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The White House, Strategy to Combat Transnational Organized Crime: Addressing Converging Threats to National Security (July 2011) (full-text).


The strategy provides the federal government's first broad conceptualization of "transnational organized crime," highlighting it as a national security concern. It highlights 10 primary threat categories posed by transnational organized crime: penetration of state institutions, corruption, and threats to governance; threats to the economy, U.S. competitiveness, and strategic markets; nexus between criminals, terrorists, and insurgents; expansion of drug trafficking; human smuggling; trafficking in persons; weapons trafficking; intellectual property theft; the critical role of facilitators; and cybercrime.

The strategy outlines six key priority actions to counter the range of threats posed by transnational organized crime:

  • taking shared responsibility and identifying what actions the United States can take to protect against the threat and impact of transnational organized crime;
  • enhancing intelligence and information sharing;
  • protecting the financial system and strategic markets;
  • strengthening interdiction, investigations, and prosecutions;
  • disrupting drug trafficking and its facilitation of other transnational threats; and
  • building international capacity, cooperation, and partnerships.[1]

While this strategy does not focus solely on cybercrime activities of criminal networks, it does include a prominent discussion surrounding organized crime's involvement in cybercrime. The strategy notes that "[v]irtually every transnational criminal organization and its enterprises are connected and enabled by information systems technologies, making cybercrime a substantially more important concern."[2] It also points out a significant impediment to law enforcement successfully investigating cybercriminal activities: "Crimes can occur more quickly, but investigations proceed more slowly due to the critical shortage of investigators with the knowledge and expertise to analyze ever increasing amounts of potential digital evidence."[3]

Further, a number of the threats identified in the strategy — while not specifically identified under the cybercrime umbrella — may overlap with cybercrime or may be directly facilitated by the Internet and other advanced technologies. For instance, the theft of intellectual property is often carried out through illegal computer intrusions and the digital extraction of information and thus could also be considered cybercrime. Indeed, many crimes or malicious activities can fall under various threat categories outlined by the strategy; for instance, many crimes related to financial fraud and identity theft may fall under the categories of cybercrime, intellectual property theft, or threats to the economy, U.S. competitiveness, and strategic markets. As such, this strategy does not provide a detailed outline for how the U.S. should counter each category of threat, and the Administration indicated that this strategy is meant to complement a range of other strategies, including the International Strategy for Cyberspace: Prosperity, Security, and Openness in a Networked World.[4]


  1. Id. at 4.
  2. Id. at 3.
  3. Id. at 8.
  4. Id. at 4.