International Crime Control Strategy - June 1998

VIII. Responding to Emerging International Crime Threats

[T]he more open our borders are, the more freely people can travel, the more freely money can move and information and technology can be transferred, the more vulnerable we are to people who would seek to undermine the very fabric of civilized life, whether through terrorism, . . . weapons of mass destruction, organized crime, or drugs - and sometimes through all of the above.

President Bill Clinton
April 29, 1996

Our modern electronic infrastructure - computer systems that control everything from our power systems to our stock exchanges - is a potential target for attack by computer hackers and organized criminal enterprises. Such attacks pose a direct threat to our national security. With tools no more sophisticated than a computer and a modem, criminals around the globe also can steal millions of dollars from U.S. banks and launder the money without setting foot in the United States. These same technologies allow existing crime syndicates to create new, vast global networks for smuggling drugs and illegal firearms, and even weapons of mass destruction. As one example, the mafia in Italy has formed a strategic alliance with the Colombian drug cartels and Russian organized crime groups. Individuals can also use this new technology to exploit children by using personal computers to view and send child pornography and to lure minors into child prostitution.

A. Goal: Respond to Emerging International Crime Threats

The United States must be ready to meet the new challenges posed by emerging criminal threats. We must take a multifaceted approach to address new, complex crimes such as trafficking in human beings and the activities of crime group alliances. While there will be a key role in these efforts for traditional law enforcement authorities, the nature and complexity of these emerging problems commands a broad range of private sector involvement as well. We must direct proactive countermeasures wherever possible, preparing ourselves for criminal activities before they occur and lowering our vulnerabilities to attack.

B. Objectives

Disrupt new activities of international organized crime groups;

Enhance intelligence efforts against criminal enterprises to provide timely warning of changes in their organizations and methods.

Reduce trafficking in human beings and crimes against children;

Increase enforcement efforts against high tech and computer-related crime; and

Continue identifying and countering the vulnerabilities of critical infrastructures and new technologies in telecommunications, financial transactions and other high tech areas.

C. Programs and Initiatives

1. Disrupting New Activities of International Organized Crime Groups

One of the most ominous developments confronting law enforcement agencies around the world is the expansion into new geographic areas and illicit activities by sophisticated organized crime groups in Russia and the other Newly Independent States of the former Soviet Union (NIS), Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America and elsewhere.

Intelligence indicates many of these organized crime groups operate similarly to more traditional, mafia-style organized criminal enterprises. Members often share a common ethnicity and culture, and they frequently come from the same families or cities. Loyalty and secrecy are enforced through violence and intimidation. These tight-knit groups are not easily infiltrated through undercover operations. Accordingly, law enforcement agencies must rely on more sophisticated investigative techniques.

Although these organized crime groups sometimes share common organizational traits, their criminal activities are varied. As one example, Asian organized crime groups -- such as the Chinese Triads -- that have historically been involved in heroin trafficking have recently become involved in alien smuggling and financial crimes. Japanese Boryokudan are involved in methamphetamine trafficking and financial crimes. Vietnamese groups are increasingly involved in drug trafficking, armed robberies of computer chip manufacturers and distributors, brutal home invasions, counterfeiting of credit cards and negotiable instruments, and alien smuggling, in addition to more traditional, violent organized crime and racketeering activities. Asian-based West African trafficking groups have also established drug trafficking and contraband smuggling ties with West African communities in the United States. United States-based Asian organizations are also active internationally, especially in Thailand, Canada, Taiwan and China. Because of the international scope of Asian organized groups, the Administration is expanding cooperative efforts with Vietnam, the People's Republic of China, Taiwan and South Korea.

Nigerian groups are actively involved in heroin distribution to the United States and Europe, cocaine smuggling and trafficking worldwide, banking, insurance, health care, welfare entitlement and advance fee fraud, illegal immigration, immigration benefit fraud, counterfeit document fraud, and money laundering. A high-level interagency working group meets regularly to discuss intelligence sharing, cooperative missions and other means of fighting these Nigerian narcotics traffickers and criminals. Many cabinet departments and agencies are currently participating in a Nigerian criminal enterprises initiative. Participating officials have developed a unified plan of action to address this problem. The plan calls for creating domestic and international working groups, educating the public regarding the criminal activities of Nigerian criminal enterprises, coordinating the exchange of information among federal law enforcement agencies and the intelligence community, and initiating joint national and international investigations targeting Nigerian criminal enterprises.

