Legal and IP News

Chinese courts use blockchain electronic locks to seal properties for evidence

sealed building

Global Times report said that courts in China are using blockchain-based electronic door seals to secure properties under legal scrutiny in the country. The solution enables real-time video surveillance and an alarm facility for avoiding a potential breach of court rulings to access a building.

Houses, buildings, and other structures often get sealed off when they are integral to a crime or dispute. The primary motive is to leave the scene undisturbed until the court reaches a verdict. Currently, authorities wrap a paper with court details around a lock and seal a property. The issue is that this paper document can be easily duplicated, which means that someone could enter the premises, tamper with evidence, replace the seal and nobody would be the wiser.

This week there have been reports by China Court that the seal has been used in multiple provinces. The first was Sihong County in Jiangsu Province as well as Jiangxi Province. Another was the People’s Court in Haidian District, Beijing, which used an electronic seal for a property in Chaoyang district. The court ruling can be attached to the device to let people know the current status of a property. 

The unit includes an Internet of Things (IoT) device, which is connected to the cloud. If the electronic seal is disturbed or broken, it will automatically turn on a surveillance camera and send notifications to the plaintiff and the police’s mobile devices. The perpetrator’s image would be recorded, and the seal will also play a warning informing the person of legal consequences resulting from breaking the court seal. The fact of the disturbance is stored using blockchain, reducing the ability to tamper with it.

Meanwhile, police can use the platform to manage sealed properties better and keep an eye on them as the case progresses in court. 

China has been a vocal advocate for blockchain development, and several initiatives are being run in the country. In the judiciary, China’s courts are using blockchain for preventing copyright infringement, and some have adopted an evidencing platform. Chinese internet courts have adopted smart contracting to automate filings, trials, and even outcomes. 

Image Copyright: Gudella / BigStock Photo