Paying for Child Pornography With Bitcoin Costly for Defendant

The United States Law Week

July 1, 2020, 3:40 PM

A defendant didn’t have a constitutionally protected privacy interest in a Bitcoin blockchain showing how he paid for child pornography, the Fifth Circuit said Tuesday.

Federal agents were investigating the website where Richard Gratkowski purchased child pornography, and were able to use his blockchain to discover who he was. They then obtained a search warrant for his home and found the pornography.

Citing the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent holding in Carpenter v. United States, Gratkowski said the evidence gathered as a result of the blockchain couldn’t be used against him. But the government said he didn’t have a legitimate…

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