The UK Ministry of Justice is researching the role of blockchain in conducting criminal prosecutions. According to Al Davidson, Technical Architect at MoJ Digital, the Ministry has been looking into how the Distributed Ledger Technology could be used to enhance government systems due to its capacity to distribute trust. Blockchain could improve data storage for digital criminal evidence such as video footage, documents, and emails.
Davidson stated that in such application, blockchain would be viewable by anyone, but writable and modifiable only by law enforcement agencies. This would ensure the integrity of the evidence by providing verifiable records, while also increasing the transparency of data sharable with the public.
The use of blockchain would also reduce the risk of evidence tampering as the technology provides cryptographically verifiable forms of data, identical to that which was originally recorded.
Davidson added: “ 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. 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.”