In current discussions about the DAO incident many people are using words like "theft" and "crime", while others say all transactions were stictly in accordance to a (maybe grossly unfair but) valid contract written in code that all parties had agreed to. Without going into debate about these issues, I would like to ask: Have anybody reported the incident to a law enforcement agency in any country, and is there any ongoing official investigation or at least some response from law enforcement?

  • A little bit unrelated - I was thinking about creating Ethereum Police - so now you have your digital token / private key unlocking the car... The Immutable Law Of Security: If a bad guy has unrestricted physical access to your computer, it's not your computer anymore. I'm actually wondering if any laws were broken, or merely some undocumented feature was used. What's done it's done, still not clear opinion whether the forking was the right call... Apr 18 '18 at 8:34

I don't think any one person can answer this - that would imply some form of central coordination of information across the world.

Someone in the community may have reported it to their local authorities, but I would be very surprised if any law enforcement service, would even understand what was being said to them. It is difficult enough to explain theDAO to people who already have some crypto experience, let alone a desk clerk at your local police station.

Indeed even if you were able to convince a law enforcement officer that something needs investigating, they would have to refer this to their own legal departments, to see if any law was broken, and given that theDAO smart contract is a kind of Terms and Conditions document, in reality the hard-fork, may be breaking those clauses, whereas the so-called theft was and is perfectly within the terms.

They would find it difficult to pursue a case against someone who has acted within the terms of an agreement to their own benefit, no matter how annoying that would be to the investors, therefore this would no longer qualify as a criminal case, and would if anything qualify as a civil case. Which then begs the question who are you going to sue, and what chances do you have of success, but further than this how should compensation be dealt with? Should it be paid in Ether or Dollars or DAO Tokens, and who is going to oversee the transfer or enforce it?

I just wanted to point out that these are complex legal matters that have no history or precident, so everything to do with this is speculation.

The one thing we can learn from this is that this is a brave new world we are entering, at our own risk, because current legal systems are not prepared or designed to deal with the fall-out of decentralised autonomous organisations or smart contracts that go wrong.

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