Babbitt Column | Interpretation of the White Paper on the Application of Blockchain Judicial Deposits——Application scenarios and challenges of blockchain deposit

On June 14, 2019, under the guidance of the Information Center of the Supreme People's Court, the China Information and Communication Research Institute and the Shanghai Higher People's Court took the lead, and jointly organized the "blocks" jointly initiated by 25 provincial and municipal high-level people's courts and 3 Internet courts. The White Paper on the Application of Chain Judicial Deposits was officially released. The contents of the white paper mainly include the status quo of electronic data storage, the relationship between blockchain electronic data deposit and evidence identification, design principles and reference architecture, and the application and challenges of blockchain judicial deposit.

First, the status quo of electronic data storage

With the rapid development of the digital economy, reflected in the judicial practice, the types of evidence are gradually entering the era of electronic evidence from the era of material evidence. The electronic evidence mainly presents four characteristics: a large number, a rapid growth, a high proportion, and a wide variety.

For the first time, China’s use of electronic data as statutory evidence is clearly defined in the revision of the Civil Procedure Law and the Criminal Procedure Law in 2012 (see Article 63 of the Civil Procedure Law and Article 50 of the Criminal Procedure Law). ), and subsequent related electronic evidence use specifications or systems have been introduced.
In judicial practice, the use of electronic evidence still faces many identification problems, mainly as follows: First, electronic evidence is easily falsified; second, in the case of evidence collection, if electronic evidence and related equipment are separated, the effectiveness of electronic evidence will Thirdly, when presenting evidence, it is necessary to print out the electronic evidence and convert it into a documentary evidence. This operation may not only destroy the content of the electronic data, but also the legal cost is higher. Fourth, at the time of proof, due to its easy tampering Sexual characteristics, so there will be inconsistencies in the electronic data content of both parties, which makes it difficult for the court to determine the authenticity, relevance and legitimacy of electronic evidence.
On September 7, 2018, the Supreme People's Court issued the "Regulations on Several Issues Concerning Internet Court Trial Cases", stating that "the blockchain can be used to solve the problem of depositing electronic evidence, and support the use of new technologies to solve the pain points in the judicial industry."

Therefore, based on the insurmountable predicament in the process of judicial verification of electronic evidence, the deposit of the blockchain technology is particularly necessary.

Second, blockchain electronic data deposit certificate

Relationship with evidence

Because of the many problems in the judicial practice of the effectiveness of electronic evidence, the application of blockchain technology can avoid such status quo. The role of blockchains for electronic evidence can be summarized into four points: preventing tampering, leaving marks in the matter, ex post auditing, and security protection. The blockchain uses its technology to improve credibility and authenticity for electronic evidence.

According to the white paper, blockchain is not a single technology, it is an organic combination of technologies. First, the core technology of the blockchain relies on consensus mechanism, signature verification, chain storage structure, P2P communication, etc. The blockchain reflects the characteristics of non-tamperable, traceable and multi-party maintenance, providing a very solid data storage foundation. The second is to connect the judicial business scene, blockchain related technologies, including electronic identity authentication, time stamping services, data encryption and decryption, data storage, and execution of smart contracts.

Through the application of blockchain deposit in the process of obtaining and preserving electronic evidence, the whole process of electronic evidence formation can be presented to the court effectively and completely:

First, in the depository link, the blockchain can provide a standardized data storage format, guarantee the original data, secure storage, and traceability to improve the authenticity of the evidence. Second, in the forensic link, the blockchain brings justice. The value lies in the data being shared by the participating nodes, independent storage, and mutual backup, which is used to assist the authenticity of electronic evidence. Third, in the demonstration process, smart contracts and blockchain browsers can be used to enhance electronic evidence. Legitimacy and authenticity; Finally, in the cross-examination link, the blockchain can be solidified for evidence collection and demonstration. The whole process can be traced back and the legality of electronic evidence can be enhanced.

