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Bill In US Senate Calls For Cryptocurrency Terror Threat Assessment




A bill currently in the US Senate would call on federal personnel, including from the Department of Homeland Security, to develop and share with other law enforcement bodies a threat assessment describing how cryptocurrencies could be used to support terrorist activity.

On February 7, the US Senate held hearings on HR2825, the Department of Homeland Security Authorization Act, which seeks to amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002.

Under Title III of the bill, which contains matters relating to intelligence and information sharing, is Section 1306, Threat Assessment on Terrorist Use of Virtual Currency.

The section calls for the undersecretary of Homeland Security for Intelligence and Analysis, along with "appropriate Federal partners," to "develop and disseminate a threat assessment regarding the actual and potential threat posed by individuals using virtual currency to carry out activities in furtherance of an act of terrorism."

The undersecretary would have to share the summary with "State, local, and tribal law enforcement officials, including officials that operate within State, local, and regional fusion centers," within 120 days of the bill's enactment.

Introduced in June 2017, the bill passed the House of Representatives and was received by the Senate on July 20, but according to Congress's website, no further action was taken on it until February 2018.

The language in Section 1306 of HR2825 is virtually identical to that in HR2433, the Homeland Security Assessment of Terrorists Use of Virtual Currencies Act. Earlier drafts of HR2825 did not contain a Section 1306, and it appears that the contents of the section were borrowed from the earlier bill, the text of which is reproduced there almost in its entirety.

HR2433 was introduced to the house in May 2017 by representatives Kathleen Rice (D-NY) and Derek Kilmer (D-WA). Though the bill passed the House on September 12 and was received in the Senate the following day, reports that no further action has been taken on it since then. 

Adam Reese

Adam Reese is a Los Angeles-based writer interested in technology, domestic and international politics, social issues, infrastructure and the arts. Adam holds value in Ether, Bitcoin, and Monero.

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