Illegal Content on Cardano Blockchain

Continuing the discussion from Cardano Extra Long Addresses (with images) | GIST:

Let’s say I live in Germany.

Let’s say I want to create a page on which there will be a list of existing encoded addresses on Cardano chain, which contain some secret payload, and decoded messages from each address.

Next day someone encodes image with ISIS flag (or any other illegal content, hate speech, etc.) and puts in transaction. My page will show it of course.

  1. Can I get in jail for it (as the owner of that page)?

  2. Can Cardano ecosystem itself be banned in particular countries for it?

  1. That’s a really good question. You should probably talk to someone who understands the law if you’re serious about it.
    I wouldn’t think you’d get in trouble for listing public addresses that anyone could find with a copy of the blockchain.
    Since your site would be centralised though, maybe you’d just have to be careful and take down the illegal stuff as it shows up?

  2. They could try to ban Cardano, but they wouldn’t have any success. Torrenting copyrighted material is illegal and plenty of people still do that.

I’d love to see a site like this. I hope you can get the legalities figured out.

More importantly, it is possible that a malicious entity could intentionally upload child pornography, meaning that anyone running a full node is now hosting and potentially distributing illegal material.


I’m not a lawyer but I suspect that displaying an illegal image to the public will get you into trouble in almost any country. Someone will upload child porn, it’s only a matter of time. To give you an idea, a while ago we ran a mobile phone picture messaging service, the first incident occurred when we had about 10,000 users.

I do not think authorities will care about images encoded into blockchain addresses (see bitcoin), but if your website is broadcasting them to the world, then yes, there will be big problem.

Maybe you could code a little check into your backend code such that you have to “manually release” each item. You will want to do some curation anyway, because some images will be offensive but not illegal, ie. NSFW.

So you could have actions depending on how objectionable the content is: 1) publish the item directly, 2) create a NSFW link where they have to click through 3) exclude the item but still indicate a fat address 4) make like it doesn’t exist.


Tough one indeed.

" The​ ​kinds​ ​of​ ​complex​ ​behavior​ ​that​ ​would​ ​enable​ ​the​ ​acts​ ​elaborated​ ​previously​ (e.g. child pornography) ​cannot​ ​run​ ​on CSL.​ ​They​ ​require​ ​the​ ​ability​ ​to​ ​run​ ​programs​ ​written​ ​in​ ​a​ ​Turing​ ​complete​ ​language​ ​and​ ​some form​ ​of​ ​gas​ ​economics​ ​to​ ​meter​ ​computation.​ ​They​ ​also​ ​require​ ​consensus​ ​nodes​ ​willing​ ​to include​ ​the​ ​transactions​ ​in​ ​their​ ​blocks."

This was written in 2015 by Hoskinson. I see here that some people managed just that and found a way to compromise CSL, despite being a simple tx layer only.

I would assume in your case that you’d have a minima the moral obligation to take down these images once known and decoded.

I don’t see however how Cardano could be judged responsible as a whole. This is a deviation of the CSL’s intent, as designed initially. Would someone take down Facebook entirely because of anti-vax or hate speech texts ? That remains to be seen… so my guess is that the protocol itself is safe


Very good question
I think that would be a problem for everybody as any user has a copy of the blockchain, in your machine you would have those corrupted archive too!
Which is not yours and could be proven that you didn’t planted in the blockchain those archives but you are also in possession of those archives…
Actually that happens in Bitcoin blockchain and I remember ( 100% ) some writing about it yet I m very sorry can’t remember the link nor from where I got the info ( it was about child pornography and bitcoin blockchain )

In those cases I really would like to have the most sever and authoritarian philosophy against those acts

Really interesting question

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It seems that the CSL 1.3.2 update brought closure to this entire discussion :slight_smile:
What can now be hidden at best within the new tx-size limits ?

You can’t get gifs in there (unless you compress them beyond recognition), which makes it less fun