An Arkansas-based Sheriff's Office takes an innovative approach in its online crime investigations: bitcoin mining.
As reported by local sources, investigators from the Benton County Sheriff's Office began generating their own cryptocurrency to use to try to track online criminals' movements. The pilot program, conducted through the Bureau's Cyber Crime Division, will include crimes such as the proliferation of child pornography, among other examples.
Speaking with 4029 news earlier this month, Benton County detective David Undiano said the pilot would help investigators in his office to look into the crimes that they might previously have been unable to manage.
He said at the exit:
"People sell child porn on the black web and on the Internet, they accept bitcoins, no payments, we can not use the sheriff's credit card and we can not trade of child pornography, type the motto to get this, then identify who we get it from, that way, we can go and arrest that person. "
However, everyone in Benton County does not seem to be in favor of politics. Speaking with the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, future Sheriff candidate Glenn Latham argued that the plan would eventually result in a hefty bill for local taxpayers.
"These machines need to be very powerful and the cooling costs will increase – it's at the expense of taxpayers," he said.
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