The US Marshals announced plans to auction off nearly 30,000 Bitcoins confiscated from online drug marketplace Silk Road a week ago. The process, expected to attract high-profile investors and other big names in the Bitcoin community, was to take place anonymous. The key word here, of course, being "was."
Unfortunately for some potential bidders, the US Marshals are human just like the rest of us. The agency recently sent an e-mail to interested bidders in an attempt to answer some common questions but there was one fatal flaw - they accidentally sent the message as a carbon copy instead of a blind carbon copy.
The latter, as you may very well know, would have masked the e-mail addresses of each recipient from all others. Instead, each recipient was able to see the full mailing list which consisted of more than a dozen people.
In a statement on the matter, US Marshals spokesperson Lynzey Donahue said the message was not intended for any particular group of people but for anyone who had e-mailed a question to the general mailbox to ask about the auction. She apologized for the mistake which was in no way intentional.
It's worth pointing out that only the e-mail addresses of interested parties were disclosed, not actual names. But as CoinDesk highlights, it wasn't exactly difficult to track down each recipient based on the e-mail addresses. The site also posted the uncensored list for anyone interested in checking it out.