Justice beefs up cyber spending

Fiscal 2002 budget

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The Justice Department's proposed budget for fiscal 2002 earmarks increases for several key technology initiatives, including fighting cybercrime, upgrading information technology infrastructure and providing more grants to states.

The department's overall $24.65 billion budget proposal is a $200 million increase from this year's spending plan. IT and related spending amounts to roughly $1.7 billion—about a $100 million decrease from fiscal 2001. But officials said the proposed spending bolsters some significant programs.

The department has proposed a total of $145 million, an increase of $33 million, for combating cybercrime. That includes money for counter-encryption, combating cyberterrorism, making infrastructure improvements, prosecuting hackers and computer criminals and performing data network interception.

Included is about $11 million for Casa de Web, a multiyear automated information program for storing and managing electronic surveillance data at FBI field offices.

The FBI Trilogy program—a three-year plan to upgrade the bureau's IT infrastructure to support faster data transmission and greater network reliability—would see a $75 million increase, to $95 million, under the proposal.

The bureau apparently has not yet awarded a contract for Trilogy, previously called the Information Sharing Initiative and, most recently, eFBI. The proposed funds would be on top of $100 million collected for the program from previous funding approvals.

The proposed budget also includes $620 million in technology assistance to state and local law enforcement agencies. That total includes funds for establishing or upgrading criminal justice information systems, addressing the backlog of identifying crime scene DNA samples, and criminal records and crime lab improvements.

Other technology and related spending at Justice includes:

$28 million to integrate fingerprint identification systems at the FBI and the Immigration and Naturalization Service. $107 million for the Drug Enforcement Administration's Firebird network, the DEA's primary IT backbone, among other programs. $20 million to INS to fund intrusion-detection technology—high-resolution color and infrared cameras and state-of-the-art command centers—to strengthen border control and enforcement.

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