Report said that Alex Gladstein, the Chief Strategy Officer at the Human Rights Foundation, is warning Americans about the narrative coming from media outlets reporting on crypto and other privacy tools.
It has been reported in an article for Time Magazine that Gladstein said that many news outlets covering stories about privacy-focused messaging app Signal or Bitcoin (BTC) tended to associate them with terrorists or criminal organizations.
However, the Human Rights Foundation executive pushed back on narratives that paint privacy and self-sovereignty in a negative light by saying that the next fight would be moving into money.
“Authorities will blame extremism not just on Signal and Telegram, but also on Bitcoin and anything they can’t control.”
“Bitcoin is neutral like cash, and can’t discriminate between good and bad […] Some extremists use these tools. They also use mobile phones, email, and the internet.”
Likewise, Gladstein claimed financial privacy was just as essential to a healthy democratic state as privacy in communication tools. He highlighted how young pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong used cash instead of credit cards to travel to demonstrations so the authorities would have a more difficult time tracking them.
“Most Americans may not yet grasp that financial privacy is just as important as communications privacy for our democracy — that your spending habits say more about you than your words. In an open society, the ability to buy political books, have discreet medical procedures, and build communities without government surveillance is essential.”
Thus, he warned that turning away from financial tools like Bitcoin could potentially lead to a bigger police state in the US fueled by “mass surveillance to fight extremism.”