Russian, other NIS, and Central and Eastern European crime syndicates have also demonstrated a particular interest in complex criminal activities, such as gasoline tax fraud, cyber security violations, bankruptcy fraud, insurance fraud, health care fraud, extortion and trafficking in women. Federal law enforcement authorities also have investigated U.S.-incorporated Russian front companies.

These companies have been linked to fraud against government agencies in Russia, Eastern Europe, and Eurasia. Their participation in fraudulent issuance of U.S. entry visas to Russian, Central and Eastern European, and Eurasian criminals posing as legitimate business persons is well documented. These criminal émigrés have been involved in a variety of crimes upon their arrival in the United States, ranging from simple theft to sophisticated fraud to murder.

Mexican criminal enterprises also represent an increasing threat to the United States because of the volume of drugs they transport, the violent crimes they perpetrate in furtherance of their trafficking, and the corruption of public officials they foster on both sides of our common border. It is estimated that they control the movement of 70 percent of the cocaine imported into the United States.

New and Powerful Alliances

It is particularly disturbing that, in addition to establishing or augmenting footholds in the United States, some criminal groups are increasingly working together. For example, in a joint venture, Colombian cartels use Mexico as a staging or transshipment area for cocaine bound for the United States. Mexican criminal enterprises then charge a fee to transport drug loads for the Colombians, often in multi-ton quantities, across the U.S-Mexico border. The Colombian cartels also have developed an alliance with Dominican criminal enterprises to assist in the transport of cocaine through the Eastern Caribbean to the United States -- principally through Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Russian and Italian crime organizations within the United States have entered into an arrangement whereby Russian groups import heroin into the country and then turn it over to existing Italian distribution channels. Colombian drug trafficking syndicates, in turn, use Russian groups to distribute cocaine in Russia where it can fetch prices that are ten times the going street rate in the United States.

Crime Group Vulnerabilities

International crime groups have many of the same vulnerabilities as international criminals in general. By denying safe haven to international criminals, striking at their assets and financial holdings, and preventing them from exploiting our borders, we can reduce their impact on American lives, communities, finances and security.

Concentrated action will be taken on several related fronts to respond to these disturbing developments, including cooperating with foreign partners in the investigation and prosecution of international crime groups and assisting our foreign partners in that endeavor by providing them with training and technical assistance in the recognition, investigation and prosecution of these groups.

Cooperative Investigation. American law enforcement officials have launched investigations of international criminals, often with the active participation of foreign counterparts. For example, U.S. law enforcement authorities teamed up with the Russian MVD in an investigation that led to the successful prosecution of Russian organized crime figure Vyacheslav Kirillovich Ivankov and five of his associates. Ivankov led an international criminal organization with operations in the United States, Europe and Canada. Russian MVD officers worked on this investigation side-by-side with U.S. law enforcement officers and were able to recognize and decipher codes used by the Ivankov organized crime group.

Federal agents have also established a working relationship with the Special Frauds Unit of Nigeria's Federal Investigation and Intelligence Bureau to combat Nigerian organized criminal activities that affect the United States. Nigerian police have used investigative leads provided by U.S. officials to execute a number of local search warrants resulting in the arrests of a number of Nigerian nationals.

The FBI, DEA and Customs Service are currently engaged in a coordinated and aggressive effort along the Southwest border to target key elements of Mexican criminal enterprises operating in Mexico and the United States. In January 1996, the leader of the Gulf Coast cartel, Juan Garcia Abrego, was arrested in Mexico and expelled to the United States. A jury in Texas found Abrego guilty of 22 counts of drug trafficking, and he is serving multiple life sentences. This effort also has led to the prosecution of several Gulf Coast cartel leaders, and the arrest and prosecution of the leaders of several other cartels operating along this border.

