The Blockchain Association filed an amicus brief on Monday with the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), criticizing the agency’s decision to sanction the privacy-protecting software Tornado Cash. They argued that the action was “unlawful,” exceeding statutory authority and running contrary to the Constitution.
This is the first time OFAC has ever sanctioned computer software instead of individuals or entities. The Blockchain Association also filed a district court brief in April, defending Tornado Cash as a self-executing computer software protocol embedded in the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain.
The Association’s Senior Counsel Marisa Coppel believes the actions are “dangerous,” as they exceed OFAC’s authority and jeopardize American’s right to privacy. She explained that OFAC should not be sanctioning a tool with a lawful purpose, but rather remain focused on the bad actors that misuse it.
OFAC sanctioned the currency mixer Tornado Cash on August 8, 2022, for allowing hackers to launder $7 billion. This included $445 million hacked by the North Korean Lazarus Group.
Source: US Department of Treasury