Sordid Affairs at MIT
While the MIT publication drums up fear of unfeasible regulation of bitcoin miners via an almost 50-years-old “ hidden weapon ,” things at the crypto-involved Massachusetts Institute of Technology aren’t looking so regulated, either. Last week’s resignation of head of the MIT Media Lab, Joi Ito, follows the revelation that he had been secretly accepting huge donations from then-convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who was arrested for additional charges of sex trafficking of minors in July, and reportedly killed himself in a Manhattan jail cell on August 10.
MIT is conducting an internal review of the Epstein matter, which could be connected to donations from such influential tech-savvy billionaires as Bill Gates. The school has a history of taking underhanded jabs at disruptive and subversive tech like Bitcoin, and remaining tellingly silent when human rights activists are put on the spit of government persecution, or when ties with brutal, U.S.-supported dictatorial regimes like Saudi Arabia are concerned. In a joint-authored MIT Media Lab-connected piece published to The Atlantic in 2016, the writers state: The [bitcoin] cryptocurrency is a powerful tool for early adopters and middle-class entrepreneurs, but it may not provide the opportunities in the developing world that its advocates claim. That’s fair enough, and at face value a pretty innocuous and possibly substantial claim. But the Bitcoin critical hint-drops continue throughout the piece, suggesting to readers that they “dig into the ways mobile money is embedded in new, networked systems of control and value enclosure, […]
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