Sending Office: Honorable Val Butler Demings
Sent By:
Stuart.Styron@mail.house.gov

Cosponsor the Technology in Criminal Justice Act

H.R. 5227

Cospsonors:  Babin, Lamb, Reschenthaler, & Rutherford

The growth of digital technologies and the rise of mobile computing over the past decade have created new op­portunities and new challenges for law enforcement. The prolifer­ation of digital communications, digital storage devices, and ubiquitous connec­tivity
has made more information availa­ble than ever before on the movements, conversations, and behavior of people. However, rapidly changing tech­nologies, shifts in terms of who controls the data, adoption of sophisticated an­onymity and obfuscation tools, and
ju­risdictional uncertainty create new and critical challenges for the detection, sur­veillance, and attribution of criminal ac­tivity.

The collection and analysis of digital evidence is an increasingly important tool for solving crimes and preparing court cases. As technology has become more portable and powerful, greater amounts of information are created, stored, and accessed. Modern
devices can serve as huge repositories of personal information yet be carried in a pocket and accessed with a single hand or even voice command.

In many investigations, a range of data is po­tentially accessible to law enforcement pursuant to lawful means. For a variety of reasons, however, law enforcement of­ficials often face significant obstacles in being able to access, decipher, or other­wise
use that data, even when they have the legal authority to do so.

The Technology in Criminal Justice Act of 2019 would address these issues and provide law enforcement with the resources necessary to effectively use legally available resources in investigations. Specifically, the bill would establish an office of Digital
Law Enforcement (DLE) within the Office of Justice Programs at the Department of Justice (DOJ) to support Federal, State, and local law enforcement in training, preparing, and supporting criminal justice personnel in the conduct of criminal justice activities
utilizing digital evidence. The DLE would identify, develop, and distribute best practices to Federal, State, and local criminal justice personnel.

Additionally, the bill would establish a Center of Excellence for Digital Forensics to serve as a clearinghouse for training, technical expertise, and legal assistance relating to accessing digital evidence in support of criminal investigations; a Law Enforcement
Technology Support to State and Local Law Enforcement program to develop guidelines and processes to authorize the use of funds for the purposes of acquiring technology to improve the digital evidence capacity of law enforcement personnel through available
DOJ grants; and, a technology policy advisory board to sustain dialogue between the technology and law enforcement communities on policy issues and advise the Attorney General on recent developments, strategies, and technical approaches.

This bill would help State and Local law enforcement come into the 21st Century regarding digital evidence and equip them with the resources, knowledge, and support to access, decipher, and utilize data they have legal authority to do so.

As a former law enforcement officer, I can attest to the importance of digital evidence in investigating and prosecuting crimes. The resources provided in this bill will help State and Local law enforcement adapt to the growth of digital technologies and
mobile computing and allow them to properly utilize all legally available tools to ensure public safety.

If you would like to cosponsor or have any questions about the Technology in Criminal Justice Act, please contact Stuart.Styron@mail.house.gov.

 

Val B. Demings

Member of Congress

Conor Lamb

Member of Congress

John Rutherford

Member of Congress

Brian Babin

Member of Congress

 

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Civil Rights, Economy, Government, Homeland Security, Immigration, Intelligence, Judiciary, Technology

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