News and Press Releases

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    June 20, 2006

    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE CREATES NEW COMPUTER HACKING AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY UNITS IN SEVEN CITIES

    Denver to Establish CHIP Unit to Combat Cyber Crime and Intellectual Property Theft

    DENVER – The Department of Justice announced today that Denver will be one of seven new cities joining the fight against intellectual property crimes by creating a new Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property (CHIP) Unit. The announcement was made with the release of the 2006 Progress Report of the Department of Justice’s Task Force on Intellectual Property. The CHIP Program commits specially-trained prosecutors to address the growing problem of cyber crime and intellectual property offenses within the selected districts.

    The addition of seven new cities, including Denver, brings the total number of CHIP Units nationwide to 25. Additional cities involved in the expansion will include: Austin, Texas; Baltimore; Detroit; Newark, N.J.; New Haven, Conn.; and Philadelphia. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in each city will dedicate prosecutors, who receive specialized training in intellectual property theft and related issues, to coordinate the investigation and prosecution of cyber crimes and intellectual property offenses in their districts.

    “The commercial viability of internet based business is dependent on our ability to create a secure platform to complete transactions,” said United States Attorney Bill Leone. “Although consumer awareness and technology based solutions are vital to this effort, aggresive criminal prosecution of hackers, thieves, and spammers who propagate malicious code is an essential part of this effort. As a partner in a leading national technology law firm prior to becoming United States Attorney, I worked extensively in this area and I am acutely aware of this threat to e-commerce. I and am very pleased that we have been succesful in establishing this unit and look forward to working with businesses and industry leaders to implement this program,” said United States Attorney Leone.

    In July 2001, the Department of Justice created the CHIP Program by establishing 10 new CHIP Units to address the increasing threat of cyber crime and intellectual property offenses in specific regions of the country. The program was expanded to 12 cities in 2002 and to 18 cities in 2004.

    The Justice Department’s strategy to combat cyber crime and intellectual property theft through the CHIP Program has four key components:

    1. Prosecution: CHIP Units will prosecute computer intrusions, copyright and trademark violations, theft of trade secrets and economic espionage, theft of computer and high tech components and other Internet crimes.

    2. Regional Prevention and Outreach: Prosecutors will coordinate with the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS), the FBI and other agencies to establish good working relationships with the high tech community and to encourage victims of high tech crime to report such crimes to law enforcement.

    3. Regional Training: CHIP Units will receive high-level training provided by the Department of Justice, and will also be expected to develop and offer regional training programs to increase expertise among federal, state, and local prosecutors.

    4. Legal Counsel: As subject matter experts, CHIP Unit prosecutors will provide legal advice to prosecutors and law enforcement officers in the district on the collection of digital evidence, cyber crimes, and intellectual property law.

    In addition to announcing the creation of seven new CHIP Units, the 2006 Progress Report also announced that the Department of Justice has increased the number of defendants prosecuted for intellectual property crime by 98 percent and met with over 2,000 foreign prosecutors, investigators, and judges to provide training and technical assistance regarding intellectual property issues.

    More information about the CHIP program can be found in the 2006 Progress Report of the Department of Justice’s Intellectual Property Task Force. To download a copy of the Progress Report, please visit the Department’s Web site at www.usdoj.gov or www.cybercrime.gov.

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