In the beginning, the Internet was just a set of documents that you could seek out and obtain information from. It was a static collection of data that assisted us in learning about a topic. This paved the way for the Internet as we know it today, allowing us to interact and publish our thoughts, photos, and personal data on sites that are not necessarily in our control once we shared these items.

This sharing of data and personal identifying information has been a wide-open market for people with nefarious thoughts in mind to capitalize on people, make money, and distribute illegal items with the promise of anonymity. Using OSINT skills, we can exploit these forms of communication, coupled with the research on these platforms, to reveal an identity behind these criminal acts. Our goal bringing justice where needed and assisting victims where possible. The age of blockchain technology and decentralized platforms claim that we will be able to trust, verify, and own this data. Your investigative toolbelt will require you to have knowledge of how the blockchain works and manages this data. Will you be ready for the decentralized Internet and what new ways criminals exploit this data?

Learning Objectives

  • Define Web 3.0 and what hurdles it will bring to OSINT
  • Learn about Blockchain and how it will be part of our investigative work 
  • Learn ways to use OSINT in Web 3.0 investigationS


Billy Rodgers is a High-Tech Crime Specialist with the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C). After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice at Penn State University in 1991, Billy started his law enforcement career with the Lehigh County Adult Probation Office in Allentown, Pennsylvania serving in the Intensive Supervision and Electronic Monitoring Unit. In 1997, Billy was hired as a Special Agent with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and assigned to Buffalo, New York after the completion of the DEA academy at Quantico. He was a member of the DEA Buffalo Taskforce and was partnered with a group of Agents conducting federal wiretaps. After eight years in Buffalo, Billy transferred to the DEA office in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

During his time with DEA, Billy focused on wiretap cases involving cellphones and apps. He had a role in the first website wiretapping case involving the distribution of analog chemicals used to make GHB from Canada to all parts of the United States. He also participated in a dark web investigation involving an overdose death that resulted in a life sentence for a defendant for his role in the distribution of fentanyl analogs throughout the United States. Billy assisted in a wiretapping case that involved the cloning of a WhatsApp account and the unique difficulty in collecting live evidence in an international money laundering organization. Billy has testified as an expert witness regarding drug investigations and GPS technology in federal and state court. Billy is pursuing his master’s degree in Digital Forensics and Cyber Security at Desales University and is a Cellebrite Certified Physical Analyzer. Billy has had A+ and Net+ courses through the Investigative Technology branch of DEA and completed the Cisco Certified Networking Academy courses through Northampton Community College.

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