Training Our Foreign Partners. Foreign law enforcement officials who were students at our flagship overseas training facility, the Budapest-based International Law Enforcement Academy, have used techniques learned at ILEA to dismantle a drug laboratory in Poland, to pursue leads on Baltic organized crime families with U.S. ties, and to apprehend figures in Hungary and the Ukraine with ties to U.S. cells of overseas organized crime syndicates.

A new ILEA for Central and South America is now operational, and an Academy for East Asia is scheduled to become operational in 2000. These academies promote regional cooperation against crime and will strengthen law enforcement institutions in those regions. In the near future, federal law enforcement authorities are scheduled to hold conferences for federal, state and local investigators and prosecutors on ways to recognize and attack these organized crime groups.

2. Enhancing Intelligence Efforts to Provide Timely Warning of Changes in Criminal Organizations and Methods

Collecting, analyzing and disseminating intelligence is central to striking international crime at its source. Intelligence pays substantial dividends in identifying trends in international criminal activities and in tracking the structure, networks, methods of operations and vulnerabilities of international criminal organizations. Mechanisms are in place to ensure that intelligence efforts are directed towards meeting the highest priority needs of policymakers and federal law enforcement agencies. The intelligence community will enhance its efforts to provide detailed and timely information to U.S. law enforcement agencies to help them prevent international crime and dismantle criminal organizations.

To improve intelligence collection against drug trafficking organizations, the Administration established the White House Task Force on the Coordination of the Counter- drug Intelligence Agencies. The Task Force is coordinating a senior level interagency review of counterdrug intelligence missions, functions and resources. This assessment is analyzing the effectiveness of intelligence collection, analysis and dissemination among federal agencies. The objective is to improve the intelligence system to provide timely and complete information at all levels of the international drug control effort, including strategy development, operational planning, and tactical execution. By the end of the summer of 1998, the Task Force plans to develop specific recommendations to refine and enhance the intelligence infrastructure, identify resource needs, and upgrade coordination among agencies that collect, analyze and use intelligence products. It will also provide recommendations on ways to improve sharing of information among federal, state and local agencies.

3. Reducing Trafficking in Human Beings and Crimes Against Children

Attracted by enormous profits and minimal risks, criminal groups at all levels of sophistication are involved in trafficking of women and children as human cargo across international borders for sexual exploitation and forced labor.

The fall of communism, coupled with the advent of a global economy, has fueled the dramatic rise of this modern form of slavery where women are repeatedly sold and abused. Women from the NIS, Central and Eastern Europe and developing countries are easy prey because they are desperate to leave their countries for economic reasons. By posing as legitimate businesses such as modeling agencies, employment companies, international matchmaking organizations, or even cultural exchange organizations, criminal groups offer hope of jobs and marriages to desperate women. In reality, they are sham promises often leading to debt bondage, threats to the women's families, and outright violence.

Efforts to Combat Trafficking in Women and Girls

To combat trafficking in women and girls, aggressive preventive, enforcement and protective efforts will be undertaken as well as a broad-based, interdisciplinary dialogue on the best ways to lessen this deplorable activity. The President's Interagency Council on Women has established an interagency working group chaired by the Department of State's Senior Coordinator for International Women's Issues. Drawing on senior officials from federal agencies, the working group uses an interdisciplinary and coordinated approach involving participants from law enforcement, migration, health, labor and grassroots organizations. The working group is reviewing and implementing measures to combat trafficking in women and girls in the areas of prevention, enforcement and protection.

The President has recently issued an executive memorandum directing relevant agencies to undertake various activities to combat trafficking of women and girls. The memorandum directs: (1) the President's Interagency Council on Women to coordinate the U.S. government response on trafficking in women and girls, in consultation with nongovernmental groups, and to convene a gathering of government and nongovernmental representatives from source, transit and destination countries and from international organizations to call attention to the issue and develop strategies for combating this fundamental human rights violation; (2) the Attorney General to examine the current treatment of victims of trafficking, including their safety upon return, their ability to cooperate as witnesses against traffickers, and the possibility of granting them temporary or permanent legal status, as well as to review existing U.S. criminal laws to determine if they are adequate to prevent and deter trafficking in women and girls, and make appropriate recommendations for changes in these laws or for further additional resources to meet the needs of law enforcement in this area; and (3) the Secretary of State to use the U.S. diplomatic presence around the world to work with source, transit and destination countries to develop strategies for protecting and assisting victims of trafficking, to expand and enhance anti-fraud training, to work jointly with the government of Ukraine to coordinate an intergovernmental response to combat trafficking in women and girls from that country (for possible use as a model for other countries), to expand and strengthen assistance to the international community in developing and enacting legislation to combat trafficking in women and girls, and to increase public awareness campaigns aimed at warning victims of methods used by traffickers.

