Tech Inquiry has uncovered details on a three-year contract between Coinbase and the Immigration and Customs Agency of the US Department of Homeland Security.
Coinbase, through its analytics program, Coinbase Tracer, is allegedly providing the US ICE agency with user information, including geolocation data and transactional history.
A representative from Coinbase has denied the deal.
The US-based crypto exchange Coinbase allegedly has a three-year deal with the Immigration and Customs Agency of the US Department of Homeland Security.
According to a report by Coindesk, the deal involves Coinbase providing the US ICE agency with user information using Coinbase’s analytics program, Coinbase Tracer. The user data shared between the two entities includes geolocation data and transactional history.
Details of the contract between Coinbase and the US ICE agency were first brought to light by the watchdog group Tech Inquiry and also reported by The Intercept.
According to the latter publication, in August of 2021, Coinbase sold ICE a single analytics software license for $29k. The purchase was followed by another worth $1.36 million the following month. The contract between Coinbase and ICE allows the border protection agency to use a variety of forensic features accessible through the earlier mentioned Coinbase Tracer.
The Coinbase software product allows government and private agencies to track blockchain transactions, particularly those suspected of money laundering and terrorist financing.
To note is that the US Immigration and Customs Agency of the US Department of Homeland Security is tasked with investigating and bringing to justice cross-border financial crimes affecting the security and well-being of the United States. This is in addition to its duties of enforcing immigration-related laws that threaten the national security and public safety of the United States.
Coinbase Denies Sharing User Information With US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
A representative from Coinbase has since denied allegations that the crypto exchange shared any user data with ICE, stating that ‘Coinbase Tracer sources its information from public sources and does not make use of Coinbase user data.’ The representative also said:
All Coinbase Tracer features use data that is fully sourced from online, publicly available data, and do not include any personally identifiable information for anyone, or any proprietary Coinbase user data.