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[FYI] U.S.: Law Enforcement Announces Plan To Fight Internet Crime


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Law Enforcement Announces Plan To Fight Internet Crime  

Seattle - April 27, 2000 - State, federal and local law enforcement 
officials today announced plans to combat crime and fraud on the 

The initiative will expand law enforcement's ability to prevent or 
quickly investigate and prosecute on-line crime, said Washington 
Attorney General Christine Gregoire.  

"The Internet, which holds so much promise for e-commerce, 
entertainment and research, also has a dark side inhabited by child 
molesters, con men, and hate mongers," said Gregoire. "The message we 
are sending today is that law enforcement in Washington has teamed up 
to fight Internet crime and abuse."  

Local law enforcement agencies say they do not have the expertise or 
resources to respond to a growing number of Internet complaints. In 
response, law enforcement agencies formed a new partnership entitled, 
Computer Law Enforcement of Washington (CLEW). Its members include 
the Washington State Attorney General's Office, U.S. Attorney's 
Office, FBI, Washington State Patrol, Washington Association of 
Sheriffs and Police Chiefs, and the Washington Association of 
Prosecuting Attorneys.  

"The Internet does not recognize state or even national political 
boundaries, so cooperation between law enforcement is imperative," 
said Kate Pflaumer, U.S. Attorney for Western Washington. "We in 
Washington have a long tradition of cooperation among law 
enforcement. It is our goal to make this state an unsafe place to 
commit crime over the Internet."  

Members signed a cooperative agreement pledging to share resources 
and work cooperatively across jurisdictions. Specifically, CLEW will: 

Provide a law enforcement response to high tech crime complaints 24 
hours a day seven days a week; Share expertise, resources, and 
training to help local law enforcement investigate and prosecute 
Internet crimes; Seek funding for a computer forensics lab which is 
essential for investigating and prosecuting Internet crimes; and 
Suggest legislation to help prosecute on-line crime.  

The Attorney General's Office also has formed a strike team of 
attorneys and investigators to focus on Internet related crime. The 
new high tech unit will prosecute consumer protection and criminal 
cases as well as provide expertise to local law enforcement on 
Internet crimes. It is also developing a first-in-the-nation 
mediation program where consumers and businesses can attempt to 
resolve conflicts on-line.  

"Washington is a national leader in high technology," said Gregoire. 
"It's only natural that our state be similarly innovative in fighting 
crime or resolving consumer issues."  

In that same vein, Gregoire said her office will team with the 
University of Washington to launch a new clearinghouse web site to 
help people avoid on-line fraud and crimes. From the site consumers 
can: remove their names from marketing lists, file an on-line 
complaint, research up-to-date consumer and criminal justice issues, 
and get tips for kids and parents to help them safely surf the net. 
Soon, the site will expand to include teen consumer education lessons 
for teachers in streaming video and training materials for law 

"Our ultimate goal is to be a one-stop shopping point for consumers, 
law enforcement, and educators," said Gregoire. "We're starting 
modestly but will continue to grow."  

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