NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. Photo: Mike Mozart via Flickr
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. Photo: Mike Mozart via Flickr

The conspiracy theorists have been saying it for years and a great piece of journalism, from Brookyn-based security and technology journalist Sam Biddle in the Intercept, has proved it.

The United States’ National Security Agency (NSA), says Biddle, has not just been identifying Bitcoin users for many years but has also been supplying the browser software that allows the users to believe they are remaining anonymous.

Biddle worked through the raft of classified documents provided by the now-famous whistleblower Edward Snowden and says that they show that the National Security Agency collected password information, internet activity and a type of unique ID number known as a MAC address and it was all enabled by the Agency’s ability to siphon traffic from the physical cable connections that form the world’s internet backbone.

Since 2013 the NSA has, according to Biddle, been “urgently” working on the tracing and tracking of the world’s Bitcoin owners and has done so by harvesting and analyzing raw, global internet traffic while also using a bespoke “bait and switch’ software program that led users to think they were acting with anonymity while what they were really doing was sending their user data directly to the NSA.

So yes. They are looking. At you.