US Senators Crack Down on Cryptocurrency in Child Abuse Trade

Lawmakers in the United States, including Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bill Cassidy, are taking action to crack down on the use of cryptocurrencies in the buying and selling of child sexual abuse material (CSAM). They are pushing for stronger tools for federal agencies to track crypto transactions related to the sale of this content. The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have been asked to disclose their current technical capabilities in the fight against CSAM. A study by Chainalysis revealed that criminals involved in this illicit trade are using privacy coins like Monero to hide their profits from law enforcement.

Warren and Cassidy have written to Attorney General Merrick Garland and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, inquiring about the agencies’ ability to identify and prosecute these crimes. They also raised concerns about the challenges faced by existing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) rules and law enforcement methods in combating CSAM. The senators posed six questions to the federal agencies, with the aim of understanding the extent of cryptocurrency’s involvement in these illegal activities and determining the need for new tools to address them. They requested a response by May 10.

The DOJ’s current technical capacity to investigate cryptocurrency transactions has already resulted in the indictment of a major cryptocurrency exchange, KuCoin, and two of its founders. On March 26, the DOJ charged KuCoin and its founders with operating an unlicensed money transmitting business and violating the Bank Secrecy Act. The defendants allegedly enabled KuCoin to facilitate illicit money laundering by failing to implement basic AML policies. The Justice Department claims that KuCoin received more than $5 billion and sent over $4 billion in suspicious and criminal funds.

This crackdown on crypto-related CSAM is a response to the growing use of cryptocurrencies in this illicit trade, as identified by the Chainalysis study. The study found that criminals are utilizing mixing services and privacy coins like Monero to obscure their financial transactions and avoid detection by law enforcement. This has made it increasingly challenging for authorities to track down and prosecute individuals involved in the buying and selling of child abuse materials.

By requesting the disclosure of the DOJ’s and DHS’s technical capabilities, Warren and Cassidy aim to equip law enforcement agencies with the necessary tools to combat CSAM more effectively. They are seeking to close the gaps in existing AML rules and law enforcement methods that enable criminals to exploit cryptocurrencies for their illicit activities. With the May 10 deadline for the agencies to respond to their inquiries, the lawmakers hope to make progress in dismantling networks engaged in the heinous trade of child sexual abuse material.

Evaleen Dreher

Evaleen Dreher

4 thoughts on “US Senators Crack Down on Cryptocurrency in Child Abuse Trade

  1. The use of privacy coins in the buying and selling of child sexual abuse material is absolutely horrific. Thank you, Senators Warren and Cassidy, for pushing for stronger tools and regulations to combat these crimes. Let’s protect our children and bring these criminals to justice.

  2. The fact that criminals are using crypto to hide their profits is absolutely infuriating! They must face severe consequences! 🀬

  3. It’s alarming to see criminals exploiting privacy coins like Monero to evade law enforcement and continue their illegal activities. 😠 Kudos to Senators Warren and Cassidy for taking the initiative to address this issue and protect vulnerable children. πŸ™πŸΌπŸ›‘οΈ

  4. The indictment of KuCoin and its founders is a strong message that the DOJ is committed to fighting illicit activities involving cryptocurrencies. Thank you, Senators Warren and Cassidy, for pushing for stronger tools and regulations to protect victims of CSAM.

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