Craig Peterson here. I was on with Jeff Chidester on NH Today. We hit a number of interesting tech topics this morning with Jeff Chidester.  We started off with Bitcoin, Silk Road, and the IRS, then we discussed California Prop 22 and the Gig Economy, then The Hammer and Scorecard Software developed by the CIA and how it may have been used in the election last week here in the USA. Then we got into business use of Cell Phones and Employees using their personal phones for business and the problem with misconfigured VPNs. Here we go with Jeff. 

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– CraigPeterson.com


Automated Machine Generated Transcript:

Craig Peterson: [00:00:00] Two right now, if they’re not paying a lot of attention to you, you’re probably okay. But it’s easy enough for them to track you down if they want to. They had fun this morning with Mr. Jeff Chidester, who was sitting in. We talked a little bit about elections, but we really got into this whole Uber and Lyft thing in California and what just happened.

What happened with the silk road and the fed seizing a billion dollars worth of Bitcoin? What is that going to mean to you? If you own Bitcoin. So we went into that and the implications and the IRS and can you really be tracked?

So, Hey, you’re listening to Craig Peterson and we’re going in here right now with Mr. Jeff. Chidester.

Jeff Chidester: [00:00:45] Hi, welcome back to New Hampshire today. Jeff Chidester 37 past the hour. Craig Peterson. Of course, you can catch, Craig on his show tech talk Saturdays, 1130. Also, catch him over at his website. Craig peterson.com. Craig peterson.com. Good morning. Hey, I just talked to you on Friday. It’s great to have you back on Monday, How ya doing man?

Craig Peterson: [00:01:06] I’m doing really well,

Jeff Chidester: [00:01:08] A lot of interesting news,  it got lost in all the political talk. One thing.  Bitcoin, I think is foreign to a lot of people, the concept of it, but a big thing. The feds had an action last week against silk road. Talk a little bit about that and the impact of that.

Craig Peterson: [00:01:23] Bitcoin, for those that aren’t aware of, it is one of these, what they call cryptocurrencies. It’s designed to only have so many Bitcoin’s ultimately available so that there’s a limited market.  The way you find these Bitcoins is by what’s called mining, which requires some very intensive computing stuff.

What has really driven up the value of Bitcoin, according to many experts is the illegal world out there. Ransoms that are being paid online are often paid in Bitcoin. People think that the beauty of that is they cannot be tracked and that’s been a big deal.  There was a site out there called the silk road, which I thought was a cool, clever name. The silk road was sitting there on what we call the dark web, which is an internet on top of the internet. It’s encrypted. It is obfuscated. So it’s difficult to figure out who’s what and where.

The silk road was a bazaar that sold everything. I mean everything. You could buy hard drugs on it. There were all kinds of nastiness is going on. So there were a whole bunch of investigations. I attended a presentation given by a secret service about what they did, how they tracked down the guy that was running the silk road.  They were able to do it, even though it was all Bitcoin and they use these special tumblers to try and mix it all up to make it hard to find out who it is and they were still able to find them.

So right now he’s serving two life sentences plus 40 years, but there was close to a billion dollars in Bitcoin, still sitting there. That the secret service was a hard time having a hard time, getting their hands on and just this week it is now in the hands of the federal government. A billion dollars in illegal proceeds that came from the silk road in Bitcoin cryptocurrency.

Jeff Chidester: [00:03:31] Craig Peterson so once again, you can catch him on tech talk Saturday at 1130. Craig peterson.com. Craigpeterson.com. Many people like Bitcoin. They use it legitimately. Does this have an adverse effect on those who are trying to use this kind of currency legitimately?

Craig Peterson: [00:03:48] That’s such a great question.

The IRS is supposed to be putting a question on the tax forms next year. At least they’re planning on it saying, do you trade in cryptocurrency? They might even just say, do you trade in Bitcoin? Because the IRS is saying, Hey, you bought that coin for, believe it or not, a dollar per Bitcoin back in the day.

Yeah. And now you just sold it for $7,000. Don’t forget to pay the tax on that.

