CryptoCloud owner arrested. Client privacy implications?

Discussion in 'privacy technology' started by SteveTX, Apr 19, 2010.

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  1. SteveTX
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    SteveTX Registered Member

    It appears that Douglas "Fausty" Spink, owner of CryptoCloud and Torrent Freedom has been arrested.

    What are the privacy implications for CryptoCloud / Torrent Freedom clients?
    What is the corporate structure of cryptocloud?
    Where is it run out of?
    Was a warrant served on any documents or resources that may cover CryptoCloud, and if so, for what, and what was taken?
    Who has access to the identity of CryptoCloud clients?
    Are they or CryptoCloud part of any investigation on Mr. Spink?
    Will cryptocloud continue to run, and by whom?
    Can anyone confirm the identity of Mr. Spink being linked to CryptoCloud beyond the link above?

    Please no ad hominem or comments about the nature of the arrest; keep comments regarding the privacy aspect of this threat, otherwise the thread may get shut down again.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2010
  2. LockBox
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    LockBox Registered Member

    Steve, Check your PM.

    All good questions, by the way. I explain the last one in PM. I'm afraid of it being removed here. Though, as you said, his arrest is true. It's not rumor or innuendo, it's a fact and a news story.
  3. snowdrift
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    snowdrift Registered Member

    Spink is/was CTO of Baneki Privacy Computing (baneki.com).
  4. SteveTX
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    SteveTX Registered Member

    Baneki is incorporated where?
  5. Searching_ _ _
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    Searching_ _ _ Registered Member

    I don't know about Cryptocloud but Douglas Spink lives or has offices in Bellingham, WA according to White pages people search.
  6. chronomatic
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    chronomatic Registered Member

    Was he arrested for something to do with Cryptocloud or was it a "personal" matter not related?
  7. dw426
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    dw426 Registered Member

    Looks to me like it was personal...way too personal.
  8. JOGWebmaster
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    JOGWebmaster Registered Member

    so spink gets arrested for 370 Pounds of Cocaine in 1995

    Gets released 3 years later.

    Then joins up with Hushmail
    Hush Communications and Baneki Privacy Computing team to offer comprehensive VPN-based network security

    2010 he gets busted for his zoo
    and today hushmail has a mysterious outage
    http://www.hushmailstatus.com/2010/04/19/service-outage-impacting-services-that-are-affected/

    In what universe can you get busted for 370lbs of cocaine in your truck... ~~ snipped the news link and latest crime details ~~

    ...and get out in 3 years

    then just happen to partner up with hush *immediately*

    Sounds like someone was making deals and his usefulness was outlasted.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2010
  9. doktornotor
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    doktornotor Registered Member

    Well similar person... in charge of security/privacy business. Uh, gimme a break. I'd run away from that company like hell. No way could I trust them. And yeah, JOGWebmaster has a point. The whole 3 yrs. deal stinks.:thumbd:
  10. SteveTX
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    SteveTX Registered Member

    Interesting. I will inquire with Hushmail about their outage.
  11. hierophant
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    hierophant Registered Member

    According to what I've read, it had nothing to do with Bankei/Cryptocloud. However, it appears that he triggered the investigation by calling authorities to complain about the prosecution of an associate. That implies that he's a fool. You don't want fools running your anonymity service.
  12. caspian
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    caspian Registered Member

    If there is a serious criminal investigation, they will want to look for evidence everywhere ....including communications through an anonymous service that he may have been using. And who knows what else may be uncovered. And if he really got busted with several pounds of Coke and got out in 3 years, I would not touch that service with a 10 foot pole.
  13. thesaint707
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    thesaint707 Registered Member

    Exciting and sensational topic isn't it? Amazing as well the questions and parallels that seem to get drawn when something happens to a larger than life personality. Plus when the 'Powers that Be' do their best to pollute Public opinion there can only be one outcome correct?

