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In Brief

There has been a lot of speculation over whether recent disclosures about America’s extensive spy programs will harm the country’s economic interests. Now, in one of the first concrete examples of economic fall-out, the Wall Street Journal reports that AT&T’s plans to make a bid for Vodafone have been set back indefinitely over growing European anger over the US telephone company’s role in collecting information.

Recent leaks by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden suggest that both AT&T and Verizon, which has also been mulling a bid for Vodafone, have participated in an ongoing US program to collect and record call data in the U.S and abroad. New disclosures that the U.S. tapped the personal cell phone of the German Chancellor have added new fuel to the controversy.

In Brief

Yarrr, that must hurt. Forbes reports that the FBI has located a new stash of 144,000 Bitcoins, currently worth about $28.5M, that belongs to the Dread Pirate Roberts, the mastermind of the online criminal bazaar Silk Road. The agency took down the site three weeks ago, and charged the Dread Pirate (aka 29-year-old Texan, Ross Ulbricht) for plotting to torture and kill an employee he believed had betrayed him. The FBI appears to have moved the seized pirate booty to its own Bitcoin wallet, but has not confirmed it will sell them for dollars. The new Bitcoin haul comes in addition to two other large Silk Road related seizures.

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