Elliptic and IWF partner to catch child porn purchasers


Non-profit organization the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) has teamed up with blockchain start-up Elliptic to combat the use of bitcoin to buy child sex abuse images online.

Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency, which due to the anonymity it affords buyers, is often used for online unlawful purchases – anything from illegal drugs to child pornography.

Elliptic has developed a tool which can trace suspicious transaction patterns of bitcoin due to the open nature of the cryptocurrency platform. All bitcoin transactions are recorded on the blockchain – a public ledger of activity. Elliptic somehow managed to fish through this and identify suspicious activity. This information can be later used to link transactions together and get an idea of where the money is moving and which payments are linked.

The IWF’s on the other hand combat child sex abuse content online. The organization does this through tips from members of the public who come across an illicit website, as well as trawling through the net looking for illegal content, which later is reported to the police. Recently they noticed an increasing number of sites accepting bitcoin as a method of payment for child porn.

The IWF now has a big database of child sex abuse sites known to be accepting bitcoin. This database can be integrated with Elliptic’s technology to figure out where the money is moving. When a picture of transactions is built up, the information can be used by law enforcement to try and track down the criminals.

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Elliptic and IWF partner to catch child porn purchasers

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