86 episodes

Defiance is a podcast which looks at some of the most critical issues of our time, from corruption and greed to human rights and freedom. Brought to you by Peter McCormack, Defiance is a combination of in-depth interviews and multi-part deep dives into the issues which affect all of us.

Defianc‪e‬ Peter McCormack

    • Politics
    • 4.7 • 70 Ratings

Defiance is a podcast which looks at some of the most critical issues of our time, from corruption and greed to human rights and freedom. Brought to you by Peter McCormack, Defiance is a combination of in-depth interviews and multi-part deep dives into the issues which affect all of us.

    Ross Ulbricht & The Silk Road

    Ross Ulbricht & The Silk Road

    The Silk Road was an anonymous marketplace created by Ross Ulbricht on the dark web. Designed with libertarian principles, Ross hinted on his LinkedIn profile what he was working on:
    “I want to use economic theory as a means to abolish the use of coercion and aggression amongst mankind. Just as slavery has been abolished most everywhere, I believe violence, coercion and all forms of force by one person over another can come to an end. The most widespread and systemic use of force is amongst institutions and governments, so this is my current point of effort. The best way to change a government is to change the minds of the governed, however. To that end, I am creating an economic simulation to give people a first-hand experience of what it would be like to live in a world without the systemic use of force.”
    Two technologies enabled Ross to achieve his goals with the website:- The Tor Browser: enabled the IP address of the server hosting the website to be hidden, while also allowing users to browse and purchase from the website anonymously.- Bitcoin: enabled buyers and sellers to transact pseudonymously with each other without using debit or credit cards.
    While the website allowed for the trade of any goods, it was primarily used for and became synonymous with drugs, with listings for all types of recreational and over the counter drugs in almost any quantity.
    One of the key features of the website was the ability to leave reviews of sellers, which led to a fairer system than the street trade. Sellers did not want to risk losing business, so they could set the grade of their products. This also, arguably, protected buyers by reducing the risk of 'bad batches' and sellers cutting their products with other impurities, something is often seen in the street trade to increase profits.
    Ross created a pseudonym, Dread Pirate Roberts, to act as the master admin for the site and he claimed he passed this onto another person early on in the project. It was this pseudonym and master admin, that became the target of multiple law enforcement agencies, across the world.
    In October 2013, the FBI was able to access the servers and close down the website. Ross was apprehended in an uncover sting at the San Francisco Library on October 2nd and charged with:- Possession with intent to distribute controlled substances (dropped in sentencing)- Distribution of narcotics by means of the internet- Narcotics trafficking conspiracy (dropped in sentencing)- Computer hacking conspiracy- Fake ID trafficking conspiracy- Money laundering conspiracy- Continuing criminal enterprise, aka the kingpin charge
    On 4 February 2015, Ross was convicted of seven charges and received a double life sentence + 40 years, condemning Ross to spend the rest of his life in prison.
    The case presents many complex issues, from the harshness of the sentence to the role of the state. The subject is highly emotive with valid arguments on both sides of the drugs debate. Some argue that the war on drugs is a failure and the Silk Road enabled buyers and sellers to transact in a safe and non-violent way, while opponents would say that the website made it too easy for vulnerable people to gain access to dangerous and hard drugs.
    The case also brings up wider topics for discussion, should we as humans be free to put in our bodies what we choose or do we need protection from the state? Why is alcohol legal when other drugs aren't?
    The Silk Road included information for buyers on the safe use of drugs and Meghan Ralston, a former "harm reduction manager" for the Drug Policy Alliance, was quoted as saying that the Silk Road was:“A peaceful alternative to the often deadly violence so commonly associated with the global drug war, and street drug transactions.”
    In this interview I talk to Lyn Ulbricht, Ross's mother about Ross, his arrest, the case and the US prison system. Lyn raises i

    • 1 hr 20 min
    Coming 11th March - Everyone Loves Britney

    Coming 11th March - Everyone Loves Britney

    Britney Spears' father has controlled her career and finances since 2008, in a hugely controversial, court-ordered conservatorship.
    In Everyone Loves Britney, we speak to the people fighting for her freedom as part of the #FreeBritney campaign and take a look at those who have benefited most from her fame and fortune.
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    The success of Defiance will be largely down to the support of you, the listener. Below are a number of ways you can help:- Subscribe to the show on your favourite app so you never miss an episode:iTunesSpotifyDeezerStitcherSoundCloudYouTubeTuneIn- Leave a review of the show on iTunes (5* really helps, if you think the show deserves it).- Share the show and episodes out with your friends and family on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.- Follow Defiance on social media:TwitterFacebookInstagramYouTube- Subscribe to the Defiance mailing list.- Donate Bitcoin here: bc1qd3anlc8lh0cl9ulqah03dmg3r2uxm5r657zr5p
    If you have any questions then please email Defiance.
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    • 2 min
    Hacking the Brain - DEF:Tech #001

