Webinar presenter Stacey Wright answered a number of your questions after her presentation, “Justice Agencies and Future Planning: Dark Net, Cryptocurrencies and Block Chain.” Here are a few of her responses.
Audience Question: In blockchain, is a copy of the ledger may be changed by every agency that views or updates the inventory record?
Stacey Wright: No. In blockchain, the way the ledger works is anybody can add to the blockchain through services that are online. Anybody can also download a copy of the ledger. You do not have to be involved in updating or maintaining the blockchain to actually have a copy of it. The two concepts are separate from one another. When I buy cryptocurrency, I am not updating the blockchain itself. I’m buying it through a third party in exchange and that exchange is going to make the updates to the blockchain for me in that sense. I can also buy it through an exchange that does it in-house. Think of it as a transfer within the bank. So it is a bank full amount of money and they’ve got a pile of money just sitting around that the bank owns. I want to purchase something from them, I give them money, they throw it in the pile. If I want to sell something, they give me money from that pile and I give them the property. It’s kind of how this works where it never touches the blockchain, it does not go outside the exchange. Slightly technical answer to that I hope explains it. Keep in mind that blockchain, updating the ledger and viewing the ledger are two separate functions in technology, they do not have to be connected.
Audience Question: Are you aware of any resources such as toolkits that describe how governments might use blockchain for maintenance of criminal records?
Stacey Wright: We haven’t seen anything posted publicly about blockchains and criminal records. I heard from off-hand discussions that folks are playing with it but I’m not seeing real details yet which is probably a good thing too. I would start by looking at this but if you would email me that question, I can also take a look further and see if I can get a better answer for you.
Audience Question: Are you aware of any agencies that have developed or are developing policies and procedures regarding autonomous vehicle crashes?
Stacey Wright: I haven’t seen any great policies come out yet that’s not to say don’t exist. I’m just not aware of them. I’ve heard of agencies that are starting work on them but I haven’t seen them published. I would start by checking IACP because I know that they would have the whole policy center. I believe National Sheriffs also has some policies that they can help with. Search is also another great place to start researching that question. Unfortunately, I just don’t have a direct answer about how you would investigate a crash like that.
Audience Question: You talked about people who liked certain technologies and stay aware of them on their own time. What do you think of tapping these kinds of individuals to capitalize on their interests and encourage them to be the agency’s informal SME for bleeding edge technologies?
Stacey Wright: I think it’s one of the best ideas out there, tapping those resources is part of what I need by making sure you know who they are in the first place. Having that casual conversation with them periodically, maybe quarterly, to see what’s going on. I think that in a lot of ways, if you talk to somebody with something that they are interested in and show your own interest in it you will help develop your rapport with that employee. But if you go so far as give them a little bit of time to look into the technology, answer your question on your department’s or agency’s time you might actually win a very loyal employee out of it because now you are supporting something they find fascinating and you’re getting the results of all that. That’s a great thing.