Utilizing Blockchain for Transparent and Auditable Counter-Terrorist Financing Intelligence

Utilizing Blockchain

for Transparent and Auditable Counter-Terrorist Financing Intelligence


for Transparent and Auditable Counter-Terrorist Financing Intelligence

June 2023

Data Centric Team

In the face of the complex challenges inherent in intelligence sharing within legal operations, the necessity for dependable, secure, and verifiable systems has become non-negotiable. Blockchain technology, with its decentralized, secure, and transparent nature, promises an innovative approach in managing crucial information related to suspicious financial transactions and terrorist activities. To this end, Cut-The-Cord (CTC) project, is designed to employ a blockchain-based chain of custody to reinforce the fight against terrorism financing.

Blockchain Technology and the Chain of Custody

The chain of custody, essentially the process of handling and documenting evidence from the point of collection to its use in legal proceedings, is a critical concept in intelligence operations. CTC innovates by utilizing a smart contract or chaincode to supervise the authentication and information sharing process. It manages the creation, access control, and metadata of file objects that store pertinent data, thereby ensuring the integrity of the information while offering a seamless and secure collaboration platform among diverse stakeholders.

The CTC project takes advantage of a permissioned blockchain system, the Hyperledger Fabric, which delivers an auditable and transparent mechanism for maintaining this chain of custody. This powerful blockchain platform, designed explicitly for creating secure and scalable distributed applications, enables CTC to enhance data sharing capabilities and build a robust, collaborative network for exchanging intelligence.

The Legal Relevance of a Blockchain-Based Chain of Custody

In the legal domain, the validity and admissibility of evidence are contingent on an uncompromised chain of custody. A well-documented chain of custody provides assurances that evidence has been appropriately preserved and protected from tampering or unauthorized access.  A blockchain-based chain of custody, as implemented by CTC, offers an extra layer of security. The decentralized and immutable attributes of blockchain technology allow for each interaction with a file to be permanently recorded. Every operation performed on a file, including its creation, the users who accessed it, and the time of interaction, is indelibly associated with its unique metadata and securely stored. This assures that the path a piece of evidence takes from collection to court is thoroughly auditable and virtually tamper-proof. Every interaction with the data leaves an immutable footprint, creating a verifiable record that substantiates the chronology and authenticity of the evidence. 1

This unprecedented level of accountability and traceability outpaces traditional systems, providing substantial legal credibility.

Looking Ahead

The integration of blockchain technology into intelligence sharing processes could potentially be a game-changer in the counter-terrorism field. By harnessing this technology, the CTC project demonstrates a successful combination of tech and security, introducing a level of transparency and accountability previously unattained. While challenges remain in ensuring the appropriate use and legal acceptance of this technology, pioneering initiatives like the CTC serve as invaluable templates. They showcase the potential for secure, auditable collaboration in sensitive areas, raising the standards for intelligence sharing in the battle against terrorism financing.

As more stakeholders recognize the robustness of such a system, it is feasible that blockchain-based chain of custody could become a standard in various sectors that require secure, transparent, and auditable data management. It appears that the future of information sharing may indeed be ‘chained’ to the blockchain.


[1] Bacon, Jean, et al. “Blockchain demystified: a technical and legal introduction to distributed and centralized ledgers.” Rich. JL & Tech. 25 (2018): 1.

For more information about the project, please visit: https://ctc-project.eu/. You can also join the CTC Stakeholder Community by signing up in the following link: https://ctc-project.eu/community-signup/.

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