If Law Enforcement is Already Playing Catch up on Cases and the Dark Web: Investigations Assignment, UNH, US

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University University of New Haven (UNH)
Subject Investigations

Module 7 Discussion: Future Considerations

If Law Enforcement is already playing catch up on cases and the Dark Web makes that even more difficult, discuss potential changes that LE will have to make to be able to investigate cases in the future.  Will, it just be technology-based, or will they need the help of new laws that are designed to address the current state of technology, specifically with Tor and Internet privacy.

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Module 7: Future of Dark Web Investigations Description

After everything that has been discussed up to this point, Module 7 will have students predicting what the future holds when it comes to the Dark Web.  What challenges will law enforcement face in terms of criminal investigations of these types?  How will they react to new changes in criminal methodology that uses the advancing technology of remaining anonymous to its advantage?  In a simple sense, where do we go from here?

Future Dark Web Investigations

As I stated in the introduction, I believe that we will see a bigger movement and more common use of the Dark Web.

  • This will create an increase in victims who are not properly staying safe on the Dark Web.
  • They will open lines of communication that they should not be opening.
  • They will end up having emails and personal accounts compromised, which will in turn, create cases of fraud and identity theft.
  • Investigators will have to prepare to respond to fraud cases and understand where the breach has come from.
  • There will have to be a conversation about the victim’s Internet usage, which may be embarrassing for the victim.

The increase in Dark Web usage will also lead to more cases of cyberbullying and harassment, which could lead to more cases of suicide and mental health responses for law enforcement. The point here is that as it becomes more mainstream, there will be an increase in suspects who are using the Dark Web to commit criminal offenses, but there will also be an increase in victims who are making themselves available to be victims.

What Is Coming and What Do We Do About It?

If there is an increase with anything, we know that there will be a greater response to it. We have theorized that because of the more popular usage of the Dark Web, victims will open themselves up to being victims.

What about the criminals though?

Beyond the cases of fraud and harassment, where the victims have opened themselves in a place to be taken advantage of, what kind of criminal activities are we going to be seeing in the future when it comes to the Dark Web?

With the legalization of marijuana becoming more common, people won’t have to go to the Dark Web to make an order. However, we have all heard that marijuana is a gateway drug, so the legalization of marijuana could easily lead people to get on the Dark Web to go get harder drugs.

In today’s world, it is very difficult to get hard-core painkillers and prescription drugs from a doctor. The Dark Web is an avenue for someone to obtain painkillers like Oxycodone and Morphine. Some would believe that the difficulty in obtaining a prescription painkiller is a reason for the increase in heroin usage around the country. This could be an opening for more Silk Road type-sites on the Dark Web.

Here the FBI discuss the future of cybercrimes and the Dark Web

Dealing with the Future of the Dark Web

What do we do?

Education has to be the key. Starting at the patrol level, officers will have to be able to recognize signs of what is going on when they first take the report. Everyone will need to understand where something started from to be able to solve it.

There also needs to be an increase in Cyber Crime units and Task Forces around the country. Much like the National CyberForensics Training Alliance NCFTA (Links to an external site.). This group has representation from federal agencies, state agencies, and private industries to be able to counter cyberattacks, fraud, and other related offenses. It is an incredible resource for law enforcement and assists in preventing and solving cases.

Law Enforcement has to be able to respond quicker than they do when it comes to these cases. These cases are normally received in the field and then disseminated through the ranks till it lands on a detective’s desk days later. That is too long. If you are going to trace the money and catch up to the trail of the suspect, the investigation has to start out as soon as possible. The use of task forces and networks to communicate with one another regarding these offenses will make for faster investigations and allow an actual investigation to take place.

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