A report from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General called on the FBI to complete its work on a cryptocurrency support strategy as part of a wider effort to beef up its ability to contend with dark web activities.

The recommendations were included in a 58-page report, partially redacted and published earlier this week. In essence, the DOJ OIG believes the FBI has a deficient approach to the dark web and needs a more robust strategy to confront it. As part of that process, the FBI needs to complete an in-development strategy focused on cryptocurrency which began to be assembled in 2019.

As the report noted (emphasis ours):

“We found that the FBI does not maintain an FBI-wide dark web strategy. Instead, the FBI relies on its operational units to execute individual dark web investigative strategies. We concluded that this decentralized effort could be enhanced by establishing a coordinated FBI-wide dark web approach, that would, among other things, help ensure clarity on investigative responsibilities among operational units, lead to more efficient and cost effective approaches to investigative tool development and acquisition, provide strategic continuity during periods of turnover, and provide baseline data collection guidelines that will enable the FBI to better report its dark web accomplishments. Additionally, the FBI should complete an FBI-wide cryptocurrency support strategy in concert with its development of an FBI-wide dark web approach. Moreover, the FBI should ensure proper entry of dark web investigative data into the Department’s existing investigation deconfliction system.”

In practical terms, that means soliciting feedback from FBI divisions that haven’t yet submitted their recommendations to the wider agency about the crypto policy. Once the OIG has received word that the agency “completed development of an FBI-wide cryptocurrency support strategy,” it would consider the recommendation complete.

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