U.S. seeks world's help to fight Internet crime
December 3, 1997
Web posted at: 3:58 p.m. EST (2058 GMT)
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Clinton administration is inviting
international law enforcement officials to a conference aimed
at combating high-tech and international crime, including
pornography on the Internet.
The Justice Department said the two-day meeting beginning
next Wednesday will be the first of its kind to gather
international authorities to assess ways countries can
cooperate to locate criminals who use the Internet and other
new technologies and to ensure that there are no safe havens
"The rapid and global growth of the Internet raises a host of
complex issues involving criminal law enforcement that expand
beyond national boundaries," Attorney General Janet Reno said
Wednesday, addressing a conference on making the Internet a
safer place for America's children.
The Justice Department said law enforcement officials from
the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Italy, Canada, France
and Russia will participate in next week's conference.
"When we meet, we will be talking about methods to locate and
identify computer criminals so we can bring them to justice,"
Reno said. "Again and again, the message that we have had
from law enforcement on the front lines of this effort is the
problem of ... trying to locate where that hacker is ... or
where that pornographer is."
Action on obscenity debated
The announcement comes one day after Vice President Al Gore
announced a commitment from the online industry to report
child pornography to law enforcement officials. The
agreement to help enforce existing laws against child
pornography involves industry groups covering 95 percent of
home Internet users.
At Wednesday's session of the conference, Reno defended her
department against critics who say it has not actively
prosecuted anti-obscenity laws.
Between 1992 and 1996, the Justice Department increased its
filings against child pornographers by 162 percent, she said.
Filings against people transporting minors with intent to
engage in criminal sex increased by 263 percent, she added.
While some members of Congress favor extending some
anti-child abuse laws to companies providing Internet or
online access, others say they are concerned about
overregulating the Internet.
Making law enforcers more computer savvy
Reno also said the Justice Department is expanding its
computer training program to include joint training with
industry representatives and local law enforcement.
"Law enforcement needs to know all it can about developments
in Internet technology and in the online market industry,"
she said. "More in-depth training will foster cooperation and
ensure that all investigations of cybercrime aimed at
children are conducted using the most advanced techniques
Reno also asked for continued cooperation in trying to
enforce existing laws and to detect abuses against children
as well as other criminal activities online.
"Instead of getting frustrated and saying ;that's just law
enforcement, they don't understand our problems,' I
appreciate your picking up the phone and calling me or
writing me a letter and saying here's the problem" and here
are some potential solutions, she said.
Reuters contributed to this report.