Senators Warren and Cassidy Call for DOJ and DHS Action Against Cryptocurrency-Fueled CSAM Trade


The post Senators Warren and Cassidy Call for DOJ and DHS Action Against Cryptocurrency-Fueled CSAM Trade appeared first on Coinpedia Fintech News

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, alongside Senator Bill Cassidy, made an urgent appeal to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Homeland Security in a letter that called for enhanced tools to combat the use of cryptocurrency in the illegal trade of child sexual abuse materials (CSAM). 

Their joint letter dated April 25, 2024, mainly targeted the alarming increase in this criminal activity and sought effective countermeasures to eradicate it.

The Rising Threat of Cryptocurrency in CSAM Trade

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren often claims that cryptocurrency is the leading material used in dark web transactions. 

This time, in her letter, Senator Warren claims that cryptocurrency’s role in facilitating the dark trade of Child Sexual Abuse Materials has become a growing concern for lawmakers and enforcement agencies. Because digital currencies like Bitcoin offer their signature pseudonymous transactions, it enables a disturbingly efficient exchange of illegal content. 

The letter to U.S. Attorney General Garland and U.S. Secretary Mayorkas addresses that “The number of websites accepting cryptocurrency as payment in exchange for [CSAM] has more than doubled every year” between 2018 and 2022, as per the reports from the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF). The reason behind this enormous increase of child sexual abuse materials is due to the difficulties facts in tracing and prosecuting perpetrators.

Official Findings and the Need for Legislative Action

The letter highlights recent reports by financial watchdogs and analytic firms that underline the severity of the situation. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) noted a surge in suspicious activities related to child exploitation funded by cryptocurrencies, identifying over 1,800 unique Bitcoin wallets involved in such offenses. 

Meanwhile, blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis has highlighted the increasing sophistication and resilience of CSAM sellers in evading detection.

In their letter, the Senators expressed grave concerns, stating, “These are deeply troubling findings revealing the extent to which cryptocurrency is the payment of choice for perpetrators of child sexual abuse and exploitation.” 

The DOJ and DHS have recognized the use of cryptocurrency as a new avenue for funding criminal conduct, including child exploitation.

Queries to Garland and Mayorkas

The Senators have posed critical questions to Attorney General Garland and Secretary Mayorkas, seeking clarity on the problem’s scope and current strategies’ effectiveness. 

Both U.S. Senators Warren and Cassidy have inquired about the DOJ’s and DHS’s current assessment of cryptocurrency’s role in child sexual abuse material, the reported increase in the sophistication of these criminal operations, and the unique challenges that digital currencies pose in legal efforts against child exploitation.

Understanding the need for specialized tools to address this illicit use of digital currencies, Senators Warren and Cassidy advocate for a comprehensive approach that includes updating legal frameworks and improving technological capabilities. 

The letter ends with an urge to get back a swift response, requesting detailed answers by May 10, 2024, to better equip law enforcement agencies in their fight against this heinous crime.

from Coinpedia Fintech News

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