Reno: Law enforcement ill-prepared for cybercrime
- By William Matthews
- Mar 09, 2000
Law enforcement agencies are generally out-gunned in the battle against
cybercrime, according to Attorney General Janet Reno. They need weapons
such as real-time tracking of Internet users, the ability to locate wireless
phones and the ability to identify anonymous e-mailers to better catch criminals
on the Internet .
In a lengthy report released Thursday, Reno said the Internet presents a
complicated problem for law enforcement. It allows anonymous cybercriminals
to operate across international borders, to strike and vanish in an instant.
Reno wants to strike back with better coordination among local, national
and international police and greater assistance from the Internet industry.
"The Internet provides a vast, inexpensive, and potentially anonymous way"
for criminals to commit fraud, distribute child pornography, sell guns and
drugs and steal computer software or other creative material, she said.
Reno acknowledged that efforts to crack down on Internet crime inevitably
will clash with public expectations of privacy.
Although society has strong interests in investigating and prosecuting crime,
it also has strong interests in free speech, protecting reasonable expectations
of privacy, providing broad access to public information and supporting
legitimate commerce, she said.
Reno did not suggest how both interests might be served, except to say that
regulations "should be carefully tailored" to avoid stifling the Internet's
growth or its use for free and open communication.