The government demands the turning over of your bitcoins. You’ve held them on an online exchange, so your stash is vulnerable. And, under the Patriot Act, the government maintains this authority.
The government doesn’t need probable cause nor reasonable grounds to believe you are a criminal.
Instead, they’re depending on Section 215 of the Patriot Act, a provision that makes it legal for the government to mandate the turnover of “any tangible things” from any entity as long as the items are for an investigation to defend against international terrorism.
To exercise Section 215, the FBI and NSA would not need probable cause, nor even reasonable grounds, to believe that the person whose records are sought is engaged in illicit activity. The government agency exercising 215 does not need to suspect that the subject is a foreign power or agent thereof.
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