More than 30 judges, prosecutors, and police officers from Uruguay, Peru, and Argentina gathered in Montevideo from August 14 to 18 to participate in a conference on cybercrime organized by the U.S. Department of Justice’s International Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property (ICHIP) program and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The conference, which took place at the Hotel Costanero in Montevideo, Uruguay allowed participants to learn techniques for online investigation, collection of digital evidence from a simulated crime scene, and presentation of evidence in court.
Online hackers and cybercriminals are constantly evolving their techniques, so it is important that law enforcement agencies around the world also make efforts to keep up to date. These training events allow participating countries to focus on these types of crimes through the exchange of best practices and techniques for investigating online crimes.
“Intellectual property crimes jeopardize the health and safety of our citizens and threaten the very foundations of our economies,” said U.S. Ambassador to Uruguay Heide B. Fulton during the opening ceremony of the conference in Montevideo. “Crimes such as digital piracy can cost local economies billions in lost revenue, lost income for citizens and workers, and unrealized taxes for host countries.”
The goal of this conference is also to ensure that evidence obtained in investigations can be used effectively and persuasively in court to achieve lasting convictions and deterrent sentences for criminal activity.
“Criminals can now act with extraordinary speed and stealth,” Fulton said. “The same technologies that enable the development of new products and ideas at unprecedented speed also enable criminals to steal data and content at unprecedented speed.”
The United States continues to establish and strengthen strategic alliances with its partners in the region to enhance local and global security, this time through working closely with security authorities in Uruguay, Peru, and Argentina to stop cybercrime and share best practices.
ICHIP attorney advisors have visited Uruguay four times since 2021, with the aim of cooperating with Uruguayan agencies working on cybercrime issues, as well as to participate in a public event held at the Uruguayan Parliament in May 2023. In each of these instances, U.S. officials have highlighted the importance of international cooperation and Uruguay’s first cybercrime bill currently under consideration by Uruguayan lawmakers.
With Uruguay on track to join the international coalition against cybercrime through ratification of the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime, these skills are important not only for police, but also for prosecutors and judges to know and understand in order to counter increasingly challenging online cybercriminal threats.
The International Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property (ICHIP) program is jointly administered by the Office of Prosecution Development, Assistance and Training (OPDAT) and the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS) of the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division, together with the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPRC) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the main investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Learn more about the ICHIP Program, here.