Cryptocurrency companies, cyber intelligence firms and law enforcement agencies have collaborated to tackle human trafficking. This partnership will see the three actors team up to employ data sharing techniques and educational tools to fight the age-old trade multi-billion-dollar industry.
In specific reports, the Anti-Human Trafficking Intelligence Initiative (ATII) unveiled the Anti-Human Trafficking Cryptocurrency Consortium (ATCC) to craft unique solutions that will involve the data analysis of crypto transactions, which have been instrumental in ensuring the growth and expansion of the human trafficking crimes.
Importantly, the ATII has acknowledged the importance of employing an educational awareness component into their effort to enlighten the masses about all things human trafficking. The partnership of intelligence firms and crypto companies will be a formidable force in exposing the red flags around the subject – including sex trafficking and child abuse.
Statistical information around human trafficking is rather alarming, with estimates from the International Labour Organization (ILO) showing that there were 40.3 million victims of human trafficking in the year 2016 alone – and that human trafficking is part of a $150 billion global industry.
While speaking to Cointelegraph, Aaron Kahler (Founder and Chief Executive at ATII) intimated the importance of crypto companies and intelligence firms to partner in facilitating the law enforcement effort against global human trafficking.
According to the executive’s statement, the ATCC has mobilized technical muscles of reputed intelligence firms such as CipherTrace and Blockchain Intelligence Group, including the involvement of large crypto exchanges like Bitfinex, and digital currency ATMs like DigitalMint in an information sharing agreement.
Further, Kahler intimated that the consortium’s information sharing agreement will operate in accordance to section 314b of the U.S. Patriot Act, which guides on the legal role of information sharing (between authorities, regulators and financial entities) in law enforcement efforts that target the fight against terrorism and money laundering.
In simple terms, ATCC’s goal is to influence cryptocurrency exchanges, police departments, data providers and cyber intelligence units to legally share relevant information that would help law enforcers to effectively combat human trafficking, child exploitation and the distribution of child sex abuse material.
Understanding How ATCC Will Work
Every time a suspicious activity will be detected and validated, the law enforcement agencies that are part of the ATCC will be notified. For now, there are only two law enforcement agencies that are part of ATCC activity although the consortium aims to increase the membership to five firms by the end of the year 2020 including the entry of eight crypto exchanges into the anti-human trafficking partnership.
A critical element of the ATCC operational framework is “follow money, fight slavery”, which will plug its detection capabilities to the analysis of crypto transactions. CipherTrace, one of the members of the consortium, will help ATII stop human traffickers from hiding behind digital currency transactions.
Additionally, Blockchain Intelligence Group (BIG) will polish the ATII on critical information surrounding cryptocurrency transactions. This function will require BIG to flag addresses that are connected to human trafficking and child sex abuse. Certainly, the organization’s attribution database will be updated regularly in partial fulfillment of the crypto-focused anti-human trafficking consortium’s goals.
On the other hand, Bitfinex, an established crypto exchange and ATCC member, will share cryptocurrency transactions and look out for red flags that would indicate any involvement in human trafficking crimes.
The identity intelligence firm 4iQ will be instrumental in helping the ATCC identify and expose the bad actors involved in global human trafficking enterprises. Importantly, apart from the fact that the ATCC member will contribute to a plethora of insights needed in law enforcement efforts, members of the consortium will be granted access to 4iQ’s IDHunt Core tool – a platform that works to uncover monikers and pseudonyms behind criminal activities.