The division of cyber crimes in the office of the sheriff for the county of Benton, Arkansas has launched a pilot program involving the mining of Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies to monitor the activities of online criminals. The division has generated its own virtual currency, to track the crimes on the Web, including the proliferation of child pornography.
Combat child pornography at its source
According to the database of the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation), there has been an increase in the number of people using Bitcoin, and web browsers secrets to exchange or distribute child pornography. The crypto-currencies can be used to purchase illegal drugs or to offer the services of prostitutes. In an interview with KHBS at the beginning of the month of October, the detective of the county of Benton, David Undiano said that the program was designed to assist their investigators to deal with crimes that they did may not have been able to treat before. “People sell child pornography on the Internet, mainly on the dark web. They accept only Bitcoins. As well, we can’t use the credit card to the sheriff’s office and we are unable to exchange child pornography. We thus need a specific currency to allow us to identify the criminals and to stop it, ” adds David Undiano.
Some people remain skeptical
However, despite the potential effectiveness of the campaign, some people don’t seem to be very favourable. In his interview for the daily Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the potential candidate for the position of sheriff, Glen Latham, has expressed its opposition to this policy, claiming that this would in fact be significant cost that will be borne by local taxpayers. According to him, “The machines that the police in Arkansas must use to undermine the Bitcoin to consume a lot of energy and air-conditioning costs will increase ; all of this at taxpayers’ expense. “