Training targets computer crimes

In an attempt to reduce criminal activity in the PC world, additional training

on investigating and prosecuting cyber criminals will be available this

fall to personnel in the offices of the attorneys general in each of the

50 states.

The National Center for Justice and the Rule of Law (NCJRL) and the

National Association of Attorneys General have collaborated in preparing

for the upcoming training programs.

The training is necessary because some states have excellent programs

in fighting cybercrime while others do not, NCJRL Director Thomas Clancy

said. "There is also a definite need for coordination amongst the states

in order to keep everyone on the same page," he said.

According to Clancy, state agencies tend to be underfunded, so a $4.6

million grant was acquired to run the program for the next two years.

"Training is not only very expensive, but time-consuming as well," he

said. The training will consist of four sessions at the University of Mississippi's

Oxford campus. Initially, participants will focus on the basics of investigation

and criminal cases involving computers. The second step in the learning

process will include understanding of forensics cases and how to present

the information in a court of law. The final session will be a national

conference in the fall of 2003 discussing the progress of the program.

Criminal activity over the Internet and on computer systems has become

more sophisticated, making it extremely difficult to investigate crimes

and prosecute "hackers." The difficulty magnifies when computers and other

equipment are used to commit crimes across jurisdictional boundaries.

In recent years, criminal activity involving pornography and fraud,

for example, had migrated to the Internet, Clancy said. After the Sept.

11 terrorist attacks, the federal government has focused more on homeland

security, Clancy said. "Because of this, the states are in critical need

to enhance their abilities when dealing with computer crimes," he said.


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