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The role of the United States Secret Service has gradually evolved since its inception in 1865 from its initial mandate to suppress the counterfeiting of currency to protecting the integrity of the nation’s financial payment systems. During this time, modes and methods of payment have evolved and so has the Secret Service mission. Computers and other “chip” devices are now the facilitators of criminal activity or the target of such, compelling the involvement of the Secret Service in combating cyber-crime. The perpetrators involved in the exploitation of such technology range from traditional fraud artists to violent criminals – all of whom recognize new opportunities to expand and diversify their criminal portfolio.
With the exponential growth of emerging technology throughout the world today, it only follows that the criminal element will attempt to capitalize on its use to further their quest for anonymity and profitability. In order for law enforcement to remain ahead of the power curve, it must adapt to the changes presented by both technology and criminals in a timely manner. The Secret Service developed a plan of action to achieve this goal by recognizing the need for change and innovative ideas to fight the war on criminal activity through the utilization of non-traditional task forces.
The concept of task forces has been around for many years and has proven to be quite successful. However, traditional task forces have consisted primarily of law enforcement personnel to the exclusion of other parties that could make significant contributions. The Secret Service developed a new approach to increase the resources, skills and vision by which local, state, and federal law enforcement team with prosecutors, private industry and academia to fully maximize what each has to offer in an effort to combat criminal activity. By forging new relationships with private sector entities and scholars, the task force opens itself up to a wealth of information and communication lines with limitless potential. The New York Electronic Crimes Task Force (NYECTF) was formed based on this concept and has been highly successful since its inception in 1995.
On October 26, 2001, President Bush signed into law H.R. 3162, the “Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (PATRIOT) Act of 2001.” In drafting this particular legislation, Congress, recognized the Secret Service philosophy that our success resides in the ability to bring academia, law enforcement and private industry together to combat crime in the information age. As a result, the U.S. Secret Service was mandated by this Act to establish a nationwide network of Electronic Crimes Task Forces based upon the New York model that encompasses this philosophy.
The Electronic Crimes Task Force has grown from a few dedicated individuals, to a group of hundreds of industry as well as local, state and federal law enforcement members throughout the country. At a recent meeting in New York, there were over 500 members in attendance. Many new regional task forces are now being formed throughout the country and hundreds (soon to be thousands) of law enforcement, government and industry techno specialists are now networking to help prevent and when necessary, prosecute these new kinds of crimes.
Contact information for these new regional ecTaskForce locations is listed below.
Title: New England Electronic Crimes Task Force
Title: Metro-Charlotte Electronic/Financial Crimes Task Force
Title: Chicago Electronic Crimes Task Force (CECTF)
Title: Cleveland Electronic Crimes Task Force
Title: Dallas N-Tec Electronic Crimes Task Force
Title: Houston HITEC Electronic Crimes Task Force
Title: Las Vegas Electronic Crimes Task Force
Title: Los Angeles Electronic Crimes Task Force
Title: Miami Electronic Crimes Task Force
Title: New York Electronic Crimes Task Force
Title: Bay Area Electronic Crimes Task Force
Title: South Carolina Electronic Crimes Task Force
Title: Washington -Metro Electronic Crimes Task Force