US Congress Passes Bill Ordering FinCEN to Study AI and Blockchain Uses For Law Enforcement

On the 19th of September 2019, the US House of Representatives passed the

“Advancing Innovation to Assist Law Enforcement Act.”

The on-the-nose bill has mandated the Director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) to push studies within sectors of emerging technology, like blockchains, AI, Digital identity technologies.

This is to determine the possible uses FinCEN and other security firms could derive from these emerging technologies and how they could benefit law enforcement agencies across the country, from Federal to local law enforcement.

At the end of six months, starting from when the bill had passed, FinCEN must report all its findings on the subject matter. With this, the Director must recommend further action, show concerns about subjects discovered within these six months, with a particular focus on the US’s attempts to thwart money laundering within its country, among other financial crimes.

The Director will also recommend new policies that should be put in place after the six month period. The aim is to boost the efficiency of communication and coordination among all sectors of the USA, be it within the private sector, in FinCEN itself, or the other US agencies within the country.

Intents for the Bill

Anthony Gonzalez, the Freshman Representative who introduced the bill in May, aimed for it to be a high-tech way to combat financial crimes across the country

He aimed to ensure that his government used the best possible forms of technology available to it, to stop financial crimes such as money laundering that is both possible and turns a profit for “cartels, traffickers and terrorists” within the US

The Government Blockchain Association and their executive director, Gerard Daché, already actively promote the use of blockchain solutions within the US government. Their opinion about the bill is that it was long overdue.

Daché explained that governments tend to do a catch-up act to criminal elements and their blockchain tools. The government tends to waste money, time and energy with already outdated methods as their enemies race ahead on the bleeding edge of technology.

Comparing this to the old expression of ostriches sticking their heads in the send, Daché stressed the importance of staying on top of emerging technologies and meeting the criminal elements on

“the battlefield of technology.”

Casinos Possible Avenue

Fincen had already urged the casinos across the US to maintain the guidelines of FinCEN when they deal with suspect transactions of convertible virtual currency, or CVC.

Kenneth Blanco, Director of FinCEN, urged casinos to review the firm’s documents on their websites to ensure that follow the correct protocol when they deal with suspect CVC activity. He stated that FinCEN is aware of the fact that casinos are often targets for cyber attacks, like the infamous ransomware and the classic phishing scheme.

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