Third, design principles and reference architecture

According to the white paper, building a blockchain deposit certificate system requires the following conditions:

01
Legal compliance

Legal compliance is defined in terms of the collection of electronic data, the legal compliance of the identity of the issuing party, the legal compliance of the identity of the acquiring party, and the legal compliance of the subject of the deposit. In the process of actual operation, the system should manage the main body of the blockchain node, manage the identity of the depositor, and carry out standardization and institutionalization of evidence. If an electronic evidence is obtained in an illegal way, then It will not be recognized in judicial practice.

02
Strong data consistency

The strong consistency of the data refers to the consistency of the uplink data stored by each node in the blockchain system, thereby achieving the purpose of data sharing and sharing. This includes support for multi-node consensus and validation, support for single-node information validation, system fault tolerance, and adoption of a unified trusted time source. One of the most important reasons why electronic data is difficult to certify is that it is easy to tamper with, causing both parties to present two completely different evidentiary materials on the same fact. Therefore, when building a blockchain depository system, data consistency must be maintained. The evidence is recognized.

03
Convenience

Convenience is another big demand for users. The problem in judicial practice is that if the cost of deployment is too high, it violates the original intention of the judicial system to assist judicial informationization with the most economical means. At the same time, the interface should be open, convenient to operate, and presented in a visual way, so that business people can use the system. In practice, the parties use blockchain technology to deposit certificates not only because they cannot be modified, but more importantly because of their convenience characteristics. If the blockchain system is built, the operation is complicated and the cost is high. It is not possible for users to use blockchain technology to preserve electronic evidence.

04
safety

Security is the basis for whether the judicial depository system can be put into use, including operational environment security, software security, network transmission security, and data security. If there is a security breach in any aspect, it may result in the evidence being unusable due to lack of authenticity, legitimacy and relevance.

Therefore, in addition to the judicial deposit system, if the parties choose a third-party depository platform, they should also consider the platform qualification, the security and validity of the deposit.

Fourth, the application and challenge of blockchain judicial deposit

In the application scenario section, the white paper is presented in three parts, including court industry applications, judicial collaborative applications, and social depository applications.
01
Litigation service

Many of our actions are now carried out via the Internet, and may involve social organizations such as banks, securities, e-commerce, and third-party payments. These organizations use the blockchain to secure data on the chain, and when disputes arise, they can be built. Based on the blockchain, the main body of the lawsuit, the court, the appraisal agency and other integrated dispute handling platforms will enhance the efficiency of litigation services and the credibility of the judiciary. The following picture shows the evidence flow in the lawsuit:
02
Copyright scene

Copyright deposit is one of the most common application scenarios for the use of blockchain technology in the field of intellectual property. Infringement depository scenarios can be divided into two categories. One is the evidence collection of the infringement result status. At this time, the infringing webpage can be verified, and the time of the infringement can be traced. The second is to collect evidence from the infringement process, which is a dynamic evidence-curing process. The schematic diagram of copyright infringement forensics is shown below:
03
Electronic contract scene

The electronic contract storage platform is a tamper-proof distributed database maintained by multiple parties in a trusted environment. Blockchain technology ensures tampering and tracing of data across blockchains. The platform provides a one-stop solution for “online contracting (electronic contract) + full business process deposit”. The use of blockchains to set up electronic contracts not only prevents contract tampering, but also supervises the entire contract process, preventing any party from tampering with content and causing losses to other parties. The schematic diagram of the blockchain electronic contract platform is shown in the following figure:
With the wide application of blockchain deposits, the corresponding problems will come into being: the qualification of third-party depository platform, the legality of deposit certificate, security, effectiveness, and the connection between old and new electronic evidence systems, but it is undeniable. The application of blockchain deposits will inevitably play an important role in establishing improvements in the blockchain ecological environment, improving judicial efficiency, and raising the awareness of the parties.
(This article cited sources: Trusted Blockchain Promotion Plan, White Paper on the Application of Blockchain Judicial Deposits)

Author: Chen Yunfeng

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