What problems could this pose and how can it be solved?


#1

Child abuse imagery ‘found within Bitcoin’s blockchain’

Child abuse imagery has been detected in Bitcoin’s blockchain, according to a new study. The discovery potentially puts cryptocurrency users at risk, as anyone who downloads a blockchain could be held liable for illegal content.

Researchers from RWTH Aachen University in Germany and the Data Protection Research Institute at Goethe University in Frankfurt found 1600 files, including texts and images, on blockchain. Among the data were instances of illegal pornography and serious privacy violations, the team says.

The researchers extracted content from the blockchain, converted it into readable files and presented their findings at the Financial Cryptography and Data Security conference in Curaçao earlier this month. Eight files with sexual content were detected, two of which were backups of link lists to child pornography, containing 274 links to websites, some 142 of which referred to Tor hidden services.

The remainder reportedly included an image depicting mild nudity of a young woman and five files which showed, described, or linked to mildly pornographic content. The origin of all this content is not clear. “Among these files there is clearly objectionable content such as links to child pornography, which is distributed to all Bitcoin participants,” the researchers’ paper states.

“Although court rulings do not yet exist, legislative texts from countries such as Germany, the UK, or the USA suggest that illegal content such as child pornography can make the blockchain illegal to possess for all users,” it concluded.

While spending bitcoin does not not necessarily require a copy of the blockchain, other transactions, such as some mining techniques, require that the user downloads either the full blockchain or chunks of it.

“As of now, this can affect at least 112 countries in which possessing content such as child pornography is illegal. This especially endangers the multi-billion dollar markets powering cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin,” the researchers said.

The authors identified five categories of content that may cause problems for anyone storing the blockchain: copyright violations; malware; privacy violations; politically sensitive content; and illegal and condemned content. According to the researchers, this is the first categorization of objectionable content, and survey of potential risks for users, if such content enters the blockchain.

Among the other files reportedly found were seven copyright violations and 609 transactions containing online public chat logs, emails, and forum posts discussing Bitcoin, including topics such as money laundering. In two instances, the researchers found the complete disclosure of another person’s personal information including phone numbers, addresses, bank accounts, passwords, and multiple online identities.

While the researchers didn’t actually find any malware, they noted its potential to spread via blockchain. Interpol previously warned that malware could be injected and hosted on the blockchain, with the chain potentially becoming a ‘safe haven’ for sharing child pornography.

Roman Matzutt, a member of the research team, told The Register that there is also potential for these issues to arise on other blockchains that allow content to be inserted, such as Litecoin and Ethereum.


#2

Yeah the only thing here is that the law has to change what is considered possession. Could anyone here also explain to me, how to put information other than transactions into the bitcoin block chain? How does this work?

I understand that this could be done through a blockchain made for this… But how would you do it with like Bitcoin? Transactions dont even have meta data do they?

Edit: yeah Ive done some searching around and see how this is possible, even though this is highly inefficient.

It is something that has to be dealt with but it also exposes the flaw of making “information” illegal, because it is code that has been made illegal and it is literally the only place where this becomes an issue. Like a video/information of any other crime is not illegal - like a video of a murder… any other type of abuse.

What should be illegal is the ACTION of consuming, decoding, creating or using said content. Hence the blockchain-problem would never become an issue, because having the blockchain itself, wouldn’t incriminate you.

Then there is the issue about copyright - but yeah it also again shows the flaw of the concept of copyright.


#3

Nothing new about it, if you searched around enough you can see there is plenty of history on the subject, it was not completely thought out to be efficient, but at one time bitcoin was going to be developed on to provide user’s the opportunity to use it as a file storage. I am pretty sure this was being tossed around in 2012 but I could be wrong, might’ve been a year or two later.(or before I saw it too).


#4

That’s not happening. Governments and the central banks that control them aren’t exactly excited about currency they don’t control.

Kiddie porn is just code that has been made illegal? No… it’s been turned into code and stored on the blockchain. I’m going to assume you aren’t suggesting we make that legal because I assume you’re a normal person. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t the only place this is happening. I just see this as a point of attack for the people who would want to do away with crypto. They could sway public opinion real quick with something like this.


#5

We are no discussing the morality or legality of acts, this is not what we are debating here, so refrain from entering that area. I am not for child porn, murder, animal abuse or any of that matter… But Its completely irrelevant to the principle elements of this discussion… The act of making information illegal has much more complicated implications and that is what the issue is here, and how to handle that.

