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BJA Funding Opportunities

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Justice Programs (OJP), Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) has recently released a number of funding opportunities for law enforcement and criminal justice agencies, ranging from preventing and reducing intellectual property theft and related crime, to assisting agencies, to supporting agencies in employing data-driven, cross-sector strategies to reduce crime, increase trust, and improve community safety. Funding opportunities include: The Smart Policing Initiative, The Body-Worn Camera Policy and Implementation Program, The Intellectual Property Enforcement Program, The Byrne Criminal Justice Innovations Program. A complete listing of BJA’s open solicitations can be found at https://www.bja.gov.  

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Critical Infrastructure Threat Information Sharing Framework: A Reference Guide for the Critical Infrastructure Community

How are threats to critical infrastructure shared in real-time? Who is responsible for sharing threat information? To address these questions and to build a basic framework, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Infrastructure Protection (IP) has released the Critical Infrastructure Threat Information Sharing Framework: A Reference Guide for the Critical Infrastructure Community, a resource for critical infrastructure owners and operators, as well as other private sector, federal, and state, local, tribal, and territorial government partners that share or need access to threat information.

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Report on Law Enforcement Use of UAS

The Police Foundation has released new recommendations for local law enforcement agencies considering the use of small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) for public safety purposes. Community Policing & Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Guidelines to Enhance Community Trust provides guidance on all aspects of UAS use in public safety, including operational, training, and legal and regulatory compliance considerations. 

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The One Thing You Need to Do Before Shopping Online: Lock Down Your Login

For millions of Americans, getting the best holiday shopping deals and discounts have become as much a part of Thanksgiving as turkey, football, or pumpkin pie.  Increasingly, that shopping takes place online, which provides a lot of conveniences but also raises the specter of scams, fraud, or identity theft. Just as consumers have migrated towards online shopping, credit card thieves have started shifting their efforts online as well. During the holidays, deeply discounted products look appealing and shoppers make quick purchasing decisions without always taking into consideration the online purchasing risks that can be present. Many Americans have had their online accounts hacked and personal information compromised because of stolen credentials or weak logins.

The White House recently launched the “Lock Down Your Login” campaign to encourage all Americans to protect themselves online with strong authentication. For more information on strong authentication and the new campaign, please visit www.LockDownYourLogin.com. You’ll find specific advice on how to turn on strong authentication on a variety of Web sites and services that Americans use each day.

In addition, DHS’ Stop.Think.Connect. Campaign has a number of tips and resources to help consumers protect themselves when shopping online.

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Video Evidence: A Primer for Prosecutors

Video Evidence: A Primer for Prosecutors was developed for the purpose of educating prosecutors on the numerous sources of video evidence, the benefits of its use in court, and challenges faced by prosecutors’ offices in the handling of video evidence. A sample process flow is included as step-by-step guidance on the procedures a prosecutor may follow when preparing and handling video evidence. This process flow corresponds to a typical case flow, from receipt of evidence through the trial. The primer also includes a glossary of terms and list of recommended resources for further reading.

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2016 Digital Cities: Winners Focus on Transparency, Security, Infrastructure

The 2016 Digital Cities Survey results are in. Dozens of cities were selected by a judging panel at the Center for Digital Government as the most strategic, efficient, and innovative guardians of public-sector tech in the nation. The top-ranked cities will receive an award at the National League of Cities’ annual conference in Pittsburgh.

The first-place winners in five population categories are: Los Angeles, California; Virginia Beach, Viirginia; Durham, North Carolina; Roanoke, Virginia; and Tamarac, Florida. Judges evaluated the survey submissions of each city by considering 10 key characteristics of a digital city: open, mobile, engaged, collaborative, secure, staffed/supported, connected, efficient, resilient, and innovative. And the six criteria by which the responses were evaluated are: city priorities supported by ICT; demonstrated return on investment; progress over the previous year; creative/innovative approaches; effective collaboration; and successful measures of transparency, privacy, and security.

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Attorney General Lynch’s Video Statement on Hate Crimes in America

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch released a video statement today on the FBI’s newly announced 2015 Hate Crime Statistics as well as on recent media reports of alleged hate crimes and harassment around the country. The statement reminds individuals to report these incidents to both local law enforcement and the Justice Department in order to ensure that career investigators and prosecutors are able to enforce hate crime statutes at the local, state, and federal levels.

For more information on the Justice Department's efforts to combat hate crimes, please visit the Civil Rights Division Web site.

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Public Safety Primer on Cloud Technology

The Public Safety Primer on Cloud Technology is a high-level primer for law enforcement and public safety communities regarding video and the cloud environment. With the quantity of video evidence now available, storage is a significant problem for record management systems and bandwidth capability. Obtaining video from a major event is often problematic for law enforcement and public safety agencies without the capability to request and store public video submissions. As such, agencies are turning to cloud environments as a solution for emergencies and major incidents to address video-related issues including storage, cataloging, conversion, and real-time analysis. Law enforcement and public safety agencies need to be educated on cloud technology for video and versed on associated considerations, particularly as more vendors enter this field. Responsively, the Public Safety Primer on Cloud Technology was developed as an easy-to-read frequently asked questions (FAQ) guide, answering common questions in a straightforward manner. It features information on the services that cloud environments can provide as well as guidance for agencies considering contracts with cloud vendors. In addition, this product includes a glossary of cloud terminology and a list of recommended resources for further reading. Perhaps, most importantly, this resource includes critical information on privacy, security, and data ownership.

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Justice Department Releases Intake and Charging Policy for Computer Crime Matters

As computers play an ever-greater role in our lives and cybercrime becomes both more commonplace and more devastating, the need for robust criminal enforcement of effective computer crime laws will only become more important.  As we said in public remarks last year, we urgently need targeted updates to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act that will help the department protect our privacy and security online.  A number of recent prosecutions have demonstrated our commitment and success in bringing significant prosecutions under these vital statutes.  Prosecutors in U.S. Attorneys’ Offices across the country, in conjunction with the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS) in Washington, have brought cases against hackers and carders like Roman Seleznev and Marcel Lazar and cyber stalkers and sextortionists like Ryan Vallee and Michael Ford, and have conducted challenging and cutting-edge cybercrime operations, such as the takedown of the Darkode hacking forum last year.

It is, of course, not enough to have effective laws; those laws must also be enforced responsibly and consistently.  It is also important that the public understand how the department applies the law in this context.  In order to further that goal, the Criminal Division, primarily through CCIPS, has been sharing its knowledge about cybercrime and the laws that impact cybersecurity for two decades.  We have convened public-private partnership eventspublished public manualstestified numerous times before Congress on threats such as ransomware, participated in and recently hosted[external link] symposia and released Best Practices for Victim Response and Reporting of Cyber Incidents.  Many of these materials, as well as press releases related to computer crime and intellectual property prosecutions, are available at cybercrime.gov.

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University of Maryland to Begin Using Gunshot Detection Technology on Campus

The University of Maryland recently began using the ShotSpotter gunshot detection system as a potential deterrent to active shooter situations on campus. The ShotSpotter system instantly detects gun shots and sends a map to dispatchers so they know where shots were fired. The university has already installed ten sensors around campus. ShotSpotter has previously been deployed in a number of major U.S. cities.

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