1 1 2 3 Keynote Address by 4 U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno on 5 High-tech and Computer Crime 6 7 8 Delivered at the Meeting of the P-8 Senior 9 Experts' Group on 10 Transnational Organized Crime 11 12 13 Tuesday, January 21, 1997 14 Chantilly, Virginia 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 2 1 P R O C E E D I N G S 2 ATTORNEY GENERAL RENO: Thank you, 3 Mark. I'm very touched by that introduction 4 and I hope I can live up to it. I want to 5 welcome you all to the United States for this 6 first Plenary session of 1997. I am very 7 pleased to be with you today. 8 Not only is this meeting the first 9 P-8 meeting under the U.S. Presidency, it is 10 the first multilateral meeting of President 11 Clinton's second Administration. 12 As you know, yesterday the President 13 took the oath of office for his second term. 14 His re-election brings with it the opportunity 15 for me to continue to work with international 16 and domestic law enforcement to bring security 17 to the citizens of our countries, and I 18 consider this a very special privilege. 19 Besides the historic significance of 20 this day, I want to share with you the 21 excitement and the enthusiasm I feel about and 22 toward the P-8. I view this group like no 3 1 other: The P-8 countries are a special group 2 made up of the world's most powerful 3 democracies. We are global leaders in so many 4 ways -- economically, technologically, legally, 5 and politically. Our small number allows us to 6 act quickly, and our unique membership offers 7 an opportunity to lead the world community that 8 is rarely found in our history. And we are 9 often on the cutting edge -- for example -- in 10 responding to international terrorism, to 11 international money laundering, to precursor 12 chemicals. This group has so much promise. 13 Through your work, giant strides are being made 14 in several critical areas that have significant 15 global implications. 16 No area of criminal activity is more 17 on the cutting edge or has greater global 18 implications than crime involving technology 19 and computers. The importance of emerging 20 technologies and the significance of global 21 computer networks cannot be overstated. If 22 properly developed and properly protected, they 4 1 will be used in virtually all personal 2 communications, financial transactions, 3 information sharing, medical care, and a myriad 4 of other applications. It is, indeed, a very 5 exciting time. 6 But while new technologies allow us 7 to do things that were previously impossible, 8 they can also be misused in creative ways to 9 threaten public safety and national security. 10 The same technologies that facilitate 11 lightning-fast and ultra-reliable transactions 12 between computers can be misused by hackers, 13 that is, by those who access computers without 14 or in excess of authority. They can access 15 confidential information, steal economic data, 16 disrupt telephone networks, and interfere with 17 the delivery of government and other vital 18 services. 19 So while the information age holds 20 great promise, law enforcement has a 21 responsibility to ensure that the users of 22 networks are not victimized in new ways. 5 1 To protect honest, law abiding 2 citizens, law enforcement must keep pace with 3 advances in computer and telecommunications 4 technologies. We must work to ensure that the 5 international law enforcement community can 6 keep pace with the criminals. This is 7 especially true in the case of computer 8 offenses, which differ from traditional crimes 9 in a number of ways and, as a result, create 10 new and very challenging problems: 11 First, international computer crimes 12 are easier to commit. Hackers are not hampered 13 by the existence of international boundaries, 14 since information and property can be 15 transmitted covertly via telephone and data 16 networks. A hacker needs no passport and 17 passes no checkpoints. He simply types a 18 command to gain entry. And there is little 19 need for manpower since a sole hacker, working 20 alone, can effectively steal or erase as much 21 information as he can read, or he can cause 22 extensive damage to global networks. 6 1 Secondly, until recently, computer 2 crime has not received the emphasis that other 3 international crimes have engendered. Even 4 now, not all affected nations recognize the 5 threat it poses to public safety or the need 6 for international cooperation to effectively 7 respond to the problem. Consequently, many 8 countries have weak laws, or no laws, against 9 computer hacking -- a major obstacle to solving 10 and to prosecuting computer crimes. 11 Thirdly, law enforcement faces new 12 procedural challenges, many of which are 13 impossible to address without international 14 consensus and cooperation. Consider, if you 15 will, merely locating a hacker whose 16 transmission passes from his computer to a 17 local service provider, then through a 18 telephone network, then crosses an ocean via 19 satellite, and then passes through a university 20 computer on its way to a corporate victim. To 21 make matters worse, this hacker could be in his 22 car, using wireless communications. How do we 7 1 go about finding this individual? How do we 2 collect the evidence and preserve it in a way 3 that will be useful at trial? 