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 Declining Freedoms Worldwide 


IOOF believes in freedom, democracy, human rights, and free economic pursuit. We believe in Free Trade.

National constitutions hold forth the promise of freedoms for all people. Seldom is the promise kept. All around the world, countries are usurping basic individual human rights. Not the least of these broken promises is the American promise of freedom and justice for all.

With the pledge of protecting its people from terrorist regimes, the United States has forged ahead with decades of bureaucracy forming numerous agencies under the direction of its “Homeland Security”. The result is a gradual yet continual erosion of personal liberties, human rights and the fairness of equal application of justice for all.

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. -Benjamin Franklin 

According to a report entitled, “Freedom on the Net 2017”, by Freedom House, “online content manipulation contributed to a seventh consecutive year of overall decline in internet freedom, along with a rise in disruptions to mobile internet service and increases in physical and technical attacks on human rights defenders and independent media. Nearly half of the 65 countries assessed in Freedom on the Net 2017 experienced declines during the coverage period, while just 13 made gains, most of them minor. Less than one-quarter of users reside in countries where the internet is designated “free”, meaning there are no major obstacles to access, onerous restrictions on content, or serious violations of user rights in the form of unchecked surveillance or unjust repercussions for legitimate speech.” [1]

New networking technologies aimed at secure, private transactions are under attack by numerous governments. Encryption and virtual private networks (VPNs) are increasingly banned by restrictive governmental regimes. These attacks on basic liberties have only just begun, creating a need for defenders of individual and organizational rights.

[1] see Freedom House latest reports: https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world
“Internet Censorship 2020: A Global Map of Internet Restrictions”, by Freedom House 
https://comparite.ch/internetcensorshipmap

Regulatory Issues 

 
On January 13, 2018, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin commented on Bitcoin. During an interview at the Economic Club of Washington, Mnuchin said he was working with representatives from G-20 countries to make sure that “bad people cannot use these currencies to do bad things.” He has likened Bitcoin to “having a Swiss bank account in your back pocket”. While U.S. laws require banks to “know their customers” (KYC), regulation in other countries is more fluid. Switzerland, long famous for its tight-lipped bankers, is the most prominent such example.

According to Mnuchin, Bitcoin trading firms have an obligation to track Bitcoin transactions. “We can track those activities. The rest of the world doesn’t have that, so one of the things we will be working very closely with the G-20 is making sure that this doesn’t become the Swiss bank account,” he said.

Cryptocurrencies meteoric rise has also invited government scrutiny and comparisons to the dot com mania at the turn of this century. Governments around the world have responded by banning initial coin offerings and considering strict regulation to bring cryptocurrencies within the gambit of the global financial system. However, Mnuchin’s vision of Bitcoin may be at odds with that of its enthusiasts.

Shelter from the Storm
- A Place of Refuge -

It is apparent that governmental regulatory actions have only just begun. The eventual impact on the cryptocurrency world has been largely overlooked and underestimated. Just as taxation has come to an internet site near you, governments are going to want a piece of the action on these networks. There will be global efforts to regulate cryptocurrencies.

There is a need for a social solution to address governmental interference that will stifle growth, increase costs and slow adoption of these new technologies. Dynamic new applications will need to meet the most basic requirements of concern to regulatory impetus, such as, KYC, anti-money laundering, and anti-terrorist funding restrictions. At the same time, privacy, anonymity and security must be maintained for the users of these technologies.

Shelter Sanctuary
IOOF will provide privacy protection “in the cloud”. When members exchange value on the Interstellar Trading Network, they are transacting freely “in the cloud” in cyberspace without national borders under the protection of their rights to assemble and to pursue the principles of economic and religious freedom.

IOOF offers a shelter sanctuary*to those displaced from economic freedom. As a shelter, we protect, shield, and defend. As a sanctuary, we are a refuge, safe harbor, safe haven, a place of safety.

(*see Wikipedia - Sanctuary- legal, religious, political)   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanctuary 

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