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Cyberpayments And Money Laundering: Problems And Promise
by Roger C. Molander
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At the request of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), an agency of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, RAND conducted and analyzed a strategic decisionmaking exercise to examine money laundering concerns raised by the deployment of cyberpayment systems.
From the Publisher
This report summarizes research performed by RAND for the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) of the U.S. Department of the Treasury as part of FinCEN's overall effort to examine potential money laundering concerns raised by the deployment of Cyberpayment systems.This study was undertaken in recognition that law enforcement and regulatory authorities will likely be confronted with new challenges in conducting their traditional oversight of the financial services industry and in investigating illicit financial activity. The growth of electroniccommerce presents a new opportunity for criminals to commit fraud and abuse against business firms and consumers. Law enforcement authorities and payment system regulators similarly confront a rapidly changing set of payment technologies that may serve to undermine traditionalinvestigative methods for detecting fraud and abuse.This report should be of special interest to those who are exploring the effects of the information revolution on the nature of crime. It should also be of interest to analysts and observers of electronic commerce concerned with the future evolution of regulatory and law enforcement responses to the information revolution.The purpose of this report and RAND's research was to explore with the public and private sector the potential vulnerabilities of new payment technologies to abuse by money launderers and other financial criminals. This report is not intended to provide recommendations to either detect or prevent such illicit uses of these systems. Indeed, while these systems are still under development, it would be premature to do so. Rather, this study was designed to foster a constructive dialogue between law enforcement, financial regulators, and the financial services industry so that they are able to take steps to guard against illicit uses of cyberpayment systemsas these systems begin to gain acceptance in the financial marketplace.The research reported here was accomplished within the Critical Technologies Institute (CTI). CTI was created in 1991 by an act of Congress. It is a federally funded research and development center operated by RAND. CTI's mission is to: Help improve public policy by conducting objective, independent research and analysis to support the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Executive Office of the President of the United States; Help decisionmakers understand the likely consequences of their decisions and choose among alternative policies; and Improve understanding in both the public and private sectors of the ways in which technological efforts can better serve national objectives.CTI research focuses on problems of science and technology policy that involve or affect multiple Executive Branch agencies, different branches of the U.S. Government, or interaction between the U.S. government and states, other nations, or the private sector.Inquiries regarding CTI or this document may be directed to:Bruce DonDirector, Critical Technologies InstituteRAND1333 H St., N.W.Washington, D.C.
About the Author
Richard C. Molander (Ph.D., engineering science and nuclear engineering, University of California at Berkeley) is a senior research scientist at RAND.
David A. Mussington (Ph.D., Political Science, Carleton University) is a reseacher at RAND whose activities include analysis of critical infrastructure protection problems - with a focus on the security electronic commerce; infrastructure governance issues in the global Internet, and intellectual property issues relating the growth of the Internet to economic growth.
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