Prevention measures include research, public awareness, overseas deterrence, and law enforcement and immigration training and technical assistance. Enforcement measures include enacting and enforcing laws and regulations against trafficking, reviewing existing legislation and developing new legislation, instituting stronger penalties for trafficking (including financial asset forfeiture) and training U.S. criminal justice officials. Protection measures consist of reviewing and fine tuning current visa rules to address better the needs of victim witnesses as well as offering housing, economic alternatives and legal and medical counseling to victims. The United States is also working cooperatively with the European Union to conduct information campaigns to combat trafficking of women in Poland and Ukraine.

Crimes Against Children

One of the most troubling aspects of the increasingly global nature of criminal activity is the dramatic rise in international crime against children. International child pornography rings are operating in dozens of countries, often through the Internet and other global distribution networks. New technology allows these pornographers to store vast quantities of digital images on small and portable devices which makes it more difficult to detect their movement across international borders.

Law enforcement agencies are also reporting an increase in international sex tourism in which travel companies arrange for adults to travel to foreign countries to have sex with children. Generally, the adults travel from the United States or Europe to poor, developing countries in Asia and South America. The children -- some not even teenagers -- have been sold by their families or kidnapped and forced into virtual bondage. Sex tourism is an estimated $1 billion per year business worldwide.

Federal law enforcement agencies have responded aggressively to this growing problem of international child exploitation. Tough new federal laws have been enacted against child pornography.

Customs has dedicated a unit to combating international child pornography, including on the Internet, since 1985. The FBI also has launched an online undercover initiative - Operation Innocent Images - that targets both domestic and international child pornography hustlers on the Internet. Since its inception in 1995, Operation Innocent Images has resulted in 186 convictions. Law enforcement forensic specialists utilize high tech identification systems to track down pedophiles who transmit correspondence or pornographic literature across our borders. Secret Service forensics teams have also worked with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to develop a computerized image enhancement system to improve the quality of pictures of missing children for use in identifying and recovering them.

Federal law enforcement officials have trained their colleagues from the Departments of State and Defense, as well as foreign law enforcement authorities, in the investigation and prosecution of child pornography and exploitation cases. These efforts are designed to achieve an interagency and global exchange of information, allowing for swift communication and response when evidence of international child pornography is uncovered.

Child Labor Exploitation

Children are also exploited in factories around the world for their cheap labor. Federal law enforcement agencies have initiated a program in conjunction with the U.S. Trade Representative, domestic industry, and special interest groups, to combat the importation of goods and merchandise produced by forced child labor. This aggressive enforcement program is designed to prevent the importation of merchandise produced by exploited children and to prosecute individuals who knowingly import the prohibited items.

4. Increasing Enforcement Efforts Against High Tech and Computer-Related Crime

Telecommunications Advances and Related Crimes

Telecommunications crimes, such as the "cloning" of cellular telephones, have become a vehicle criminals use to acquire free, anonymous telephone service. In some cases, criminals have learned how to commit these crimes from Internet and electronic bulletin board communications. Advances in wireless telephone and international roaming services are providing new opportunities for criminals to commit telecommunications crimes and to use telecommunications services to further other illicit schemes. The Administration has launched new initiatives to combat high tech and computer crime.

CCIPS. In 1996, the Department of Justice created a new Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS). This unit is staffed by nearly two dozen attorneys who combine street smart law enforcement experience with sophisticated technical expertise. The section is also active in training state and local agents and prosecutors as well as law enforcement officials from other nations.

