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Author Topic: What if I stored child porn in the block chain?  (Read 5491 times)
jib
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January 20, 2011, 11:51:32 PM
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If I encoded some child porn in transaction amounts or something, and stored it in the block chain, and released a program to decode and display it, would that make it illegal for anyone to use Bitcoin (since possession of child pornography is illegal)?

Looking forward to quantum computing so we can have qubitcoins.
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Gavin Andresen
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January 21, 2011, 12:16:39 AM
 #2

First: I am not a lawyer.

Second:  No.  http://criminal-law.freeadvice.com/drug_crimes/unwitting_possession.htm

How often do you get the chance to work on a potentially world-changing project?
cardinalshark
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January 21, 2011, 12:22:52 AM
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but there will be an outcry against Bitcoin and similar systems claiming they allow child porn, terror financing, etc.
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January 21, 2011, 12:38:13 AM
 #4

If I encoded some child porn in transaction amounts or something, and stored it in the block chain, and released a program to decode and display it, would that make it illegal for anyone to use Bitcoin (since possession of child pornography is illegal)?

I don't think so, but it would make you a felon just about anywhere.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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January 21, 2011, 01:46:16 AM
 #5

It's probably not illegal, but it might become a controversial. The 10kB limit on transactions would allow a low-resolution image to be included in a single chunk. Maybe generators would agree to purge it by re-doing some blocks (though this is probably not sustainable).

This is another benefit of having a "backbone" of generators: only the generators would have to deal with the legal risk, while normal users wouldn't actually be possessing any illegal data.

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January 21, 2011, 01:54:19 AM
 #6

Such a thing would force bitcoin's developers to focus on the pruning of the blockchain, upsetting the development timeline, but would not spell an end to Bitcoin itself.  A pruned blockchain couldn't be considered a vector for child porn.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
theymos
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January 21, 2011, 02:08:25 AM
 #7

Such a thing would force bitcoin's developers to focus on the pruning of the blockchain, upsetting the development timeline, but would not spell an end to Bitcoin itself.  A pruned blockchain couldn't be considered a vector for child porn.

Full network nodes can't prune unspent transactions, so the attacker could just not ever spend the image-transaction.

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genjix
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January 21, 2011, 02:17:54 AM
 #8

im sure it's not a problem when 4chan is full of the stuff but govts allow it to run eventhough 'anons' are disruptive
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January 21, 2011, 03:20:07 AM
 #9

What if I make a program that takes this data:



And decodes it into child porn? Does owning this picture send us all to FPMITAP?

There is no such thing as data that cannot be converted into some other data if I get to choose the algorithm.

Obviously if I publish the algorithm that does this there will be public outcry against Obama and google, since I got the picture from them.

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grondilu
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January 21, 2011, 04:00:23 AM
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Using steganography, you could put child porn pretty much anywhere, for instance in Wikimedia.  It would be much more efficient than using bitcoin.


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January 21, 2011, 09:26:03 AM
 #11

but there will be an outcry against Bitcoin and similar systems claiming they allow child porn, terror financing, etc.

every new technology can be used to facilitate crimes. as long as the societal benefits of the technology outweigh the negative effects, there will be no outcry.

for example, I never remember any outcry against mobile phones when they took off, even though they allow terrorists to communicate far more efficiently.

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jib
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January 21, 2011, 11:21:05 AM
 #12

First: I am not a lawyer.

Second:  No.  http://criminal-law.freeadvice.com/drug_crimes/unwitting_possession.htm


I'm not necessarily talking about unwitting possession. Assume I publicly release and announce a program to decode the child porn from the block chain, such that everyone knows and can easily confirm that there's child porn in the block chain.

There is no such thing as data that cannot be converted into some other data if I get to choose the algorithm.

Obviously if I publish the algorithm that does this there will be public outcry against Obama and google, since I got the picture from them.

