Justice creating cybercrime units

The Justice Department is creating 10 specialized prosecutorial units that will be dedicated to fighting cybercrime.

The new teams will be called Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property (CHIP) units and will focus on high-technology crimes including computer intrusions and hackings; theft of computers and high-tech components; fraud, copyright and trademark violations; and theft of trade secrets and economic espionage, Attorney General John Ashcroft announced July 20 in Silicon Valley.

The Northern California CHIP team successfully prosecuted one cybercriminal who hacked into critical federal systems, Ashcroft said.

Coincidentally, the designee for FBI director, Robert Mueller, is the U.S. attorney in San Francisco.

The CHIP units will be established in nine locations in addition to San Francisco, where the CHIP concept was pioneered and has proven to be an effective method of prosecuting cybercrime.

The other cities are Los Angeles, San Diego, Atlanta, Boston, New York (Brooklyn and Manhattan boroughs), Dallas, Seattle, and Alexandria, Va.

In total, the 10 units will be staffed with 77 people, 48 of whom will be prosecutors.

"These new CHIP teams will focus on the prevention of cybercrime by working with local industry to anticipate future trends, identify vulnerabilities and stop cybercrime before it occurs," Ashcroft said.

About the Author

Christopher J. Dorobek is the co-anchor of Federal News Radio’s afternoon drive program, The Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, and the founder, publisher and editor of the DorobekInsider.com, a leading blog for the Federal IT community.

Dorobek joined Federal News Radio in 2008 with 16 years of experience covering government issues with an emphasis on government information technology. Prior to joining Federal News Radio, Dorobek was editor-in-chief of Federal Computer Week, the leading news magazine for government IT decision-makers and the flagship of the 1105 Government Information Group portfolio of publications. As editor-in-chief, Dorobek served as a member of the senior leadership team at 1105 Government Information Group, providing daily editorial direction and management for FCW magazine, FCW.com, Government Health IT and its other editorial products.

Dorobek joined FCW in 2001 as a senior reporter and assumed increasing responsibilities, becoming managing editor and executive editor before being named editor-in-chief in 2006. Prior to joining FCW, Dorobek was a technology reporter at PlanetGov.com, one of the first online community centers for current and former government employees. He also spent five years at Government Computer News, another leading industry publication, covering a variety of federal IT-related issues.

Dorobek is a frequent speaker on issues involving the government IT industry, and has appeared as a frequent contributor to NewsChannel 8’s Federal News Today program. He began his career as a reporter at the Foster’s Daily Democrat, a daily newspaper in Dover, N.H. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California. He lives in Washington, DC.


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