The CCIPS organized and currently chairs the Infotech Training Working Group (ITWG). The ITWG's mission is to develop, identify and coordinate training on computer, network and other high tech crimes at the federal, state and local levels. To accomplish its mission, the ITWG will continually assess training needs for federal, state and local law enforcement across a broad range of high tech issues. The group will plan a comprehensive training program that includes diverse courses for meeting these many different training needs.

Technology permits us wonderful new opportunities, but it can also be misused just as creatively to threaten public safety and national security. The public is beginning to understand that information technology, like other human creations, is not an unqualified good. Whether it benefits us or injures us depends almost entirely on the fingers on the keyboard. So while the Information Age holds great promise, it falls, in part, upon law enforcement to ensure that users of networks do not become victims of New Age crime.

Janet Reno
Attorney General
June 14, 1996

NIPC. Recognizing the need to bolster the nation's ability to protect critical national infrastructures, the National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC) was formed at FBI headquarters in February 1998. The NIPC will focus the federal government's efforts to detect, deter, prevent, assess, warn of, investigate, and respond to attacks on the nation's critical infrastructures. The NIPC will create a comprehensive process of interagency and private sector information sharing and analysis that will ensure that information flows rapidly to the appropriate authorities and decision makers. The NIPC will also provide policy- makers, investigators, and consumers with real-time information, threat indications and assessments, and training coordination in the areas of cyber investigations and infrastructure protection.

The NIPC will establish the necessary roles and partnerships with the private sector and all relevant government agencies -- federal, state and local. It will also provide a critically needed operations center to help manage crisis and provide coordination as appropriate.

USAO-CTC. Each of the 93 U.S. Attorney's Offices has a designated Computer and Telecommunications Coordinator (CTC) who serves as the expert in that district on high tech crime and is given specialized training in both computer crime and intellectual property protection. The CTC also acts as a liaison between the individual U.S. Attorney's Office and other federal, state and local investigative agencies, the private sector, and headquarters at the Justice Department.

IRS-CI. The IRS-CI has led a Treasury computer training initiative through which special agents are trained and equipped to serve as computer investigative specialists. The FBI, Secret Service and Customs have established programs to coordinate the investigation of computer-related crimes, including those related to terrorism, intelligence intrusions, and attempts to compromise telecommunications systems. These agencies work with local officials to identify critical infrastructure vulnerabilities and to plan for foreseeable contingencies. Through these programs, law enforcement will be better positioned to prevent and counteract threats to computers, information technologies and components of critical national infrastructures.

The Administration will promote strong information sharing among federal, state and local law enforcement authorities on emerging international crime issues. Local authorities may be first to receive information on acts of emerging crime, and it is vital that they learn how to recognize those acts as symptoms of emerging international crime problems.

International Efforts

Under the 1997 U.S. presidency of the G-8, a Subgroup on High Tech Crime was formed and since then has met regularly. The work of these experts is focused on developing the tools that law enforcement authorities need to locate and identify computer criminals and to collect evidence of their crimes so that they may be brought to justice. Countries are also reviewing their laws to ensure that abuses of telecommunications technologies are adequately penalized.

These efforts culminated in the first ever meeting of justice and interior ministers of the G-8 in December 1997 which highlighted efforts to promote new international cooperation on high tech crime. The ministers agreed to a ten-point action plan that included commitments to:

Ensure that a sufficient number of trained and equipped law enforcement personnel are allocated to the task of fighting high tech crime;

Establish an international network of high tech points of contact available 24 hours a day to respond to requests for assistance in high tech crime investigations; and

Develop faster ways to trace attacks through computer networks, so that the source of a hacker attack can be quickly determined.

In the Council of Europe, the Committee of Experts on Crime in Cyberspace at which the United States is an observer, began its third project in criminal law and information technology in April 1997, after having issued recommendations in 1990 and 1995 on substantive computer-related crime and criminal procedural law. The aim of this third effort is to draft a binding instrument with emphasis on international issues. The new effort, for which terms of reference expire on December 31, 1999, will cover a range of issues involving crime in cyberspace. These issues are expected to include cross-border search and seizure methods, as well as international tracing mechanisms. The United States, although an observer country, takes an active role in the committee's deliberations.

