An IP address oversight led Israeli law enforcement to arrest a man suspected of using Bitcoin to make anonymous bomb threats throughout the world.
According to the Daily Beast, the 19-year-old, whose name remains unknown, paid in Bitcoin for SpoofCard, a caller ID masking service. Calls were then made to Jewish institutions in countries from the US to Australia over a six-month period.
“SpoofCard is aware of the investigation regarding phone-based bomb threats to schools and organizations,” the publication quotes a company statement as saying.
The suspect, who holds joint Israeli and US citizenship, was apprehended when he accidentally forgot to mask his IP address with an anonymous proxy server.
“The Department of Justice is committed to protecting the civil rights of all Americans,” US Attorney General Jeff Sessions commented on the case, “and we will not tolerate the targeting of any community in this country on the basis of their religious beliefs.”
Extradition to the US is now on the cards, with the suspect’s fate still unknown.
Bitcoin as a method of financing criminal activity meanwhile continues to be the focus of regulatory debate. The European Union, in particular, is due to enact legislation later this year which would technically require user IDs to be linked to Bitcoin addresses.
As with any sweeping policy change concerning decentralized technologies, however, implementing such a requirement would likely prove next to impossible.