Jeff Chidester: [00:04:20] What,

Craig Peterson: [00:04:21] Yeah, because you’re supposed to write it in. In fact, it’s 20% or Joe Biden gets his way 30 or 40% tax. So this is going to be an interesting thing as we go forward here, but you’re supposed to pay your taxes on Bitcoin.

Does this affect normal people? Well, it does if they are looking at you right now, if they’re not paying a lot of attention to you, you’re probably okay.  It’s easy enough for them to track you down if they want to.

Yeah. I think it’s amusing that people think that you could ever truly hide anything from the government, especially money.

Jeff Chidester: [00:04:59] Cause they’re going to get it. They’re like bloodhounds when it comes to money. It’s amazing.

Hey, another thing that happened last week, Craig, that I thought was interesting. Everybody knows Uber Lyft. There has been this big conversation out in California about how to treat these types of employees and the voters had their say in this and it really not just affects Uber and Lyft, but it has a larger consideration for the economy as a whole. Tell us about that a little bit.

Craig Peterson: [00:05:23] This is a very big deal now because we have had for a few years, something called the gig economy. So I can go to a website like Fiverr. And if you haven’t checked it out, you should F I V E R R.com.

I can hire someone to make me a new logo. To write an article for me to do almost any little task that I want to have done. It used to be five bucks a pop. Sometimes it is even more.

should those people be considered employees? Of course, the IRS has had this test for a long time with these different States.

Do you have to have a regular schedule? Do you have all of these different things as part of their tasks? Proposition 22 passed in California, which means that all of these Uber and Lyft drivers in California were trying to collect taxes on Uber and Lyft. Are now considered basically independent contractors. If you are an employer and I’ve been in this before in this potential problem, if you’re an employer and you bring someone on, even if they sign a contract and you consider them a contractor, the IRS, if they’re not paying their taxes will come after you as the employer. They’ll just switch it all up. In California, of course, that a state government too. So this is going to have a ripple effect. Many States are looking at how do we classify the whole gig economy, let alone Uber and Lyft. I think they’re going to look to California for this.

I’ve been warning for the last probably 20 years on the air about what I see the weakness to be in our election system.  I have said the weakness is likely the secretaries of state offices and their websites where the final results are posted. I don’t know if you saw this, you probably did. Cause you follow it closely. But what Sidney Powell is saying now an attorney involved with the Trump administration here.

She’s talking about two programs called the scorecard and hammer. I just wanted to put a little, I told you so in here because apparently, that’s what she’s looking into overall. So what we’ll know more, we don’t know all of the details yet, but it is precisely what I have been warning for decades could happen to our election.

So there’s some scary stuff still going on up there.

Jeff Chidester: [00:07:51] Well, absolutely.  I think this process is going to continue regarding our election and transparency is the key to really stopping any kind of one distrust that may come. certainly that.

One last thing, I use my cell phone and it’s my cell phone, and I do not do any business on my cell phone. There are people who do use their cell phones for business, and also companies issue these types of mobile devices. There’s a problem there isn’t there?

Craig Peterson: [00:08:14] There’s a number of problems with that. Basically, if you’re a business and you want to keep your data safe and that includes your customer list, if, think of everything that’s part of your business, you might say, I don’t have anything that’s secret.

Well, yes you do. You don’t want your salespeople walking away. You need to own those phones. That’s going to keep things a little clearer, do not allow your employees to use their personal devices and particularly personal computers. Because now you don’t have control over the environment that the computer is used in.

If you’re using a VPN misusing them, which is by the way about 95% of businesses right now, then that home computer infections are going to come right across that VPN and hurt your business and much the same with mobile devices.

Keep an eye on those.

Jeff Chidester: [00:09:09] That’s certainly a policy.

Hey, so we’ve come to a hard break.  Once again, we’d been talking to Craig Peterson, of course, tech talks, Saturdays, 1130, Craig peterson.com. Craig peterson.com.

Craig, thanks a lot, and have a great rest of the week.

Craig Peterson: [00:09:20] Hey, take care, Jeff. Bye-bye.

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