4 Fourth, law enforcement will be faced 5 with significant technical challenges, such as 6 the widespread use of encryption. In such 7 cases, we will have to find innovative and 8 effective ways to preserve government access to 9 the plain text of encrypted data. We can do 10 this, in part, by supporting international 11 efforts and national policies which promote the 12 development of the emerging key management 13 infrastructure and the use of products which 14 allow for data recovery, as well as by 15 assisting each other in this very difficult 16 area. 17 I think that these threats and these 18 problems call for the particular experience and 19 the expertise of this group. While important 20 work in the high-tech area is being done under 21 the auspices of other organizations, one thing 22 that sets the P-8 apart from other multilateral 8 1 groups is its common-sense focus on practical 2 solutions. 3 And the great thing about practical 4 solutions is that they usually produce real 5 results. Since computer crime is so important 6 to all of our interests, there are several 7 areas that I hope P-8 Experts will address. 8 First, we need adequate laws which will allow 9 us to prosecute hackers and other computer 10 criminals. Second, we need the technical 11 ability to find these individuals, wherever 12 located. Third, we must develop legal 13 procedures that permit timely cooperation in 14 the collection of evidence. And fourth, we 15 need to train law enforcement personnel and 16 devote these technically literate experts to 17 the task at hand. 18 When countries have inadequate legal 19 structures to combat computer crimes, they 20 provide safe havens for computer criminals, and 21 they can create a major obstacle to obtaining 22 international assistance in multijurisdictional 9 1 cases. As you know, in 1990, the Council of 2 Europe recommended that European nations adopt 3 harmonious computer crime laws. As a result, 4 several P-8 countries have enacted new laws and 5 joined international efforts to encourage other 6 countries to enact or to strengthen their 7 computer crime laws. However, much work 8 remains to be done in this area. 9 We need to reach a consensus as to 10 which computer and technology-related 11 activities should be criminalized, and then 12 commit to taking appropriate domestic actions. 13 This would also aid in providing the inevitable 14 legal assistance required to investigate and 15 prosecute these cases. I think it is also 16 important to think about a global legal support 17 regime, which could be used to avoid ad hoc 18 approaches to multiple prosecutions. The 19 unique nature of computer crimes and the 20 unusual problems that can result would make 21 such a regime very useful. Further, it would 22 provide practical solutions as countries 10 1 determine the best place for a prosecution, the 2 order of prosecutions in a case where multiple 3 countries are affected, and the most fair way 4 to vindicate interests when a crime affects a 5 large number of nations. 6 When a hacker attacks, the first 7 investigative step is to locate the source of 8 the attack. To do so requires tracing the 9 electronic trail from the victim back to the 10 attacker. However, in today's communications 11 environment, one telecommunications carrier 12 does not carry a communication from end to end. 13 As in the example I mentioned before, a 14 hacker's communication will pass through an 15 array of carriers, often in less than a second, 16 and tracing the electronic trail from victim 17 back to attacker may be difficult or impossible 18 unless the hacker is actually on-line. 19 One practical solution that our 20 technologically advanced countries should 21 pursue is maintaining access to source 22 information for each link in the chain of 11 1 transmission. Some countries, including the 2 United States, have required that technical 3 standards be adopted which ensure that "call 4 set-up information" for normal telephone calls 5 is accessible, so that the source of the call 6 can be identified. I think it would be 7 productive for P-8 Experts to consider whether 8 all carriers should carry this kind of 9 information, whether other communications 10 technologies should be similarly designed, and 11 what would be required for countries to share 12 this information with one another. This is a 13 critical time for this issue, as all of us are 14 upgrading our telecommunications systems, 15 because it is far easier to build such 16 requirements into new machines rather than to 17 retro-fit existing equipment. 18 Finding a criminal who plies his 19 craft through an array of carriers becomes much 20 more challenging when wireless communications 21 are used. In the past, when a perpetrator used 22 a phone to commit a crime, law enforcement 12 1 could easily find out the exact location that 2 the call came from. They could find out the 3 name of the person who was being billed for the 4 phone line, because the caller would be 5 physically attached to a telephone wire. But 6 today, mobile phones can allow an individual to 7 commit crimes while roaming around a city or 8 even a country. 