Cyber Element In Most Police Cases !NEW!
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Cyber Element In Most Police Cases !NEW!
The Department of Justice prosecutes cases of identity theft and fraud under a variety of federal statutes. In the fall of 1998, for example, Congress passed the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act. This legislation created a new offense of identity theft, which prohibits "knowingly transfer[ring] or us[ing], without lawful authority, a means of identification of another person with the intent to commit, or to aid or abet, any unlawful activity that constitutes a violation of Federal law, or that constitutes a felony under any applicable State or local law." 18 U.S.C. 1028(a)(7). This offense, in most circumstances, carries a maximum term of 15 years' imprisonment, a fine, and criminal forfeiture of any personal property used or intended to be used to commit the offense.
In order for local law enforcement agencies to combat cybercrime, they need to know what resources are available. Many agencies turn first to the feds, and rightfully so. The FBI and the United States Secret Service are the agencies best equipped to investigate cybercrime, and they have worldwide reach. The problem is the feds can't handle every cybercrime case and certainly not every criminal case with a cyber element. Which means local law enforcement agencies have to shoulder much of the burden.
Whether a law enforcement agency is equipped to perform a digital investigation comes down to the skills and training of its officers and the tools available to them. But most agencies do not have this capability. Which is one of the reasons why the closure rate on cybercrime cases is abysmally low.
What happens after such a local complaint depends on the agency. Some agencies have cybercrime investigators and digital forensics specialists, but many don't have the personnel, money, or expertise to pursue such cases. Experts recommend that agencies pool their resources in task forces and regional cybercrime teams. "Combating cybercrime is a team sport," FBI Assistant Director Joe Demarest said at a 2014 PERF conference on cybercrime. "Whether it is a local, state, or federal level agency, one agency can't do this alone."
Digital InvestigatorsThere are two schools of thought regarding the officers who conduct cybercrime investigations. Some experts say the digital skills are most critical. Others say detectives can be trained to do the job. "I can teach a good detective how to investigate computer crime much faster than I can teach a computer guy to be a good detective," Slomo Koenig, a detective with the Rockland County (NY) Sheriff's Office said in a 2003 POLICE Magazine article ("How to Investigate Cybercrime," November 2003).
Finding officers with the skills to be a cyber investigator is difficult. But the Toronto Police Service has taken great pains to do so. "One of our HR strategies is to catalog all the talents that our recruits bring to the organization," Toronto Deputy Chief Mike Federico said at the 2014 PERF cybercrime conference. "When they graduate from the police academy, we take a close look at their background information. I would recommend that all departments keep an eye out for talented people in their graduating classes."
Searching for talent within their own agency led Toronto Police management to find a civilian employee in the parking division who was a computer and social media expert. Deputy Chief Peter Sloly told the PERF conference that the man has been "involved in solving some of our most high-profile cases."
Kava is now the Pottawattamie County SO's first cyber investigator. Sheriff Jeff Danker told KETV that the rise of cybercrimes and crimes with cyber elements like the Farver murder led him to hire Kava. "You need someone to sort through this and put the case together," he said. "It's not typical for an investigator to be trained in and have this specialized knowledge. We are fortunate to have Tony in this position."
The information provided below relates to cyber-crimes w