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UK Ministry of Justice sees blockchain potential in criminal prosecutions

The UK Ministry of Justice has highlighted the potential of blockchain technology to be used in criminal prosecutions in a recent blog post.

Alistair Davidson, a technical architecture lead at the MoJ, writes that the technology could help ensure the integrity of digital evidence such as documents, emails, and video footage.

Davidson explains:

“The blockchain in this case would be readable by anyone, anywhere - but only writable by the police …This would provide a verifiable record that this…data was uploaded from this device at this time.”

The blockchain system would enable to unambiguously and cryptographically verify the data, ensuring that the data to be shown in court is exactly identical to the one recorded at that time, and has not been tampered with.

“As the blockchain is distributed, append-only, and near real-time, even the most ardent conspiracy theorists could verify for themselves that the evidence has not been tampered with - there could be no possibility of records being falsified after the fact without detection,” he said. “Of course, this is only a “thought experiment” at this stage, and there are many hurdles to overcome for a real-world implementation. But the possibilities of revolutionary technology to transform not just government, but society as a whole, are genuinely exciting.”

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