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Coinbase Provides Crypto Geo Tracking Data To Homeland Security’s ICE: Report

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Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Global Inc. COIN+ Free Alerts is reportedly selling the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) data that aids in tracing cryptocurrency transactions.

What Happened: According to a report from The Intercept, Coinbase Tracer. A tool that allows users to trace transactions across the blockchain, is currently in use by ICE.

COINBASE, THE LARGEST cryptocurrency exchange in the United States,

is selling Immigration and Customs Enforcement a suite of features used to track and identify cryptocurrency users. According to contract documents shared with The Intercept.

In August 2021, Coinbase sold a single analytics software license to ICE for $29,000, followed by a software purchase potentially worth $1.36 million the next month. But details of exactly what capabilities would be offered to the agency’s controversial.  The Homeland Security Investigations division was unclear. A new contract document was obtained by Jack Poulson, director of the watchdog group Tech Inquiry, and shared with The Intercept. This Shows ICE now has access to a variety of forensic features provided through Coinbase Tracer. The company’s intelligence-gathering tool (formerly known as Coinbase Analytics).

News of the deal, potentially worth as much as $1.37 million,

was first reported last September, but details of exactly what capabilities would be offered to ICE’s controversial Homeland Security Investigations division or were unclear. But a new contract document obtained by Jack Poulson, director of the watchdog group Tech Inquiry, and shared with The Intercept, shows ICE now has access to a variety of forensic features provided through Coinbase Tracer, the company’s intelligence-gathering tool (formerly known as Coinbase Analytics).

The deal, which was signed last September for a maximum of $1.37 million,

is one of several small contracts between Coinbase and U.S. government agencies. In August 2021, Coinbase signed a smaller contract with ICE worth $29,000 to provide the agency with licenses for its analytics software. In April 2021 and May 2020, Coinbase sold licenses – both initially under $50,000 – to Coinbase Tracer to the U.S. Secret Service.

Coinbase Tracer, formerly known as Coinbase Analytics, has faced controversy before. The branch of the exchange responsible for the software’s development emerged from Coinbase’s 2019 acquisition of blockchain intelligence firm Neutrino, whose executive team previously worked with a startup that sold spyware to several governments, including Saudi Arabia, known for human rights abuses.

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