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Former intelligence officer Edward Snowden, who disclosed secrets of the American National Security Agency (NSA) and has since been living in exile, has called for support for the legal fund created for the defense of Tornado Cash founders Roman Semenov and Alexey Pertsev. Meanwhile, current data shows that the donation campaign has raised over $350,000 so far.
US Sanctioned Tornado Cash
The US Treasury Department added Tornado Cash, a cryptocurrency mixing service that has been used to launder over $7 billion in cryptocurrency since its inception, to its sanctions list in August 2022.
Following action by the Department of Justice (DoJ), Tornado Cash founders Roman Storm, Roman Semenov, and Alexey Pertsev began to face trial in the US on allegations of money laundering and sanctions violations. Pertsev was arrested and jailed in the Netherlands in 2023.
Storm is currently facing several serious charges including money laundering and sanctions violations. Although Tornado Cash’s co-founder denies the charges against him, he was arrested and placed under house arrest in the State of Washington at the request of the DoJ, and his trial is expected to begin this year. Semenov, another developer and co-founder of Tornado Cash, also faces similar charges, but there is no arrest warrant issued for him yet.
The DoJ claims that the cryptocurrency mixing service, which tries to mask wallet addresses and provide anonymity for the sender and recipient, has moved more than $7 billion in cryptocurrency.
Edward Snowden Offers Support: Privacy Is Not a Crime
Storm, from his personal X account, stated, “2024 will be a year that determines the rest of my life” and added, “To be honest, I’m scared. But I’m also hopeful because this community cares about me passionately. Please donate to my defense” thus inviting people to contribute to the legal fund.
Snowden, the former intelligence officer who leaked NSA secrets and has been living in exile since then, retweeted Storm’s message, calling for people’s support and adding, “Privacy is not a crime.”
So far, the legal fund created for the defense of Semenov and Pertsev has collected over $350,000 in donations. With support from figures like Snowden, the donation campaign is expected to quickly increase and reach $500,000.
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