Trump signs cybercrime bill

Trump signs cybercrime bill
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President Trump on Thursday signed legislation to help state and local law enforcement better combat cybercrime. 

“I’d like to thank President Trump for his strong support of my bill to ensure our state and local law enforcement officials are properly equipped to address and prosecute crimes in the 21st century – because we’re now in an era where almost every case involves some sort of digital evidence,” said Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas), who introduced the bill earlier this year. 

“At the end of the day, gaining the upper hand against cyber criminals will make our nation safer, and I’m glad that this critical piece of legislation has been signed into law to do just that," he continued.

The bill authorizes into law the National Computer Forensics Institute. The institute is a federally funded training center located in Hoover, Ala., that educates state and local officials throughout the United States in probing digital evidence for electronic crime cases. 

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The institute is estimated to have trained more than 6,000 local law enforcement officials from across the country. The legislation codifies its training use into law for the first time..

A version of the legislation passed the House last Congress but stalled in the Senate. 

Ratcliffe, who chairs the House Homeland Security subcommittee focused on cybersecurity, has cheered the legislation as a way to “give our officers a leg up on the criminals who are increasingly using digital means in cyber space to evade justice.”

The bill, called the “Strengthening State and Local Cyber Crime Fighting Act of 2017,” cleared the House in a near-unanimous vote in May and was approved by the Senate in early October.

-Updated 5:33 p.m.