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Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Friday, July 01, 2022

ICE is now able to track transactions made through nearly a dozen different digital currencies, including Bitcoin, Ether, and Tether.

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...Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States, is selling Immigrations and Customs Enforcement a suite of features used to track and identify cryptocurrency users, according to contract documents shared with The Intercept.

In August 2021, Coinbase sold a single analytics software license to ICE for $29,000, followed by a software purchase potentially worth $1.36 million the next month, but details of exactly what capabilities would be offered to the agency's controversial Homeland Security Investigations division of were unclear. A new contract document obtained by Jack Poulson, director of the watchdog group Tech Inquiry, and shared with The Intercept, shows ICE now has access to a variety of forensic features provided through Coinbase Tracer, the company's intelligence-gathering tool (formerly known as Coinbase Analytics).

Coinbase Tracer allows clients, in both government and the private sector, to trace transactions through the blockchain, a distributed ledger of transactions integral to cryptocurrency use. While blockchain ledgers are typically public, the enormous volume of data stored therein can make following the money from spender to recipient beyond difficult, if not impossible, without the aid of software tools. Coinbase markets Tracer for use in both corporate compliance and law enforcement investigations, touting its ability to "investigate illicit activities including money laundering and terrorist financing" and "connect [cryptocurrency] addresses to real world entities."

According to the document, released via a Freedom of Information Act request, ICE is now able to track transactions made through nearly a dozen different digital currencies, including Bitcoin, Ether, and Tether. Analytic features include "Multi-hop link Analysis for incoming and outgoing funds," granting ICE insight into transfers of these currencies, as well as "Transaction demixing and shielded transaction analysis" aimed at thwarting methods some crypto users take to launder their funds or camouflage their transactions....


#1 | Posted by LampLighter at 2022-06-30 10:59 PM | Reply

"selling"

I'm surprised ICE doesn't just demand the data.

#2 | Posted by snoofy at 2022-07-01 03:01 PM | Reply

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