Justice budgets for terrorism

Attorney General John Ashcroft outlined the Justice Department's efforts against terrorism, including programs for information sharing and foreign visitor registrations, at a Senate hearing on the fiscal 2004 budget.

In prepared statements, Ashcroft further detailed funding for technology in the department, such as improvements in FBI's Trilogy modernization program and its Computer Intrusion Program.

"Indeed the first and overriding priority of this budget — and of the department — is to protect America from acts of terrorism and bring terrorists to justice," Ashcroft told the Senate Appropriations Committee's Commerce, Justice, State and the Judiciary Subcommittee April 1.

The 2004 budget request includes $23.3 billion for Justice. The supplemental request for the fiscal 2003 budget, submitted March 25, includes $500 million for the department's counterterrorism fund. This funding would support FBI response capabilities, language translation services and surveillance support, among other missions.

Ashcroft did not specifically detail how much is being spent on information technology. However, the attorney general did make reference to some of the department's initiatives in his prepared statement.

Ashcroft addressed the following funding for technology programs:

* $82.2 million for the FBI's IT programs, including $61.7 million for the operation and maintenance of Trilogy hardware, $18.6 million for hardware and software upgrades over several years; and $2 million for the maintenance of the FBI's Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmentalized Information Local Area Network.

* $5 million for the information-sharing initiative promoting sharing between FBI and other law enforcement partners in the Joint Terrorism Task Force program.

* $41 million to combat computer intrusion and support cyber investigations in the FBI's Computer Intrusion Program.

* $1.2 million for the FBI's Internet team to provide constant coverage of the public information system infrastructure, which reviews and analyzes terrorism tips from the public made via the Internet.

* $61.8 million to expand the legal attache program and the Visa Identification Terrorist Automated Lookout system, which provides embassies and consulates with the ability to identify individuals who may threaten national security.

* $18 million to expand the FBI's Computer Analysis Response Team, which performs computer forensic searches.

* $12 million to expand the accessibility of the Regional Information Sharing System to state and local law enforcement authorities.

* $2 million to support IT improvements in processing Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants.

* $106 million to expand DNA analysis, including support to link laboratories and compare DNA data through the FBI's Combined DNA Index System and the National DNA Database.

* $15 million for the department's unified financial management system. The department is also seeking $17 million, in addition to $33 million from the department's working capital fund, for the Justice Consolidated Office Network.

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