The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is the latest to voice against the US Treasury Department’s decision to ban the use of Tornado Cash, a crypto mixer, in the United States.
The organization is deeply concerned that the US Treasury Department included an open source computer project Tornado Cash on its list of sanctioned individuals. It highlighted that the code has long been recognized as speech. As such, there are clear First Amendment implications whenever the government inhibits the publication of computer code on a public website.
The Github open-source repository barred the account of Tornado Cash developer Roman Semenov in response to the sanctions. The crypto mixer’s repository had freely published the code used to run the service. The US Treasury Department’s decision to ban Tornado Cash hasn’t gone down well with crypto and privacy advocates. They have stepped up efforts to organize a response. A crypto non-profit, Coin Center, is preparing a legal challenge for banning Tornado Cash. Neeraj K. Agrawal, Coin Center’s executive, tweeted that OFAC has exceeded its statutory authority by sanctioning the Tornado Cash smart contract. In this regard, Coin Center is looking at a court challenge. Moreover, the NGO’s Jerry Brito and Peter Van Valkenburgh believe the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control overstepped by adding Tornado Cash’s smart contract addresses to its specially designated nationals and blocked person list. They said the action violates constitutional rights to due process and free speech. The executives added that OFAC has not adequately acted to mitigate the foreseeable impact its action would have on innocent Americans.
Chris Tomeo, head of growth marketing for Electric Coin Company, says privacy gives the ability to express oneself, to be creative, to spend time and money in whatever manner the user likes, without the scrutiny of others. He outlined that privacy protects the users’ intimate moments, most embarrassing ambitions, radical ideas, and the ability for one to be their true selves.