A recently released US Department of Justice audit of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) practices related to darknet criminal investigations concluded that the law enforcement agency is in disarray – and an overarching “cryptocurrency support strategy” could be one of the the solutions can be.
According to an unclassified version of the audit released Thursday, the FBI’s current darknet investigative efforts are – perhaps ironically – hampered by a ‘decentralized’ set of practices, policies and training programs, as well as compartmentalized intelligence leading to ‘redundant’ efforts. .
In particular, the audit found that there are two separate virtual currency teams assisting with dark web investigations, both of which are funded by the DoJ’s Asset Forfeiture Fund. In addition, “rising costs and static funding from the Assets Forfeiture Fund resulted in disagreements between these two virtual currency teams over resource prioritization,” and many felt that the two teams were doing overlapping work.
The Assets Forfeiture Fund receives part of its financing through the seizure and sale of property and assets, including cryptocurrency, linked to criminal investigation.
The DoJ made five recommendations to improve darknet investigations and policies, many of which focus on centralizing procedures to reduce “ambiguous or overlapping investigation responsibilities.”
This includes a recommendation to “develop timelines to get feedback from the remaining FBI divisions and complete development of the FBI-wide cryptocurrency support strategy,” and the report indicated such a timeline is imminent.
The DoJ’s recommendations come at a time when the FBI may soon have more work to do due to new regulations. The Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network recently proposed new rules that would exchanges to KYC require their clients for transactions over $ 3,000.