Report

I can see clearly now!

Technological innovation in Australian law enforcement: a case study of anti-money laundering
Organised crime International law International agencies International cooperation Money laundering Australia
Description

The Australian government’s technological monopolies have ended. Technological developments, especially those that have been disruptive, have been driven primarily by private corporations for at least the past ten years. Meanwhile, legislative responses to those changes, be they disruptive or otherwise, have been increasingly delayed.

Acceleration in the development and use of technology has been matched by changes in the capability of those who would do us harm. In the face of rapid social change, governments have lost more than a technological edge, as the very conceptualisations of sovereignty and geographical jurisdictions are being challenged. Law enforcement agencies’ traditional business models for dealing with organised crime are under significant pressure from threat actors that are able to operate more agile decision-making cycles and exploit seams between jurisdictions and in law enforcement agencies’ capabilities.

In this context, Australian law enforcement agencies face an increasing number of challenges from emergent technologies. A key policy challenge underpinning these issues relates to the limited capacity of law enforcement to introduce innovative strategies in response to disruptive technology. Another is how to make cross-jurisdictional cooperation simpler and easier.

This report explores technological innovation in law enforcement through a specific crime type case study of anti-money laundering (AML) provisions. It analyses the factors that support or restrict technological innovation in federal law enforcement’s AML efforts and argues that the current ecosystem for innovation for AML needs to be enhanced to engage with the dual challenge of disruptive technology, and the integration of existing pockets of AML excellence into a holistic whole-of-government innovation program. The initial steps for responding to this challenge should include an analysis of the central assumptions that underpin innovation, policymaking, strategy and finance in this space.

Publication Details
Publication Year:
2018