Well technically it is code, since anything shown on a computer is a piece of code, that code is a depiction of reality, and has nothing to do with reality itself, they are pixels that are decoded, hence everything is a code. So yes technically it is making information illegal and that has flaws in it… and that is the reason that is the only area it has been done since it is a sensitive area… any other information is not illegal, like murder, its illegal to murder but a videotape of a murder is not illegal… A video of physical abuse of a child or adult is not illegal… The only element of “illegal” information is when it comes to sexual content… and the reason it has only been diluted down to this extreme topic alone is because of the complications these laws have… Else we would have it in many other areas.

Does depiction of reality make it reality in terms of law? well what if the depiction is a virtual simulation, does it now have the same standards?

I am not suggesting anything other than you have to think about much deeper the implications of said laws… What if in the future your mind can be decoded by a computer, what if some information is illegal and someones mind can conjure such information? what do we do about that? If information can be illegal, now you are technically possessing illegal information.

What if someone made a decoder that decoded mona lisa into “information” that is illegal? is mona lisa suddenly illegal? Because it now suddenly represents a piece of code that is transformable to illegal information?

Is possessing mona lisa now illegal? or is the processor/decoder that does the transforming illegal? or should it the act of transforming it, knowingly that it will lead to illegal content that should be illegal?

What do we do if someone encode illegal information into immutable block-chain as we just have an example of?

The answer to this is making Human action Illegal… Decoding, encoding, creating, consuming of said content.


#6

I’m over this conversation because I get the impression that you’re advocating the legalizing of child porn because it’s just “code”. It isn’t code before it’s turned into it, and it’s still abusing that child after it’s turned into code


#9

How many times you going to edit that comment?


#10

The only thing that is on the blockchain is code. There is nothing other than code on the blockchain - content viewable/understandable to humans is generated by decoding code eventually to tiny bits on your screen. That is why the discussion is around code. You obviously did not read what I wrote, because that is exactly the questions I am raising, and highlighting the issues around this topic.


#11

I edit my comments to they reflect everything I wanted to say in that comment, instead of creating more.


#12

This is ridiculous. Digital video/pictures are code as soon as they are recorded on the camera as well. So a camera or a memory stick full of “code”(child porn) shouldn’t be illegal?


#13

Just go somewhere else. You’re being very counterproductive to what I was hoping to accomplish, a real solution, and it’s obviously just personal from the other thread.


#14

You are looking at this from a very naive and simplistic nature…

There is a big difference between making the code or the consumption/decoding of a concept illegal. These are two very different things - and it is relevant and the whole issue here when it comes to the block chain problem.

You have to define how you make it illegal, and that is where the complications are created…

So first… Childporn is illegal but this needs to be defined to understand the consequences… So lets say code that depicts real life child porn is illegal. Now, does that cover fictional too? what if you making a drawing of said act, is that illegal too? These are important questions, because they distinguish between it being the code that is illegal or it being the concept/content itself being illegal…

Now lets say Its all illegal, regardless of fictional or not, just because of the nature. Now who is the perpetrator that is the next question…

Does you being in possession of that camera with illegal code make you the perpetrator? If the answer is yes, well then every immutable block-chain will be destroyed, since they have to be hosted by someone, and someone could attack them by implanting illegal code - and everyone having a copy of the bitcoin block chain should be going to jail.

Or you could add more definitions, that data cannot be illegal, that the code alone is not illegal, but the act of decoding and consuming illegal content would, or the act of reasonable suspicion thereof (like if owned a camera with said content). In this case blockchain could stay out of it, the act of “illegal” code on the blockchain does not incriminate everyone who has the blockchain.

It would be the decoding of said information that would be illegal - and decoding it knowingly about the content. Here we are distinguishing that the code itself is not illegal, hence a block chain would be legal, but it is the decoding and consumption of said concept that would be illegal.

Again this is the mona lisa example… If someone made a decoder of mona lisa that turned mona lisa into illegal content, would mona lisa be illegal to posses? would the decoder be illegal? or would the act of using the decoder to access the content be illegal. These are valid questions that needs to be solved.

Its like a computer virus, the code itself is not illegal, it is what you do with it, that is illegal.

