How to find the traffickers in adult advertising? Bitcoin may be a good way to.
Recently, from the University of Berkeley’s Rebecca Portnoff developed an algorithm, this algorithm can help track bitcoin sex traffickers.
As we know, even in the liberation of the trend, there is still a considerable part to prostitution in the prostitute is not willing to provide services, most often is abducted or forced, with the transfer of the service to the Internet, prostitutes seem to be increasingly become “fingertips” of human goods.
So, selling pornographic ads are widely used by the traffickers, but law enforcement work tracing traffickers has been a lot of factors: the gang leader, the nature of kana adult ads often use multiple phone numbers and e-mail address to avoid being found, it is difficult to determine what advertising is a voluntary transaction which is forced into prostitution. In this regard, the scientists found that bitcoin and science can help law enforcement agencies in the transaction to distinguish the sex trafficking and lock their criminal gangs.
The first step: transaction advertising
There are many websites to provide sexual services, among them, backpage. com is one of the world’s largest classifieds website. If it is before, in order to find may involve sex trafficking in these sites, the investigation team had to manually read thousands of ads, very time-consuming. Also imagine through explicit advertising pages and pages, and even some underage victims, mental pressure certainly not small. It will need to find sex trafficking exist, according to the analysis, if the same author has released many different trading advertising, so in such people, the possibility of non voluntary service is very high.
Step 2: artificial intelligence
University of California at Berkeley’s Rebecca Portnof and her team developed a machine learning algorithm, the team at the outset let the learning algorithm in text mode. Many suggestive of trafficking, then in the process of finding the crime of advertising, each search algorithm will be self perfection.
Portnoff explained: “we can find the link between advertising: Backpage.com behind the pimp is Craigslist pimp? He is always the girl get through the sale of bitcoin people? These questions can only be answered by the advanced technology such as our algorithm.”
In summary, the first part is the stylistics, Portnoff software, through the analysis of the text based on the model of language use to judge whether the two advertisement from the same author.
Computer science and engineering New York University assistant professor and co-author of Damon McCoy said: “there are tens of thousands of such advertisements every year, can reveal the commonalities between any advertising, and may reveal the advertisement owner, for those devoted to advertising exploitation of the people, is a huge driving force.”
The third step: enter bitcoin
Because Backpage.com is the use of known global service portal, the most widely used including Visa, MasterCard and other service providers have refused to provide credit card online payment channels, as a result it, these ads are most likely to pay with bitcoin.
Step four: no anonymous
As we know, bitcoin transactions in the public store chain, which makes the Portnoff team can calculate what bitcoin address shows many different advertising, it is also to provide a greater possibility of smuggling organization and evidence. But the difficulty is that you can see the a address in block chain bitcoin is sent to the B address, but you don’t know who is a and B.
The fifth step: mathematician Holmes
The investigation method of the Portnoff team can be called Holmes. As we know, bitcoin transactions are like this: a address send bitcoins to address B. Address B signature and wait for the whole network transactions are verified, it takes 10 minutes to a few hours, only in this way, the transaction is completed.
BACKPAGE don’t want to wait that long, therefore, Backpage bitcoin transactions do not need to be verified, they do not care, so the transaction is almost complete, resulting in the block chain, the deal was a time stamp for MS, and displayed in the public profile in Backpage.com. In this way, to find related affairs. And then the team will address these bitcoin groups to find out whether there are many advertisements from a payment address.
Of course, this is a simple display. Portnoff in scientific papers, they put this process into 10 pages, each page has a detailed description.
The fifth step: the introduction of the Federal Bureau of investigation personnel
Rebecca Portnoff collected data can now be easily linked. These links can be used to obtain further record bitcoin wallet service, other contact information listed or expand the use of telephone number or advertising in the trap.
At first, bitcoin as an anonymous payment service, popular in the Silk Road and later Alfa Bay dark network market users welcome. But law enforcement and security researchers have shown that tracking and tracking bitcoin transactions and relate them to the real world is not difficult to name. This would help to combat the black market, but also to stimulate the development of encryption money Monroe Zcash coins and traceability of the poor.
The Berkeley researchers said, after testing, companies and law enforcement agencies, non-governmental organizations, or have been used in use, plan, or new technology has shown interest.
Incidentally, the 7 executives of BACKPAGE website, including two co-founder Michael Lacey and James Larkin in April 2018 to assist in the planning of prostitution and money laundering due to face various charges. At the time of this writing, the trial is still in progress.
The planning of prostitution and money laundering accounted for $500 million, seven classified information website Backpage executives were arrested