    Lucky this happened in the Good Ole US of A or as I like to call it the USSA, figure out why? :rolleyes: One is still considered innocent until proven guilty no matter what the charge, enough on that business.

    As the originator of this thread SteveTx will no doubt agree a privacy service, much like anything else, is only as good as the individual using it. It should be well known to each of you that to stay completely private one must have an alter ego of sorts as an online presence and to keep that separate from your personal information. Should you wish to bandy about about something online and have it not come back to you this is an essential step. However if you and your alternative persona are joined at the hip so to speak then there is no amount of privacy that can keep you from the cross hairs. I liken it to hacking into someones private accounts, posting compromising pictures of them on the web and taking credit for it and expecting it not to be directly tied to you, understandable?

    Hope this clears up some of the misconceptions that seem to have run amok.
  14. SteveTX
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    SteveTX Registered Member

    I was having a discussion about this with our CSO a couple days ago. The consensus was that you can't lead a high-risk lifestyle and be a key operator in an anonymity organization because you are now not only desirable (flagrant), but also low-hanging fruit. It would seem it was only a matter of time.
  15. thesaint707
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    thesaint707 Registered Member

    Once again I am lost at the correlation between the accusations and his work with the anonymous privacy service? Possibly it is much to much coffee and watching too much 'slanted' Cable News... wait that is me :'( though currently I am quite interested with the NFL Draft and what the Cowboys are going to do.

    Now back to the topic at hand, if one wishes to remain truly private while using a product such as Xerobank or Cryptocloud then they need to develop an alternative persona or more and COMPLETELY separate this from the true identity. Looking at what the media has portrayed as well as the plethora of information on Google it does not seem that this is relevant in this instance. If you don't do this you will be fully in the cross hairs of the "Powers that Be" , jealous trolls and competitors. As a major participant in a Privacy service I would imagine you post personal thoughts on issues that may not walk in complete harmony with those of others in your Company occasionally? I would imagine if everyone walked in lockstep it would make debates moot and truly bore me though to each his own. Possibly my logic is flawed and if so please enlighten me, but if not try and stick to the obvious and K.I.S.S. (keep it simple stupid) .

    Cheers!
  16. doktornotor
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    doktornotor Registered Member

    Eh... so, you are looking into extending your privacy and you'd be happy to jump into a deal with a guy who's being investigated by the government/FBI/CIA/whatever? Great and extremely smart move. :rolleyes:
  17. hierophant
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    hierophant Registered Member

    It's not as simple as "private" vs "public". Steve is also a public person associated with a privacy service. He posts on forums, attends conferences, gives presentations, and whatever. He also attracts unwanted attention sometimes, as we know from his tweets and posts here. OTOH, as I've said before, his public reputation makes him trustworthy in ways that "hierophant" (for example) can never be.
  18. Searching_ _ _
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    Searching_ _ _ Registered Member

    I guess they Caught Him Ridin Dirty

    Knowing that SteveTX hasn't been caught ridin dirty or is not an "animal activist" makes the service he promotes more appealing. (Or less appealing if your ridin dirty.)

    #1 If you choose right today they can't catch you ridin dirty tomorrow.

    The fact that Douglas Spink couldn't keep his private life private as a promoter of privacy makes anything he said about protecting privacy suspect whether he is ridin dirty or not.
    His promotion of his affiliations shows his lack of respect for the law.
    Plain and simple, he made a b-a-a-a-a-d choice.
  19. SteveTX
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    SteveTX Registered Member

    Even if you never catch me riding dirty that isn't the issue. For example, if I get arrested, XB would keep on going without a hit and no user privacy compromised. I am interested to see the repercussions for Spink. Hope it fares well for his clients or they don't get caught up in it.
  20. Cutting_Edgetech
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    Cutting_Edgetech Registered Member

    I wouldn't support their service out of morals alone.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2010
  21. thesaint707
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    thesaint707 Registered Member

    Apologies for ignoring the core of the issue for sometime, I do have other responsibilities. Having first hand knowledge of the daily workings of Baneki, Cryptocloud and Torrentfreedom I can honestly say there have been no invasions of client privacy whatsoever. The company has been working on upgrades to the service, forums and customer center for sometime and these should be available shortly.