New Legislation

New legislative tools are also needed to combat high tech computer crime and financial crimes. The proposed ICCA would provide authority to use electronic surveillance -- now restricted to offenses such as drug trafficking and white collar crime -- in the investigation of all serious computer crime offenses. In addition, the Administration supports proposed legislation that would make it clear that federal criminal laws apply to automatic teller machine (ATM) and access device fraud against U.S. financial institutions, even if the offenses occurred outside the United States.

Addressing the Problem of Encryption

The widespread use of encryption by criminals poses a serious risk to public safety. Encryption may be used by drug lords, terrorists and violent gangs to communicate about their criminal intentions with impunity and to maintain electronically stored evidence of their crimes in a form that frustrates search warrants and wiretap orders.

It must be a priority for industry to develop robust encryption products that protect the confidentiality of the communications and stored data of citizens and businesses needed for legitimate electronic commerce and businesses. However, law enforcement's ability to gain access to evidence as part of legally authorized search or surveillance must be preserved. One method to achieve this balance is through the use of data recovery products or services, including so-called key-recovery products. Such products allow for law enforcement agents, pursuant to lawful process, to access "plain text."

Considerable progress in combating encryption by criminals has been made by relying on industry-led, market-based solutions, particularly in the area of key recovery for stored data products. The Administration is building on that progress by engaging industry and foreign governments to develop other cooperative, innovative solutions that assist in preserving these important tools for law enforcement.

5. Continue Identifying and Countering the Vulnerabilities of Critical Infrastructures and New Technologies

It is difficult to predict precisely where the next criminal application of high technology will emerge. However, it is important to study advances in the fields of telecommunications, financial transactions, the Internet, and other high tech areas to determine where they are vulnerable to attack and compromise.

President's Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection

The President's Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection was created to study vulnerability concerns related to critical infrastructure -- telecommunications, electric power, oil and gas, transportation, banking and finance systems, water, emergency services, and government services for example. All these systems are dependent on the underlying computer and communications infrastructure; therefore, the Commission has devoted significant attention to cyberthreats. In October 1997, the Commission issued recommendations that called for government, private sector and joint research and information sharing efforts to insure the uninterrupted operation of U.S. critical infrastructures.

In partnership with other government agencies and private sector enterprises, the FBI has created the National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC) which will coordinate efforts to detect, prevent and respond to attacks on the nation's information systems and the critical infrastructures that rely on them. The NIPC will ensure that information and analysis on this vital topic is shared by all appropriate decision makers in government and the private sector.

Further Efforts to Research Emerging Problems

Recent high tech advances include new media for conducting financial transactions electronically, such as the Integrated Circuit (or smart) Card. Electronic commerce today is an estimated $400 million a year industry, but by the year 2000 it could increase to as much as $3 trillion annually. Smart card technology will enable multiple currency values to be maintained on a card and transferred to another card or around the world via computer or telephone. This technology is fast becoming standardized for financial and telecommunications services. Shifting from paper to electronic money will present new international challenges for law enforcement, most notably in money laundering and fraud-related crime, as ever larger sums are stored on these small, portable cards. Further research efforts focused on emerging technology's vulnerability to international crime will be undertaken.

Public-Private Partnerships

For nearly two decades, under the auspices of the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee and its subsidiary Network Security Information Exchanges, law enforcement and national security officials have been discussing with their counterparts in the telecommunications industry emergency preparedness, system vulnerabilities, and related matters.

In addition, several years ago, the predecessor of CCIPS set up an Industry Information Group to discuss technical capabilities for pursuing criminal investigations, assistance by law enforcement to industry, and similar matters. The membership of this group, traditionally confined to hardware, software, and telecommunications companies, has been expanded in recent months to include Internet service providers.

New public-private partnerships aimed at preventing computer crime and protecting critical infrastructure also are essential. One promising initiative is InfraGard, a group of computer professionals brought together by the FBI's field office in Cleveland. The group, formed in response to a 1996 presidential directive to protect the nation's computer infrastructure, shares information about computer security problems and solutions. Significantly, member companies agree to report hacking and other computer crime incidents to law enforcement authorities -- something many firms are reluctant to do because it indicates that the firms have been vulnerable to these crimes. Law enforcement and the private sector have co-hosted a number of high tech crime conferences. In addition, a computer crimes conference held in New York in March 1997 was attended by a cross section of international law enforcement and justice representatives.

