CONCORD, N.H. (CBSDFW/AP) – Republican U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, of Texas joined U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire in asking the U.S. attorney general’s office and the FBI for a progress report on illegal drug trafficking, particularly of fentanyl and other opioids, on a hidden part of the internet known as the dark web.

Hassan was joined by fellow Democrat U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, of California and Cornyn in a letter Tuesday asking for information regarding the work of the Joint Criminal Opioid Darknet Enforcement, known as J-CODE.

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That was created by former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in 2018 to develop a strategic plan to disrupt and dismantle dark web marketplaces that facilitate the distribution of opioids. The senators wrote that the dark web can provide anonymity to those who use it, hiding identities and locations.

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The senators asked whether the Justice Department has a system that tracks indictments and investigations related to crimes involving the dark web and opioids; if authorities have been able to determine which countries opioids are coming from on the dark web; and whether there are technology companies that provide secure or encrypted communications that don’t cooperate with law enforcement with respect to drug trafficking.


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