Saying something like X should be illegal, and not thinking of much deeper complications… We have people like you in politics… Here in the US Children in there teens have been put in jail, (I believe there was even a case about a 7 year old) and have been designated as sexual offenders (for life) because they had shared pictures of THEMSELVES, while they were underage to other peers… Because IDIOTS had not thought about the COMPLICATIONS of their laws… and had made them too simple… You need to have a broad well thought out definition to handle all the complexities, it is not as simple as saying X should be illegal…


#15

Just read my above reply, it explains everything in detail, if you cant understand it, then let it be it… I give up… Then you simply dont have the capacity to comprehend more complex issues.

It is very simple, if you draw the line at the possession of data/code alone being illegal, you are headed to jail by having the bitcoin block chain… That is the consequence of stupid laws. There is no question about this, if that is the law… Now if you change the law to consumption of said concept, making the decoding and consumption illegal… Then the blockchain is fine… That is the whole issue you have failed to comprehend from the beginning of this thread…

Laws are made for actions, and a piece of code is not an action within itself, if the code is actionless.


#16

You are the one who doesn’t seem to understand. People have been arrested for downloading torrents. There was a utorrent exploit that was being used to add files to say a photoshop download. This was being used as a form of “swatting”. You can also be charged if someone downloads CP on your wifi.

“Remember, an open network, regardless if you are someone that feels the net should be free for all, makes you responsible for the things that happen through your network. If someone breaks copyright rules and downloads, you can lose your provider. Even worse, if your neighbor or the guy parked in the street download child porn, or engages in ilegal pedations (children), you can as easily be arrested and charged with the crime.
Lock up that signal folks, keep it safe.”

Child porn laws are already defined, I don’t have to define anything.

Thanks for blowing up the thread. Like I said… It’s very obvious it’s a personal issue.


#17

This is one of those “unintended consequences” things and just highlights why the careful methodology of Cardano will ultimately win - there are just so many things to think through when it comes to making this the worlds financial stack.

Regarding Cardano, it is my understanding that the settlement layer will stay very thin and lightweight with pointers to the contracts where this type of data could exist. Is it reasonable to say that in Cardano it would be difficult to engineer data into the SL like this?


#18

If that is the case, well the blockchain is doomed, it is as simple as that. But laws change and are redefined with time, if the definition is as simple as being in possession of raw code, without a decoder, without usage, without intent, without knowledge, if possession of code is the only factor then everyone who has the bitcoin blockchain is going to jail, if you think that is the case, you are an idiot. Laws change with time, when it faces new problems, and this is obviously going to be a new problem. Since this incriminates 100 hundreds of millions of innocent people, for all kinds of things, obviously this is not going to fly.

If you have a blockchain that is immutable and transparent, this is going to happen, there is absolutely no way around it. I find it difficult to believe this will be resolved by the technology unless we put restrictions on it of what it can do.

I assume with random addresses that have no predictability and control-ability, and no meta data, there would be no way to implant any type of communication on the payment layer.

@papa_carp
I am not sure, but people find all kinds of ways to, like with bitcoin that is nontraditional… I dont know if it can be actually solved, like ADA wants meta-data, I would assume this becomes an even bigger problem with meta data involved and even human readable addresses… For every piece of information that is added, the amount of potential information that can be stored and hidden goes up exponential.


#19

I think a bigger issue is that almost every cc can be attacked - more or less - by poisoning their blockchain w/ any type of illegal contents.


#20

The very same people who want to do away with crypto. Then they’ll use their media machine to push what a terrible thing the blockchain is and they’ll turn it into the “devil”, like the dark web. This child porn thing could be the start of the attack. I’m far from a techie, I build houses. Can this be easily solved? This was kinda the point of the thread.


#21

This is why you dont understand the things I am talking about - and why you dont argue anything of what I actually wrote.

The only way to solve this is legislative definition - and that is what it will end with.

There is no way to solve this from a blockchain point of view, earlier projects like Bitcoin are already permanent, nothing can be done. Projects with the complexities of Cardano, there will be literally no way of protecting against this. I have already outlined the exact problem with this, and one potential solution.

So either legislation is going to change, or everyone who has, or have had the bitcoin block-chain installed or stored is is headed for jail… Obviously legislation will change.

The internet has been used for lots of bad things, that didn’t make the internet illegal, so that argument wont fly.


#22