U.S. Congressman Tom Emmer has called on the Treasury Department to clarify issues relating to the sanction against Tornado Cash.
In a letter sent to the Treasury on August 23, Emmer noted that sanctions have traditionally only applied to individuals or entities, not open-source software like Tornado Cash.
I sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Yellen regarding the unprecedented sanctioning of Tornado Cash. The growing adoption of decentralized technology will certainly raise new challenges for OFAC. Nonetheless, technology is neutral and the expectation of privacy is normal.⬇️ pic.twitter.com/0aN4a4A6tb
— Tom Emmer (@RepTomEmmer) August 23, 2022
Emmer urged the Treasury to explain what technology on the blockchain is sanctionable. He noted that Tornado Cash is not subject to Bank Secrecy Acts, given that it is an anonymizing software and not a provider of mixing services.
In defense of users affected by the sanction, Emmer asked the Treasury to clarify how users can access funds locked in the mixer. He also demanded clarity on how smart contracts can appeal cases since they are not legal entities or individuals.
Looking at the dusting attack incidence, Emmer asked what the fate of users who received unsolicited funds would be.
Emmer reiterated that individual privacy should be a priority despite the need for decentralized technology regulation.
The growing adoption of decentralized technology will certainly raise new challenges for OFAC. Nonetheless, technology is neutral, and the expectation of privacy is normal.
In defense of privacy
The crypto community has thrown its weight in support of the Congressman for standing up for privacy. Bankless Founder Ryan Sean Adams tweeted:
Thank you for standing up for privacy @RepTomEmmer.
There was a time when the expectation of privacy was the norm not the exception.
We need to restore this freedom in America.
— RYAN SΞAN ADAMS – rsa.eth 🦇🔊 (@RyanSAdams) August 23, 2022
In an earlier interview with CryptoSlate, CommerceBlock CEO Nicholas Gregory slammed the U.S. Treasury for sanctions against Tornado Cash. He stated that the move “makes little sense” since malicious actors can use other mixer protocols to conceal their cybercrimes.