Ex-FBI Chief: Virtual Currencies Hinder Criminal Investigations

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s work is being hampered by the legal use of digital currencies, the company’s now-former director stated final week.

James Comey, who was first appointed to the place in September 2013 by former President Barack Obama, spoke earlier than the Senate Judiciary Committee on third May, discussing the difficulty as a part of a broader dialog in regards to the company’s efforts.

His look got here simply days earlier than he was fired from his place on Tuesday night time by President Donald Trump, setting off a firestorm in US political circles provided that the FBI is investigating the Trump marketing campaign and its connections to the Russian authorities.

What he stated:During his testimony, Comey mentioned how an rising variety of criminals are “going dark” – that’s to say, obscuring their paths utilizing expertise. As a consequence, federal investigators are feeling the pinch – “[affecting] the spectrum of our work”, in line with Comey.

Here’s the place he particularly talked about digital currencies:

“Some of our criminal investigators face the challenge of identifying online pedophiles who hide their crimes and identities behind layers of anonymizing technologies, or drug traffickers who use virtual currencies to obscure their transactions.”

What’s the affect: According to Comey, the company is looking for options – however so far, these efforts aren’t bearing a lot fruit.

He referred to as the hunt for fixes “a time-consuming, expensive, and uncertain process”, occurring to say even the doable approaches they’ve discovered are imperfect at greatest.

“Even when possible, such methods are difficult to scale across investigations, and may be perishable due to a short technical lifecycle or as a consequence of disclosure through legal proceedings,” Comey defined.

Nor is the FBI the one company of its type to voice this concern. In March, two main legislation enforcement our bodies from the European Union revealed an announcement which acknowledged that the tech is making it arduous to “follow the money” throughout investigations.

Image Credit: Arif Shamim/Flickr

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