9 Even identifying the owner of a 10 particular mobile phone may be difficult, 11 because mobile phones can be altered to 12 transmit phony identifying information. Here, 13 as in most of the areas we discuss, governments 14 would be well-served to work on this problem 15 with the help of industry. Our technical 16 experts tell us that there are practical 17 solutions to the problems created by wireless 18 communications, such as encouraging the 19 encryption of cellular electronic identifiers. 20 I hope that P-8 Experts will work to see that 21 law enforcement is not overtaken by technology 22 in this area, but instead uses technology to 13 1 thwart crime. 2 As the globalization of computer 3 networks continues, and as computer criminals 4 become more sophisticated, law enforcement 5 increasingly will need timely access to 6 computer or telecommunications information in 7 all our countries. Up until this point, our 8 regime of mutual legal assistance has served 9 our countries well. But in a hacker case, the 10 trail of evidence sometimes ends abruptly and 11 permanently as soon as the hacker goes 12 off-line. We should consider whether mutual 13 legal assistance treaties and letters rogatory 14 need to be supplemented with procedures that 15 will facilitate the immediate collection and 16 review of evidence, or whether other avenues 17 should be explored. As mechanisms are 18 developed, specially trained lawyers within 19 countries' Central Authorities may be necessary 20 to ensure rapid response to requests for 21 assistance, particularly while a hacker is 22 on-line. Again, the experience and the 14 1 expertise of the P-8 makes it well-suited to 2 tackle these very difficult problems. 3 Practical solutions are out there -- we must 4 work together to find them. 5 One idea I believe worthy of 6 consideration is formalizing international 7 expedited procedures that protect electronic 8 evidence on foreign soil from alteration or 9 destruction. These could be in the form of 10 "preservation of evidence requests," or 11 "protected seizures," whereby an international 12 request freezes a scene until a domestic 13 judicial search mechanism can be used. Just 14 like technological advances are the product of 15 creativity and ingenuity, our legal work in 16 this area must likewise be imaginative and 17 forward-leaning. 18 Also in the area of evidence 19 collection, I encourage this group to address 20 the issues involved in analyzing electronic 21 evidence -- evidence which can be easily 22 altered or destroyed. We must be able to 15 1 analyze this evidence in ways that preserve its 2 integrity and make its authenticity 3 irrefutable, both for purposes of domestic 4 prosecution and international cooperation. The 5 ease with which digital evidence can be 6 manipulated has already led to the development 7 of scientific protocols for searching computers 8 and for analyzing data. But we now must strive 9 to ensure that such procedures are 10 internationally accepted. 11 None of the advances I have discussed 12 are possible without ensuring that law 13 enforcement personnel are capable of addressing 14 high-tech crime by understanding two emerging 15 and converging technologies simultaneously: 16 Computers and telecommunications. The 17 complexity of these technologies, and their 18 constant and rapid change, suggest that 19 countries need to designate investigators and 20 prosecutors to receive appropriate and ongoing 21 training. They, in turn, need to work these 22 cases on a full-time basis, immersing 16 1 themselves in computer-related investigations 2 and prosecutions. Efforts along these lines 3 will dramatically expand enforcement 4 capabilities to solve high-tech crimes. I hope 5 that when you return home, each of you will 6 strongly advocate devoting significant 7 resources to this area, and that we can share 8 our expertise through international training 9 and coordination efforts. 10 The issues confronting us are very, 11 very difficult, but we can solve them. What 12 will make it all come together in a cohesive 13 way is law enforcement's continued willingness 14 to recognize the new challenges that lay ahead 15 in cyberspace. Whether the challenge is 16 protecting trade secret information, defending 17 intellectual property rights, prosecuting an 18 international hacker, if we do our job right, 19 the people of the world will enjoy the benefits 20 of the information age without becoming its 21 victims. 22 In closing, I pledge to you my full 17 1 support in this very critical area. I consider 2 high-tech crime to be one of the most serious 3 issues demanding my attention, and I am doing 4 everything in my power to ensure that the 5 United States actively responds to these 6 challenges. I have instructed Mark Richard to 7 keep me apprised of your work, and I would 8 enjoy the opportunity to contact my 9 counterparts in your countries, if and when the 10 need arises. In fact, this past November, I 11 discussed the threat of high-tech crime with 12 the British Home Secretary, Michael Howard, and 13 he enthusiastically pledged his support to P-8 14 efforts in this area. Likewise, our Deputy 15 Attorney General had a similar meeting with the 16 German State Secretary of the Interior, 17 Professor Doctor Kurt Schelter, in October of 18 last year. It's an old cliche, but united we 19 stand; divided we fall, and we look forward to 20 working with you in every way we can to address 21 this very important and very complex issue. 22 Thank you.