MtGox.

  • "determine who (if anyone) stole the bitcoins" That's how you know their accounting system was top notch.

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