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Colin Gallagher

A Challenge for Members Interested in Taking a Stand

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I have a challenge for members who want to take a stand for bitcoin. First of all, as many of you know, there have been many patent filings by banks and various companies recently related to blockchain technology. These filings are in essence based on ideas that are obvious and not new in any way. I urge you to read some information about recent developments and take action.


Second, if you live in California, you were no doubt aware of the defeat of California's attempt to ban most uses of cryptocurrency. While this was a positive development, it has not escaped the attention of many that the very same bill that was defeated in the last legislative session, has been creeping slowly towards reconsideration with its item number dropping lower and lower (seemingly indicative of a legislative effort to bring it back to the floor). Even though it is in the inactive file, it could be brought back to the floor, and although such a bill would be defeated once more if it were to be brought up for a vote, please be sure to keep your eye on it and register your objections with your legislator (beginning with your State Senator) to AB 1326 being reconsidered.


Some in the California legislature have not been content with trying to ban cryptocurrency, as California is known for trying to ban basically everything. Mobile phones and phone encryption are the latest. The recently introduced bill, AB 1681, demands that any phone sold after January 1, 2017 be "capable of being decrypted and unlocked by its manufacturer or its operating system provider." Here's a quick form that you can use if you are in California to send a message to your legislators and to the Governor at the same time, to signal your opposition to AB 1681. (If you use NoScript, please disable it for that page to enable the page elements to load.)

If you are in New York, or are anywhere near the East Coast, you should consider signing this form to oppose New York's proposed legislation to ban cell phone encryption in that state. (March edit: Since this was originally posted on Feb. 2, 2016, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has - as of March 9, 2016 - provided a great post with a link to take action against AB 1681. Please use and share that one, too.)


There's now also a congressional bill you can support, which proposes to stop state-level bans on encrypted phones and software. It's called the ENCRYPT Act of 2016.


Third, if you are interested in doing something for a Foundation Committee, there definitely are some pending issues that need your help. You can find some of them in the Education Committee repository. Please feel free to take any one of them up and solve it (or leave a comment on github or here asking how you can help get it done) - the easiest one to clear out is probably this one. Please feel free to take it up and act on it.


Thank you!

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