FinCEN, along with other federal law enforcement agencies, has established relationships with smart card associations and industry leaders and is participating in developmental, security and standards groups. The Secret Service has expanded its Electronic Crimes Laboratory to accommodate smart card analysis and has initiated training for investigators and prosecutors in new technology developments. Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories are studying emerging technologies for vulnerability and are working with law enforcement authorities to protect against exploitation of such technology for illegitimate purposes. The High Technology Crime Investigation Association, a law enforcement and industry collaboration, promotes voluntary information exchanges about advanced technology investigations and security.

Efforts will continue to bring together public sector, private sector and research institution experts to identify and plan responses to potential and actual hostile uses of these and other new technologies.

Project Orphan: U.S. and Canadian Law Enforcement Break Up International Prostitution Ring

In September 1997, INS and the Canadian Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit arrested 50 people on over 750 charges relating to prostitution and immigration fraud in Toronto and San Jose, California. These arrests were the result of an 11-month investigation known as "Project Orphan" which began with information obtained from an INS informant about an international prostitution network operating in Toronto, Vancouver, Los Angeles and San Jose. Women from Thailand and Malaysia between the ages of 16 and 30 had been recruited by syndicates in South East Asia and trafficked to North America through Vancouver. Brothel owners had paid these syndicates between $7,500 and $15,000 for each woman. The women then had to pay off their $40,000 debt (to cover transport and the owner's payment) by working as prostitutes and were routinely transferred among brothels in California and Canada.

Project Special Delivery: Stopping International Child Pornography

A two-year investigation by the Postal Inspection Service begun in 1994 led to the shut down of the largest known distributor of child pornography in U.S. history. The investigation, known as Project Special Delivery, centered on Overseas Male, a company operating from Mexico and San Diego that distributed videos depicting children as young as seven years old engaged in various explicit sexual acts. One principal of the company was arrested by Customs during a routine border check in June 1994, and the other was found dead in Mexico. After the company was shut down, federal agents began investigating the buyers of the videos and have since made numerous arrests and secured several convictions.

Computer Hacking at Harvard

Law enforcement officials used the first ever court-ordered wiretap on a computer network to catch Julio Cesar Ardita, a native of Argentina, who broke into Harvard University computers and stole a series of accounts and passwords. Using those stolen accounts, Ardita then gained unauthorized access to computers at various U.S. military sites across the country. Cooperation between U.S. and Argentine law enforcement authorities led to the seizure of Ardita's computer files and equipment in Buenos Aires and to the filing of criminal charges against him in the United States. Ardita has now entered into a plea agreement.

Electronic Extortion on the Internet

American and German law enforcement authorities teamed up to locate and arrest conspirators in a plot to extort a South Florida Internet service provider. Hackers broke into and shut down eight of the ten servers the provider used to service approximately 10,000 customers in South Florida. They demanded $30,000 be delivered to a mail drop in Germany in exchange for information related to the providers' customers and security systems. U.S. and German authorities worked together to set up surveillance at the mail drop. After the money was picked up, one individual was arrested, and two other accomplices were later identified.

International Cybercrime: Instant Online Theft Across the Globe

Cooperation among private sector executives, U.S. federal agents, and numerous foreign law enforcement officials enabled the United States to charge and bring to New York in September 1997 the perpetrator of the first documented case of online bank theft. Vladimir Levin pilfered $5 million from Citibank accounts worldwide, and placed them into his accomplices' accounts in the United States, Israel, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland. Levin worked from a small business in St. Petersburg, Russia, and he accomplished his crimes with a home computer and modem. Russian Ministry of the Interior (MVD) officers and FBI worked closely to investigate the case, and Russian police officers traveled to New York in August 1996 to obtain evidence related to the case. Levin was extradited to the United States in 1997, pled guilty in January 1998 to conspiracy to commit bank fraud, and was sentenced in February 1998 to 36 months' imprisonment.

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