Ellen Perlman was a GOVERNING staff writer and technology columnist.E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Just as sheriffs rounded up posses in the old days, state attorneys general today are collaborating with two groups to enhance the cybercrime-fighting skills of personnel in their offices.
Working with the National Center for Justice and the Rule of Law at the University of Mississippi, the National Association of Attorneys General is developing curricula for training sessions in ways to combat cybercrime. The training will be held at Ole Miss in Oxford, starting in October. NCJRL is funding the program with $476,000 from the U.S. Department of Justice.
While some states already have sophisticated cybercrime units, others have none at all. The training is designed to help at all levels of expertise and to provide a national perspective. Cybercrime fighting, Thomas Clancy, director of the center, notes, "requires a lot of training and coordination amongst states because of the nature of the Internet." Cybercriminals often use high-tech tools to hack and steal data across jurisdictional boundaries.
The state of Mississippi is working on its own training effort, also in conjunction with the NCJRL. It plans to become a model for fighting cybercrime. The training it develops will be based, in part, on some lessons Mississippi has already learned. For instance, if law enforcement seizes computers improperly, evidence can be damaged, lost or tainted. Law enforcement officers will get training on the basics of bagging, tagging and transporting equipment--something Mississippi's AG office has been providing for local law enforcement officers for the past 18 months.
The NCJRL plans to fund Mississippi's cybercrime unit for two years and to use it as a model for other states.
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