The U.S. Department of Justice’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS) and Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance and Training (OPDAT), with support from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement Affairs, co-administer the Transnational and High Tech Crime Global Law Enforcement Network (GLEN). The Network is an expansion of the existing International Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property (ICHIP) Program into a global capacity-building network comprised of experienced federal prosecutors, cyber-forensic analysts, and federal law enforcement personnel, which is focused on intellectual property (IP) and cyber-criminal activity, as well as the gathering and use of electronic evidence to combat all types of crime, including transnational organized crime (TCO). The objective of the GLEN is to protect Americans from criminal threats emanating from abroad by delivering technical assistance centered on countering cybercrime, IP crime, and transnational organized crime to justice sector officials around the world. This assistance includes legislative review, case-based mentoring, and skills-development.
- In 2016, ICHIP Bucharest assisted with the take-down of Kickass Torrents, then one of the world’s largest websites for online theft.
- In 2017, an ICHIP Sao Paulo-mentored team of Brazilian law enforcement officials launched a series of significant enforcement actions on a U.S. Trade Representative-designated Notorious Market in São Paulo and seized approximately 880 tons of counterfeit and contraband goods worth approximately $138 million, which resulted in the market’s closure.
- In 2018, ICHIP Abuja organized the Eastern and Southern Africa Workshop to Build Enforcement Capacity and Improve Regional Coordination in Combatting Pharmaceutical Crimes, which was held at the International Law Enforcement Academy in Gaborone, Botswana.
- In 2018, ICHIP Kuala Lumpur and ICHIP Hong Kong hosted the Asia Regional G7 24/7 High Tech Crimes Network (HTCN) Point of Contact Workshop, in Melaka, Malaysia. The HTCN is an informal network that provides around-the-clock high-tech expert contact points that enable the sharing of digital evidence and other relevant information for ongoing investigations against cyber criminals. Tonga officially became the 84th member of the HTCN. Tonga is the first Pacific Island nation to join the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime and is now the third Pacific Island nation to join the HTCN, cementing their role as a regional leader on cybercrime.
- In 2019, in Romania, as a result of ongoing ICHIP mentoring, seven leaders of a counterfeiting TCO were convicted and sentenced to prison for the online sales of counterfeit steroids and human growth hormones to consumers throughout Europe, effectively dismantling this TCO.
- In 2019, in Brazil, an ICHIP-mentored interagency group seized 17 tons of counterfeit goods consisting of 20,000 shoes and 50,000 items of clothing, including trademarks like Nike, Puma, Adidas, and Lacoste, and also shut down two notorious markets in the center of Sao Paulo.
- ICHIP Abuja is engaged in ongoing case-based mentoring for alumni of 2018/2019 ICHIP pharmaceutical crime workshops held in Anglophone countries through a WhatsApp group; current mentoring efforts are focused on COVID-19-related pharmaceutical crime.
- ICHIP Sao Paulo and the ICHIP for Internet Based Fraud held a webinar for Brazilian law enforcement addressing website takedowns for sites selling counterfeit and fraudulent products.
- ICHIP Bucharest and the ICHIP for Dark Markets and Cryptocurrency will conduct a virtual workshop for Romanian law enforcement on dark web markets, including a segment on COVID-19 scams that have a nexus with dark markets.
- ICHIP Hong Kong will work with Hong Kong Customs to obtain a case study about its recent Operation Guardian for webinars in Asia and elsewhere.
- In partnership with their respective embassies/consulates, the ICHIPs are also producing Public Service Announcements (PSA) on intellectual property rights and cyber issues related to COVID-19.
This innovative and critically acclaimed assistance program will more than double in size in FY 2020, including new field and DC-based positions. The GLEN will continue to support - albeit more robustly - the U.S. Government and the U.S. Department of Justice’s topline priorities of protecting intellectual property rights and fighting cybercrime. The ICHIPs will be conducting assistance remotely through webinars, PSAs, presentations and other electronic material as well as consultations and mentoring via phone and video software.