In our previous post, Policing the Darknet: Leading Cybercrime Agencies Go Dark, we took a high-level look at some of the most active law enforcement and intelligence agencies across the globe who police the darknet through targeted cyber operations.
Now, we’re taking a look at which key darknet-related cases these agencies have participated in throughout the years. It is important to note that many other organizations – such as local and regional task forces – have been key to supporting the investigative and tactical efforts in most of these operations. In fact, the coordination between these groups, which often occurs on a global scale, has proven to be key to successfully policing the darknet.
In recent years, there have been several elaborate ‘operations’ carried out by multi-agency international task forces, resulting in the ‘take-downs’ and seizures of prominent darknet marketplaces, forums, and criminal enterprises. Many of the operations shift the landscape, with hundreds of domains knocked offline. Others have sparked a community-wide state of panic where key threat actors go quiet or shift into even more shadowy corners of the dark web. This timeline reviews some of the key operations with the most significant impact.
This timeline is interactive. To navigate, use arrows to move right or left, pinch to zoom. Use the key at the bottom to organize by specific law enforcement groups from our chart (below). Click on any event to see more details.
As the darknet continues to be a haven for criminal activity, the importance of these intelligence and policing efforts remain critical. Many agencies conduct their investigative efforts by relying on tools such as DarkOwl Vision to search and monitor the darknet for evidence to build their cases, without having to access the darknet directly.
or Common Name
|ATF||Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms||USA|
|ACIC||Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission||Australia|
|Bundeskriminalamt||Austrian Federal Investigation Bureau||Austria|
|NIS||Bulgarian National Investigation Service||Bulgaria|
|BKA||Bundeskriminalamt (Federal Criminal Police Office)||Germany|
|RCMP/Mounties||Royal Canadian Mounted Police||Canada|
|CIA||Central Intelligence Agency||USA|
|CIB||Criminal Investigation Bureau||International|
|Αστυνομία Κύπρου||Cyprus Police||Cyprus|
|DHS||Department of Homeland Security||USA|
|DOJ||Department of Justice||USA|
|EC3||European Cybercrime Centre||European Union|
|FBI||Federal Bureau of Investigation||USA|
|FSB||Federal Security Service (Federalnaya Sluzhba Bezopasnosti ФСБ)||Russia|
|FinCEN||Financial Crimes Enforcement Network||USA|
|GDCOC||General Directorate Combating Organized Crime||Bulgaria|
|GCHQ||Government Communications Headquarters||UK|
|HSI||Homeland Security Investigations||USA|
|IRS:CI||Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation||USA|
|IDF||Israel Defense Force||Israel|
|JCODE||Joint Criminal Opioid and Darknet Enforcement (DOJ)||USA|
|GRU||Main Intelligence Directorate||Russia|
|NCA||National Crime Agency||UK|
|NCJITF||National Cyber Joint Investigative Task Force||USA|
|DNRED||National Directorate of Intelligence and Customs Investigations||France|
|NSA||National Security Agency||USA|
|NCIS||Naval Criminal Investigative Service||USA|
|KLPD||Netherland’s National Police||Netherlands|
|OFAC||Office of Foreign Assets Control||USA|
|PSNI||Police Service of Northern Ireland||Ireland|
|NPB||Polisen Swedish Police||Sweden|
|PJ||Portuguese Judicial Police (Polícia Judiciária)||Portugal|
|SBU||Security Service of Ukraine (СБУ)||Ukraine|
|Europol||European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation||European Union|
|Interpol||International Criminal Police Organization||International|
|CBP||U.S. Customs and Border Protection||USA|
|ICE||U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement||USA|
|USDT||United States Department of the Treasury||USA|
|USPIS||United States Postal Inspection Service||USA|
|USSS||United States Secret Service||USA|
|DOD||United States Department of Defense||USA|
|DEA||United States Drug Enforcement Agency||USA|
Learn more about how DarkOwl’s data tools can support law enforcement and national intelligence efforts here.