Press Releases

Ratcliffe cybercrime fighting bill passes House

Provides critical training and resources to state and local law enforcement

Washington, DC, May 16, 2017

Rep. John Ratcliffe’s (R-Texas) Strengthening State and Local Cyber Crime Fighting Act of 2017 (H.R. 1616) passed the U.S. House of Representatives today. The bill provides state and local law enforcement with the tools and training they need to combat cybercrime and protect our communities.

“I’m grateful my bill passed the House to help equip our police, prosecutors and judges to address cybercrime at the state and local level. The strong support it’s already received in the Senate makes me optimistic that we’ll get it all the way to the president’s desk for his signature,” Ratcliffe said.

“The dedicated men and women in law enforcement deserve to have every tool possible at their disposal to combat rapidly evolving threats in cyberspace. Whether it’s an email that was sent, an online purchase that was made or geolocation information that places an individual at the scene of the crime – digital evidence now plays a role in virtually every crime law enforcement officers face today.”

H.R. 1616 authorizes the National Computer Forensics Institute (NCFI) in Hoover, Ala., which is widely recognized as the premier cybercrime training center in the nation.

The NCFI has trained more than 6,250 local officials from all 50 states and three U.S. territories. Its graduates represent more than 2,000 agencies nationwide, including multiple agencies in Texas’ Fourth District.

Last month, Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley and Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein introduced companion legislation that was cosponsored by senators Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Luther Strange (R-Ala.).

“New technology has helped us to be better connected, more organized and even more expressive. But it can also prove helpful in solving crimes. Just as law enforcement has long used techniques, like fingerprinting, to identify clues to crack a case, digital forensics is becoming more critical to uncovering evidence that can help solve crimes and bring perpetrators to justice,” Grassley said. 

“By authorizing this training center, this legislation helps to equip law enforcement from agencies across the country, including in Iowa, with the tools and training to dust for ‘digital fingerprints’ and utilize computer forensics to gather evidence and solve cases.”

Ratcliffe is chairman of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Protection, and he served as a federal prosecutor under the Bush administration.