Recently the European Union (EU) has announced the creation of an international consortium that seeks to reduce the use of cryptomonedas and deepweb by criminals. As lived in the recent WannaCry attack, criminals use the anonymity provided by bitcoin to their advantage. This project aims to find ways to stop the use of cryptoneses as a mechanism to circumvent the law, while respecting the right to privacy of non-criminal users.
The consortium is made up of fifteen members from seven European countries and is funded by the European Union. The consortium is called TITANIUM, which stands for Tools for Investigating Transactions in Underground Markets. The € 5 million research project lasts three years and aims to develop viable scientific solutions to tackle the challenges of reducing and investigating criminal activities such as terrorism, fraud, money laundering and extortion, And the deepweb.
In addition, researchers will test the effectiveness of their solutions at the facilities of participating law enforcement agencies. Once these solutions have been considered sufficient to mitigate the problem, the consortium will «carry out training activities to develop skills and knowledge among EU law enforcement agencies.»
Criminal and terrorist activities related to virtual currencies and darknet markets evolve rapidly and vary in technical sophistication, resilience, and anticipated goals.
The solutions created by the TITANIUM project would respect individual privacy and other fundamental rights. The consortium will analyze legal and ethical requirements and define guidelines for storing and processing data, information and knowledge involved in criminal investigations without compromising the privacy of citizens.
As cybercrime is becoming an ever-increasing threat to businesses and individuals alike, governments and businesses will seek to develop better cybersecurity solutions, as well as ways to identify cybercriminals after Attacks. As the launch of the TITANIUM consortium suggests, security and intelligence agencies are likely to keep a closer eye on bitcoin users because of the pseudo-anonymity of the digital currency and its unfortunate links to cybercrime.
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