    Hacking the Brain - DEF:Tech #001

    If you could modify your brain, would you? What if an implant or device could make you more efficient, store your memories, or even help you move in ways you are currently unable to?
    It might seem like a throwaway, theoretical question, but it's one we all may have to consider and potentially, sooner than you'd think.
    Brain-Computer Interfaces are being developed by gaming companies, social media giants and even the world's richest man, Elon Musk. It's big business, and the possibilities are endless. So what does it mean for us? What are the risks? And could this change society forever?
    To find out, Defiance Tech's Edwina Stott speaks with The University of Pittsburgh's Dr Robert Gaunt, BCI pioneer Nathan Copeland, neuroscientist Sophia Batchelor and Andrew Jackson, Professor of Neural Interfaces at Newcastle University.
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    Show notes and transcription: DEF:Tech #001 - Show Notes
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    Timestamps:Coming soon…
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    The success of Defiance will be largely down to the support of you, the listener. Below are a number of ways you can help:- Subscribe to the show on your favourite app so you never miss an episode:iTunesSpotifyDeezerStitcherSoundCloudYouTubeTuneIn- Leave a review of the show on iTunes (5* really helps, if you think the show deserves it).- Share the show and episodes out with your friends and family on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.- Follow Defiance on social media:TwitterFacebookInstagramYouTube- Subscribe to the Defiance mailing list.- Donate Bitcoin here: bc1qd3anlc8lh0cl9ulqah03dmg3r2uxm5r657zr5p
    If you have any questions then please email Defiance.
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    • 23 min
    North Korea’s Cyber Army

    North Korea’s Cyber Army

    In September 2020, KuCoin, a Singapore based cryptocurrency exchange was hacked for around $285 million of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Exchanges which hold large amounts of cryptocurrency are a constant target for hackers. 
    Lazarus Group, are a cybercrime group with strong links to North Korea. Over the past decade they have been accused of a number of high profile attacks including the 2014 Sony data breach, the 2016 Bangladesh Bank robbery, the ‘WannaCry’ attack and most recently the $285 million KuCoin hack.
    With North Korea the subject of heavy UN sanctions and the economy struggling, exacerbated by COVID-19, it has had to look to its sophisticated state funded hacking team Lazarus to fund its large army and condemned nuclear program.
    In this interview, we hear from Paul French, author of North Korea: A State of Paranoia and an expert on the region. We discuss how the Lazarus group is increasingly looking to cryptocurrency to fund the North Korean regime.
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    Show notes and transcription: DEF080 - Show Notes
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    Timestamps:Coming soon…
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    The success of Defiance will be largely down to the support of you, the listener. Below are a number of ways you can help:- Subscribe to the show on your favourite app so you never miss an episode:iTunesSpotifyDeezerStitcherSoundCloudYouTubeTuneIn- Leave a review of the show on iTunes (5* really helps, if you think the show deserves it).- Share the show and episodes out with your friends and family on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.- Follow Defiance on social media:TwitterFacebookInstagramYouTube- Subscribe to the Defiance mailing list.- Donate Bitcoin here: bc1qd3anlc8lh0cl9ulqah03dmg3r2uxm5r657zr5p
    If you have any questions then please email Defiance.
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    • 46 min
    The Bitcoin Dealers of Beirut

