Fighting in the Shadows: Task Force Takes on Darknet Criminals

Fighting in the Shadows: Task Force Takes on Darknet Criminals
In a riveting development, the Department of Homeland Security has made an announcement that is sure to send shockwaves through the world of crypto and darknet crimes. Brace yourselves for the arrival of a formidable force, a task force like no other, as five federal enforcement agencies have united their powers and expertise to tackle these notorious digital realms. 

An interagency group called the "Darknet Marketplace and Digital Currency Crimes Task Force" has been formed to address the utilization of crypto and the dark web by criminal organizations in Arizona. The task force aims to investigate crimes such as drug trafficking, money laundering, personal data theft, and child exploitation. Its primary objective, as stated in the announcement, is to foster collaboration, bolster resources, and disrupt and dismantle criminal networks that exploit these emerging technologies.

Last week, representatives from Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Arizona, the Office for U.S. Attorneys, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Postal Inspection Service convened and officially established the task force through a memorandum of understanding. These five agencies have been working together since 2017 and have successfully handled several notable cases involving drug trafficking.

In March of the previous year, U.S. President Joe Biden signed the Executive Order on Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets, which provided an initial glimpse into the potential regulation of cryptocurrencies within the country. 

However, the Order received criticism for its lack of originality and substantial content. It did emphasize the coordination of efforts among federal agencies such as the Federal Trade Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to oversee the industry. Additionally, the Order called for regular reports on crypto to be submitted to Washington by various agencies.

In September, the White House released a "comprehensive framework" that reiterated the expected collaboration between the SEC and the CFTC, while also emphasizing the need for cooperation from the Treasury Department with both domestic financial institutions and international allies of the United States.

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