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FBI Needs a Dark Web, Crypto Strategy, DOJ's Inspector General Says

FBI lacks a "comprehensive strategy for addressing the cryptocurrency threat in the future," OIG wrote.

Dec 17, 2020 at 6:29 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 10:44 a.m. UTC

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has a dark web-sized hole in its cyber crime strategy, according to the Department of Justice's chief watchdog.

  • The DOJ Office of Inspector General (OIG) told the FBI Thursday to develop a “dark web strategy” to better coordinate investigations of child and sex trafficking, drug, cyber crimes and weapons of mass destruction that intersect with the internet’s unindexable shadow layer.
  • FBI should also implement a “cryptocurrency support strategy,” OIG said. Bitcoin cyber crimes are rising annually ($100 million in bitcoin seized last year), so agents need better, broader, more accessible training on cryptocurrency.
  • Agents told the OIG they’re fearful the rising cost of analytics tools will outpace their shoestring crypto investigative budgets. They got just $1.5 million in direct funding for tracing tools in 2019 for products and training estimated at $4.2 million.
  • “The dwindling resources also shed light on FBI concerns that it had no comprehensive strategy for addressing the cryptocurrency threat in the future,” OIG wrote.
  • FBI is “in the process” of requesting up to $2 million to fund the consolidation of its crypto efforts, according to the redacted report. 

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