H.R. 1616 amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to provide statutory authorization to establish within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) a National Computer Forensics Institute (NCFI) to be operated by the U.S. Secret Service for the dissemination of homeland security information related to the investigation and prevention of cyber and electronic crime, including threats or acts of terrorism, to educate, train, and equip state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and judges.
The National Computer Forensic Institute (NCFI) was opened in 2008 as a partnership between the Secret Service and the state of Alabama with a mandate to provide state and local law enforcement, and legal and judicial professionals a free, comprehensive education on current cyber-crime trends, investigative methods, and prosecutorial and judicial challenges.
"By authorizing the NCFI in federal law, this bill ensures proper oversight and accountability to enable NCFI to remain the nation’s premier cybercrime training center," says the sponsor, Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX4) , about a previous iteration of this bill introduced in the 114th Congress, H.R.3490.
The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Nov 3, 2017.
(This measure has not been amended since it was passed by the Senate on October 2, 2017. The summary of that version is repeated here.)
Strengthening State and Local Cyber Crime Fighting Act of 2017
(Sec. 2) This bill amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to authorize a National Computer Forensics Institute within the U.S. Secret Service for FY2017-FY2022. The institute shall: (1) disseminate information related to the investigation and prevention of cyber and electronic crime and related threats; and (2) educate, train, and equip state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and judges.
Institute functions include:
educating such officers, prosecutors, and judges on current cyber and electronic crimes and related threats, methods for investigating such crime and threats and for conducting computer and mobile device forensic examinations, and related prosecutorial and judicial challenges; training such officers to conduct investigations of such crime and related threats, as well as such forensic examinations, and to respond to network intrusion incidents; and training such officers, prosecutors, and judges on methods to obtain, process, store, and admit digital evidence in court. The institute:
shall ensure that timely, actionable, and relevant expertise and information related to such crime and related threats is shared with such officers and prosecutors; may provide such officers with computer equipment, hardware, software, manuals, and tools necessary to conduct investigations of such crime and related threats and such forensic examinations; and shall facilitate the expansion of the network of Electronic Crime Task Forces of the Secret Service through the addition of officers trained at the institute. (Sec. 3) The bill amends the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 to establish a new part, which may be cited as the National White Collar Crime Control Act of 2017, authorizing the Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Assistance to enter into a cooperative agreement or make a grant for training and technical assistance to help law enforcement officers, investigators, auditors, and prosecutors identify, investigate, and prosecute white collar crime.
White collar crime includes high-tech crime, economic crime, and Internet-based crime against children and child pornography.