One of the researchers claims that the loss of the Tornado Cash source code would be harmful to the scientific and technical communities in the US.

A sanction by the US Agency for Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) had placed Tornado Cash as an entity on the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) prohibited service list.

Subsequently, the removal of the Tornado Cash source code on GitHub provoked an outcry from some people in the community, particularly the defenders of free speech at all costs.

While forks of the open source software have remained on GitHub, Matthew Green, a professor of cryptography at Johns Hopkins University, this week published another fork of the software with support from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).


Green and his EFF colleague Kurt Opsahl were unhappy with the removal of the Tornado Cash source code and had argued that the hosting service was restricting speech with the decision.

It is possible to point out, however, that in most countries that have freedom of expression as a fundamental right, which includes the United States, citizens and entities are not exempt from the consequences and responsibilities linked to their speeches and speeches.

code is speech

“For decades, US courts have recognized that code is speech. This has been a central part of the EFF’s advocacy for the IT community since we set the precedent over 25 years ago. As the Tornado Cash situation develops, we want to make sure that these constitutional safeguards are not circumvented or watered down.”

Wrote Kurt Opsahl.

The main reason behind reuploading code is to test whether its removal is always the appropriate response to sanctions. Opsahl, general counsel for the EFF, argued that “improvements and other contributions to this fork, or any other, are protected speech, and their publication cannot be constitutionally prohibited by the government under either standard of scrutiny.”

Green also expressed a similar sentiment and revealed that if GitHub disables it again, the advocacy organization plans to challenge that decision in court. In an explanatory note, the researcher wrote,

“In my work as a researcher and instructor at Johns Hopkins, I made extensive use of Tornado Cash and Tornado Nova source code to teach concepts related to cryptocurrency privacy and zero-knowledge technology.”

OFAC order is ambiguous

Another point of contention is the lack of clarity of the OFAC order in defining “Tornado Cash” not only as a technology, but also as a sanctioned entity. The EFF argues that the name “Tornado Cash” itself refers to different things, thus creating ambiguity on what exactly is sanctioned.

It is an underlying open source project developed and published on GitHub. It is also the name of the cryptocurrency mixer software that persists as a smart contract on the Ethereum network, etc. Because of this, the scope of what “Tornado Cash” means for OFAC still hangs in limbo.

Read too:

NovaDAX is full of news!

One of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in Brazil has now ZERO withdrawal fees in real!

NovaDAX also has zero fee for Bitcoin transactions and more than 110 listed currencies, with cash withdrawal available and high liquidity.

Cryptocurrencies with the best rates on the market! Simply activate the free Novawards program and enjoy reduced rates of up to 75%.

Discover the NovaDAX Card and order yours now.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here