Petition hopes to stop US government agencies from using Chainalysis’ forensics

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A petition was created on Change.org on Sept. 12 to oppose the use of Chainalysis forensic services by federal agencies. The petition questioned Chainalysis’ accuracy and raised legal issues related to the activities of the blockchain data analysis firm. 

The petition, started by “Stop Chainalysis,” stated that Chainalysis’ software assists law enforcement crime prevention efforts “by linking the real world to crypto payments.” It stated:

“It is our belief that the use of non-scientifically proven software and alleged inaccurate methodologies to implicate individuals in the occurrence of crimes puts the people’s right to financial privacy at risk.”

The petition claimed that Chainalysis’ findings do not meet the Daubert Standard for expert testimony in U.S. courts established by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1933, that its error rate is unknown, that it has not been subject to peer review, and that it uses potentially faulty methodology.

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The technical problems with the service lead to potential privacy violations, the petition argued:

“As anyone can be implicated by such software regardless of their involvement in criminal activity, individuals and entities cannot expect that their financial information is kept private.”

The use of unreliable technology constitutes a violation of the Fourth Amendment requirement of probable cause for the issuance of a warrant for search and seizure and the Bank Secrecy Act, to which exceptions are granted based on the presence of suspicious activity, it said.

The petition listed seven U.S. federal agencies that had used Chainalysis’ services.

The petition was first publicized by Lola Leetz, a pseudonym stylized as L0la L33tz, who has been a vocal critic of the company. She is not alone in her criticism. In August, CipherTrace director of investigations and intelligence Jonelle Still submitted a report in the case of the United States v. Roman Sterlingov that claimed Chainalysis’ technology was used incorrectly to link Sterlingov to the Bitcoin Fog cryptocurrency mixer.

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