Priority Criminal Justice Needs Initiative
Aug 18, 2014
With the advent of the dark web, criminals can conduct their activities in ways that are difficult for law enforcement to discover, monitor, and investigate. This report describes the findings of an expert workshop of federal, state, and local law enforcement practitioners and researchers who explored how law enforcement agencies should conduct criminal investigations while dealing with evidence on the dark web.
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As more activities of daily life move online, criminals and criminal activity have followed. With the advent of the dark web, criminals can conduct their activities in ways that are difficult for law enforcement to discover, monitor, and investigate. The dark web provides anonymity and encryption, which significantly complicates the process of identifying suspects and collecting evidence. To better understand these challenges, the RAND Corporation and the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), on behalf of the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), convened a workshop to bring together a diverse group of practitioners and researchers to identify the highest-priority problems and potential solutions related to evidence on the dark web. The focus was on developing an actionable research and development agenda that will enhance law enforcement's ability to understand and investigate illicit activity on the dark web. Workshop participants identified 46 potential solutions, or needs, which include improving training for law enforcement officers, sharing information across jurisdictions, and investigating the gaps and shortcomings in current laws related to searching packages.
The research described in this report was prepared for the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and conducted by the Justice Policy Program within RAND Social and Economic Well-Being.
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