Privacy is a human right.|

On August 8th, 2022, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned the smart contracts associated with Tornado Cash on the terms of facilitating money laundering. This influenced widespread acts of censorship on Ethereum to inhibit the usage of the protocol and ultimately labels all active users for seeking individual anonymity on-chain, as criminals. The public nature of accounting on distributed ledgers is a flaw, not a benefit. It's the act of substantiation and non-repudiation that gives this enabling technology its true value.

The sanctimonious ideology that privacy should be only for the selected "faithful" few has huge implications for discrimination enacted through censorship, privacy is an individual right that everyone should be entitled to. The ongoing acts of surveillance authored by "the state" not only put individual sovereignty at risk but individuals' well-being. This is apparent in the recent travel rule legislation regarding digital currencies, as seen in the European Commission's recent Transfer of Funds Regulation (TFR) amendment. European law is puppeteered by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) through what is called "directives". The FATF, in turn, is an overarching branch of the American government that has legal immunity, and no oversight although having global influence in regulation. These legislations not only create honeypots of individuals' financial data but set out to blacklist privacy-preserving technologies like Tornado, declaring a war on privacy.

These are the same figures that have failed to regulate private equity's additional attacks on individual privacy, by accommodating the solicitation and commoditization of individuals' sensitive data. These people are not set out for your best interest, time and time again they have failed the common people. On the profiteering of individuals' data, Joseph Lubin - the man behind ConsenSyS - holds the power to de-anonymize almost every single Ethereum transaction. Given the notoriety and popularity of the infrastructure that he ultimately controls, as the majority shareholder of Infura and MetaMask. To no surprise, Infura and other RPC service providers like Alchemy were the first entities to censor relays to the Tornado contracts. Let us remind you, that these entities are actively profiling your transactional footprints, for reasons for solicitation and cooperation with authoritative figures to void your economic rights.

The ripple effects of the sanctions also resonated with "decentralized" or, should we say, pseudo-decentralized protocols. Pocket Network, which solicits itself as a permissionless RPC relay protocol. Undertook efforts to censor all relays, the sheer misleading marketing should remind everyone not to trust venture-capital backed entities at face value. Who ultimately want to profit off individuals and will even lie to do such as that. Another notable accolade for these unjust acts of censorship goes to Flashbots, an MEV-specific Ethereum client for capitalizing on financial inefficiencies on-chain. Given that approximately 80% of Ethereum's hashrate uses their client this has immense implications and let us remind you, it is also a venture-backed entity. Last we save a special homage to TRM labs, which is a digital asset compliance firm to assist with the prevention of potential legal contingencies. Not only are this firm's tactics completely overamplifying cautionary measures but it is backed by entities that have clear conflicts of interest with the nature of the industry. Clients of theirs integrated frontend restrictions on addresses that have ever transacted with Tornado, either directly through multiple degrees of separation. Essentially restricting and mislabelling the large majority of Ethereum addresses. Here's a special shout-out to out to the servile TRM Labs customer base that is dYdX, Uniswap, AAVE, Balancer, Ren Protocol, and MakerDAO, all of which are funded by Silicon Valley vulture capital.

Lest we forget, we saw 5 years of publicly funded and collective work of open-source software censored overnight. Microsoft - the corporate behemoth that tainted Github, once an open collaboration tool for publishing software - purged all repositories of the official Tornado Cash organization and even went so far as to censor all core contributor's personal accounts. This heinous overreach drastically stifles the education and innovation of zero-knowledge cryptography. Countless individuals referenced the source code for student curricula and experimentation, as officially stated by Johns Hopkins University professor Matthew D. Green through the advocating support of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). This is not the first time we've seen censorship of open source software, which in itself is a violation of free speech.

The basis of which the sanctions concerning the protocol as a mixer are groundless, because of the presence of zero-knowledge cryptography in its systematic design. This guarantees, that only the original deposited assets that have been committed can only be redeemed, and not commingled funds. Peter Van Valkenburgh, a representative of Coin Center portrays this logic through the precise analogy of safety deposit boxes. It is evident, that the policymakers behind the sanctions do not understand the subject they are attempting to regulate. We'd like to thank both Coin Center and the EFF as the only organizations to advocate and take formal action against this totalitarianism.

It is apparent that the true colors of actors and organizations reveal themselves in a time of crisis, and we encourage everyone who believes in freedoms to boycott and scrutinize the entities that have over-willingly aided the infringement of digital rights. As a group of dedicated contributors to Tornado, old, new, and future. We pledge an allegiance to circumvent these acts of censorship. Privacy is an individual right that is open to everyone. Community resources to archive and accelerate the development and education of the source code have been deployed, alongside a Telegram server to align community. Active research priorities have revealed themselves at the birth of the crisis for the organization going forward. A privacy-preserving, censorship-resistant, and network-agonistic RPC solution will be actively developed to ensure the accessibility of the protocol. Additionally, the legacy infrastructure of the internet is not a suitable place for the freedom of expression under the reign of ICANN. Thus, efforts will be undertaken to re-empower the original premise of the world wide web.

Join the fight against the surveillance state.
- Tornado Cash Community

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