After the US Treasury Department said it had barred American companies and individuals from using a so-called crypto mixer known as Tornado Cash, fans of the service rallied in support of the founders of the popular protocol. Tornado Cash allowed users to obfuscate their crypto transactions; the Treasury alleged that North Korean hackers and other entities had relied on it to launder illicit gains totaling more than $7 billion.
But within hours, those fans (and critics) were reacting to something else: the erasure of accounts and websites linked to Tornado Cash from the internet. A GitHub account that previously hosted code related to Tornado Cash returned a “page not found” error, as did the website linked to the project. Emails to the Tornado Cash founders bounced back with the message, “The email account that you tried to reach is disabled.” GitHub, owned by Microsoft, is a way for developers to collaborate on software projects.