The New York Police Department (NYPD) released a six-page document last week that outlines its usage policy for cryptocurrency transaction analysis.


What’s in the document?

The use of such vehicles, obtained from the NYPD’s unnamed “approved vendors”, was hitherto unknown to the public. The disclosure comes as part of the broader impact and usage policies regarding surveillance and retention capabilities. Last June, the New York City Council passed a bill requiring the NYPD to provide details on the use of such technology, including facial recognition software and drones.

The NYPD said in the January 11 document that it “used cryptocurrency analysis tools to automate the search for information associated with cryptocurrency transactions in the progress of criminal investigations.” The NYPD states that such capabilities must be used “in accordance with the requirements and protection of the United States Constitution, the New York State Constitution and the relevant legal authorities.


Size of access

According to the policy paper, NYPD limits access to cryptocurrency analysis tools and transaction data it collects.

This issue is stated in the report as follows.

“Cryptocurrency transaction information is stored on a NYPD computer or case management system. Only authorized users can access cryptocurrency transaction information. NYPD personnel using computer and case management systems are authenticated with their username and password. Case management and access to computer systems are limited to staff. Those who need explicit access to the system to advance legal duty can enter. NYPD case management and access rights within computer systems are further restricted on the basis of legal duty. ”

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The NYPD document does not specifically detail the types of crimes it investigates using transaction analysis software. The NYPD has issued public warnings in the past about phone scams involving Bitcoin payments, and the police force was involved in an investigation involving SIM swap and $ 1 million in cryptocurrency theft in 2019.


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