Back in 2015, an Oregon man goaded the Federal Government to come and arrest him over a donation made to Edward Snowden’s Legal Defense Fund. Almost three years later, Kristopher Ives has finally got his wish.
People in Glass Houses…
Ives grabbed the attention of the media back in April 2015. He had taken to Reddit to protest Obama’s legislation targeting those supporting overseas cybercriminals. Edward Snowden, the infamous whistle-blower and general “thorn in the side” of the US authorities, had been accepting Bitcoin as part of his Legal Defense Fund. Ives, an anarchist, Bitcoin proponent, and self-proclaimed computer nerd, felt that this was a direct attack on Snowden’s fund.
To protest this, he sent Snowden 33 cents worth of Bitcoin before demanding that he be arrested for it. His post read:
“It’s not much but it’s the principle of the matter. Please come arrest me. I live in Oregon and my name is Kristopher Ives and you can reach me at 503-383-1047. This isn’t a release of personal information as these are my business credentials publicly listed on my Github page, which I consistently link to projects I work on. I ask moderators don’t remove my information.”
He also listed the proof of his 33 cent transaction taken from a popular Bitcoin blockchain explorer. In addition, Ives Tweeted directly to the then-President Obama to protest what he felt was an unconstitutional act by the premier:
@BarackObama Your executive order is unconstitutional. Here is my donation to #Snowden https://t.co/Y0MY5TWgq9 #BitcoinIsSpeech
— blank (@kristopherives) April 2, 2015
Despite several people following Ives’ lead in donating funds to Snowden and news sources picking up on the story, the Feds did not act on his goading.
However, seemingly emboldened by his flouting of the law, it has later emerged that the very next month after the Reddit incident, he attempted to blackmail an undisclosed victim of a hack attack. The Daily Beast reports that Ives threatened to “impair the confidentiality of information” obtained in the hack, demanding money “and other things of value” for said data to be kept secret.
In addition to the charges of blackmail, Ives’ has also been indicted for seventeen counts of credit card fraud. It’s thought that these were used to commit criminal acts some twelve months after the blackmail and Reddit event. More detailed information about the charges are not yet known and the prosecutor in the case was not available for comment. We do know that Ives’ five-day trial is scheduled for May 1st, however.
Of course, the current indictment has nothing at all to do with his earlier pleas for his own arrest. It does, however, feel somewhat amusing that Ives has finally been indicted. Thankfully, it is for crimes that sought his own personal enrichment, rather than his altruistic act of self-martyrdom for the cause of Snowden, a genuine freedom fighter.