Assume that the algorithm is something generic like "Find the transaction with this hash and handle its data as a JPEG image", such that a reasonable person can tell the child porn is stored in the block chain and not in the decoding program.

Looking forward to quantum computing so we can have qubitcoins.
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January 21, 2011, 11:33:41 AM
 #13

First: I am not a lawyer.

Second:  No.  http://criminal-law.freeadvice.com/drug_crimes/unwitting_possession.htm


I'm not necessarily talking about unwitting possession. Assume I publicly release and announce a program to decode the child porn from the block chain, such that everyone knows and can easily confirm that there's child porn in the block chain.

There is no such thing as data that cannot be converted into some other data if I get to choose the algorithm.

Obviously if I publish the algorithm that does this there will be public outcry against Obama and google, since I got the picture from them.

Assume that the algorithm is something generic like "Find the transaction with this hash and handle its data as a JPEG image", such that a reasonable person can tell the child porn is stored in the block chain and not in the decoding program.

Fair enough I suppose.

It all comes down to how willing people are to hurt us when we haven't hurt anyone. Does it really matter if we did the non-offense they accuse us of or whether they make up that we did a real crime? Either way they make the rule, they level the charge, they arbitrate the dispute, they enforce the judgement.

I'm not going to get violent with them, so it's pretty much completely in their court (haha, pun intended).

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Gavin Andresen
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January 21, 2011, 04:15:35 PM
 #14

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Assume I publicly release and announce a program to decode the child porn from the block chain, such that everyone knows and can easily confirm that there's child porn in the block chain.

Publicly announce where?

Publicly announce it here and one of the moderators will delete it faster than you can type 'rm'.
Announce it on your own website and I'd encourage the legal authorities and/or your ISP to shut you down.

Announce it in IRC chat or via a Freenet/TOR/i2p hidden service and I would personally encourage everybody to shun and /ignore you... and very few people will hear your announcement, anyway.

I suppose you could try to get a journalist or government interested in causing trouble for bitcoin to publicly announce it.  If you did, I would ask as loudly as I could why the journalist or government is complaining about innocent bitcoin users instead of trying to track you down and prosecute you.

How often do you get the chance to work on a potentially world-changing project?
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January 21, 2011, 06:20:55 PM
 #15

It doesn't matter anymore if you put kiddie porn in chain or not.

Because of the default client now does not support any non-standard transactions (isStandard() function), and bitcoin is only specifically advertised & designed as currency by its creators, this case will be classified by courts the same as using a phone for coordinating a bank robbery would be.

The telephone operator cannot be held responsible for actions of a criminal which used the phone to do some evil.

theymos
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January 21, 2011, 07:14:51 PM
 #16

Because of the default client now does not support any non-standard transactions (isStandard() function)

You'll still store non-standard transactions if someone else puts them in a block. You'll then have to transmit the transaction to anyone who requests that block from you.

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January 21, 2011, 08:02:28 PM
 #17

Because of the default client now does not support any non-standard transactions (isStandard() function)

You'll still store non-standard transactions if someone else puts them in a block. You'll then have to transmit the transaction to anyone who requests that block from you.

Yes, the protocol still supports it, but the default client does not create such transactions. So it is not the "normal use" of Bitcoin to store binary data in it. Case closed.

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January 22, 2011, 02:09:58 AM
 #18

honestly...who would wanna go and do something like that  Huh
ShadowOfHarbringer
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January 22, 2011, 08:07:56 AM
 #19

honestly...who would wanna go and do something like that  Huh

Hmmm let me think....
   Government(s) and FEDs ?

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February 20, 2011, 04:04:53 PM
 #20

One way it could be done, would be for someone to aquire a good amount of BTC, then encode the data as annonymous donations to several innocent addresses, those transfers once validated become permanently embedded in the blockchain, right? Then after a month or so, after the data has become an essential part of the blockchain of the network, that person releases the program to aquire and decode the data  and the knowledge about it on Freenet where no censorship can take it down.

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