    Furthermore much like Xerobank, this is not a one horse :eek: operation and like xb there was a figure who for lack of a better term seemed larger than life. I would imagine that SteveTX would agree that a business like ours would be difficult to run by yourself. I do find it a bit strange that you would bring up this issue at all but I am hopeful it has added to your company's customers. While I can tell you it has shaken ours, our membership has stayed constant.

    Morals are such a funny reason to not associate yourself with a company. Do we abandon our 401k's and stock accounts because the men that run it are thieves? I can also tell you from my days running a pubic company that they through some of the most morally depraved parties you could ever imagine. Do we stop buying chicken because of the conditions they live under and how they are inhumanely slaughtered..or any meat for that matter?

    I would hope that the actions of one person would not affect the perception of an entity as a whole. If that were not the case would we still want to be Americans after the embarrassment brought to our nation by past Presidents like Richard Nixon or Bill Clinton? Didn't see any of the Superstars move away when Bush got a second term though many threatened.

    Have a great Mothers Day all of you and honor your mothers for the life and love they gave you.
  22. LockBox
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    LockBox Registered Member

    Very clever, Saint. However, you should respect those who would choose not to do business with your company because of the ownership's outspoken beliefs. Had your bosses crime been child porn instead of (can't talk about it) would you still feel the same way? Many see them as similar in nature. That's why those laws are there in the first place. You're telling us the ethics and morals of the owner when it comes to these kinds of crimes shouldn't matter? Really? Your examples hardly compare to those leveled against Mr. Spink. Crimes committed by ownership and top-level management of a privacy service is going to be a topic of conversation in the privacy/security world. Your surprise at that is bizarre. It's a matter of trust and comfort-level and right now, who can feel good about their privacy in the hands of your company considering the owner's current status with the government? That's Steve's point and I believe it is one that clever posts like yours today will not change.

    And yes, Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers. And thoughts are with those today who have lost their mothers.
  23. thesaint707
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    thesaint707 Registered Member

    Not trying to be disagreeable 'lockbox', nor am I trying to belittle any issue that someone makes in anyway, but there are some things that have been spoken of here that just aren't true. Foremost is the accused, nor any entity owned or managed by the accused holds shares of Baneki stock, the parent of Cryptocloud and TorrentFreedom. The second is that the accused is still just that, accused, there have been no charges filed currently so calling it any more than that is just plain wrong. Lastly I am not trying to change anyone's opinion at all only trying to dispel the silly misconceptions that have come out of this. Do I feel the situation is very serious, yes on a completely personal level for the accused. The company however will remain focused on providing it's customers the best service possible and will move forward with several new services in the works.
  24. hierophant
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    hierophant Registered Member

    Based on what I've read about Mr. Spink's recent arrest, I suspect that investigators are interested in his communications with like-minded people. One such person was arrested with him, after all. It's hard to imagine that investigators wouldn't be interested in Baneki, Cryptocloud and TorrentFreedom.
  25. thesaint707
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    thesaint707 Registered Member

    hierophant-

    Very valid and if we were a service that began as an ISP or one with partners that were public companies there would be a trail. I am sure SteveTX would agree that if you did not log your customers traffic that there would be very little to pull out from any data CC of TF server; possibly someone here is more technologically astute and can dispel my ignorance. Realistically if you were an investigator wouldn't you go for cell phone records, email and chat logs? I know for a fact our servers don't have that information I would also hope that other providers like xerobank would not store it...though the ones that are ISP's MUST. They wouldn't want to get their hosting licenses pulled. So please enlighten me as to what else one might be looking for.
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