Millions of dollars OK'd for crime-fighting IT

A House appropriations subcommittee approved a $394 million increase for

the Drug Enforcement Administration, the FBI and the U.S. Attorneys to help

fight drugs and violent crime, and for new tools to combat cybercrime and

national security threats.

For example, the FBI would receive a $189 million increase over fiscal 2000,

for a total allocation of of $3.23 billion. That total includes $68 million

for the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), which

the president's budget proposes to fund through a controversial user fee.

The bill prohibits the FBI from charging a user fee for gun checks. NICS

is used to identify would-be gun buyers who are prohibited by law from buying

firearms.

Meanwhile, the House subcommittee voted not to give the Commerce Department

$60 million to fund critical infrastructure protection programs. This request

included $50 million to develop and house the Institute for Information

Infrastructure Protection (I3P), which would fund research at existing organizations

and groups. Commerce's National Institute for Standards and Technology was

to run the I3P program.

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