Technology has revolutionized policing practices and at the same time it has facilitated criminality. The Dark Web has emerged as a digital space where content has been intentionally concealed and users can surf anonymously. It is used for several legitimate purposes, such as to perform marketing tracking, to circumvent censorship and to conduct research on topics that might be sensitive in certain countries. At the same time, the Dark Web facilitates “high tech” and organized crime. Anonymity is a key element for illegal activities on the Dark Web: identities are concealed via the Onion Browser (TOR) and virtual currencies such as Bitcoin are used largely anonymously.
The policing of crime on the Dark Web raises a number of issues. Traditional approaches bring limited success in a cybercrime community that can develop countermeasures fast. “One size-fits-all” approaches against crime on the Dark Web hold little promise, since there are a wide variety of crimes occurring. “Total-block” strategies, i.e. based on shuttering down all anonymous networks, are impossible. The challenge is to find a balance between individual freedoms, such as freedom of speech, and the need to fight crime. Innovative and carefully chosen countermeasures that can apply in an international context must be developed.
This workshop aims to create a common vision and agenda for the policing of the Dark Web. It will provide a forum for sharing of best practices and lessons learned among European security professionals and other actors. We will consider who should be involved in providing public security on the Dark Web, how should they be organised and how they should operate.
In the spectrum of illegal activities facilitated by the Dark Web, which includes child sex abuse and services fostering violent extremism, we will particularly look at crypto-markets. These are digital spaces where the illegal trade of drugs, weapons and crime-as-a-service is conducted. Although based on digital communication and digital transactions, crypto-markets have a negative effect on the physical public safety. We will look at the capabilities, resources and innovations that should be developed to fight crime on the Dark Web effectively.
The workshop will provide a forum for creative and open-minded dialogue on these and other current challenges, Dark Web-related practices and strategic, organisational and operational experiences.
What happens on the Dark Web? And what aspects challenge public security? – context and problem discussion
What are today’s best practices of policing the Dark Web? – at strategic, organisational and operational level
What does the common future vision look like? – design and develop together
How can we get there? – roadmap and action plan
Keynotes were delivered by both academic and law enforcement professionals (names to be disclosed shortly), with a strategic, operational and organizational experience on Dark Web policing:
- Setting the scene (Mark van Staalduinen, TNO Singapore and INTERPOL)
- Communication strategy of Operation Bayonet (Bas Doorn, Public Prosecution Service – NL)
- Darkweb and Organised Crime (Claudiu Tiberiu Uscatu, Central Cybercrime Unit Romanian National Police – RO)
- How law enforcement tackles illicit drug trafficking via the Dark Web (Tim Henkel, State Office of criminal investigation Rhineland-Palatinate – DE)
- Exploring the Forensic Power of Immutable Ledgers (Giannis Tziakouris, INTERPOL)
- Cryptocurrency investigations and Cases (Simon Ousager, Chainalysis – DK/USA)
- Insight into Virtual Currencies and Darknet Market Transaction activities (Bernhard Haslhofer – Public Safety, AIT – AT)
- How to expose a Darknet criminal in 15 min? (Marco Corradin, Fiscal information and Investigation Service – NL)
- From "classical" to "classy": a live-journey through dangerous places (Raoul Chiesa, Security Brokers – IT)