    The Bitcoin Dealers of Beirut

    For 28 years, Lebanon's Lira has been pegged to the US Dollar. But 18 months ago, following widespread protests, the government collapsed. Loan defaults and central bank mismanagement saw the Lira devalue and the people of Lebanon could only watch as the value of their savings dropped by the day.
    Currency controls have meant that getting access to US dollar savings is heavily restricted in Lebanon and converting them into local currency at the bank rate is almost worthless.
    But a small group of entrepreneurs in Beirut have created an underground Bitcoin market. These Bitcoin dealers meet clients in quiet corners of supermarkets to convert their hoarded dollars into Bitcoin in a bid to preserve their value from the banks 80% devaluation. And to convert overseas dollar remittances into dollars at a real market rate to enable residents to pay for essential services.
    As Lebanon is on the brink of collapse, we look at how the Beirut locals are increasingly looking to Bitcoin as an alternative to their broken banking system.
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    Show notes and transcription: DEF079 - Show Notes
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    Timestamps:Coming soon…
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    The success of Defiance will be largely down to the support of you, the listener. Below are a number of ways you can help:- Subscribe to the show on your favourite app so you never miss an episode:iTunesSpotifyDeezerStitcherSoundCloudYouTubeTuneIn- Leave a review of the show on iTunes (5* really helps, if you think the show deserves it).- Share the show and episodes out with your friends and family on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.- Follow Defiance on social media:TwitterFacebookInstagramYouTube- Subscribe to the Defiance mailing list.- Donate Bitcoin here: bc1qd3anlc8lh0cl9ulqah03dmg3r2uxm5r657zr5p
    If you have any questions then please email Defiance.
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    • 46 min
    The Wolves of r/WallStreetBets

    The Wolves of r/WallStreetBets

    Last week a group of Redditors from the subreddit r/WallStreetBets took on Wall Street when they collectively bought shares of the struggling video game retailer GameStop.
    This movement started when it was discovered that approximately 140% of GameStop shares were sold short. With the collective buying power of the millions of subscribers to the WallStreetBets subreddit, they initiated a short squeeze. By driving the price higher, those who had short positions had to buy back the stock to cover their positions, again driving the price higher.
    In less than two weeks, the share price went from around $20 to over $460. 
    Amongst the people on the wrong side of this trade were Melvin Capital, a Hedge Fund that started the year with over $12 billion under management. After frantically trying to cover their position, GameStop wiped out a staggering $4.5 billion of their assets and reported a 53% loss on its investments in January. 
    At the height of the rally, and with WallStreetBets out for blood, Robinhood, the world's most popular retail trading platform ceased trading on a number of heavily shorted assets, most notably GameStop (GME).
    The company claimed they were not prepared for the frenzied trading and that they lacked the capital to continue operations. However, some have suggested that the company's decision to cease trading was down to influential Wall Streeters.
    To better understand what has been happening over the last few weeks, and the implications on the future, I am joined by Bill Barhydt, Hester Peirce, Jaime Rogozinski, Max Keiser, Nathaniel Whittemore & Preston Pysh.
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    Show notes and transcription: DEF078 - Show Notes
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    Timestamps:Coming soon…
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    The success of Defiance will be largely down to the support of you, the listener. Below are a number of ways you can help:- Subscribe to the show on your favourite app so you never miss an episode:iTunesSpotifyDeezerStitcherSoundCloudYouTubeTuneIn- Leave a review of the show on iTunes (5* really helps, if you think the show deserves it).- Share the show and episodes out with your friends and family on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.- Follow Defiance on social media:TwitterFacebookInstagramYouTube- Subscribe to the Defiance mailing list.- Donate Bitcoin here: bc1qd3anlc8lh0cl9ulqah03dmg3r2uxm5r657zr5p
    If you have any questions then please email Defiance.
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    • 48 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
70 Ratings

70 Ratings

David Rhys ,

Defiance - BRILLIANT

I have listened to most podcasts that dig into this nefarious couple and this one is one of the best. Beautiful production, well researched and Pattinson has a great voice....

An6r3w ,

Entertaining and thought provoking

Peter McCormack is an interesting chap, he’s a self professed entertainer more than he is a journalist or Bitcoin expert (check out Peter’s other excellent podcast What Bitcoin Did), but I think this approach works well. When you know all the answers, it’s difficult to ask those all important questions.

You do need to be inquisitive, and impartial, and Peter comes across as both. I’m not sure about the name Defiance, but I can see why it was chosen as it is attention grabbing. A natural progression from WBD and an opportunity to explore more libertarian/ individualist concepts and ideas, presented is a ‘podumentary’.

In less than five years time Pete is going to be super famous and a household name with the kids. Early bitcoin podcasters will become bitcoin royalty.

Enjoy. 👍🏻

Ricardo Donovan ,

Interesting

I listen to McCormack’s other podcast WBD and thought I’d check this one out after hearing about it. Super interesting topics, well put together show!

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