More than 30 judges, prosecutors and police officers from Uruguay, Peru, and Argentina gathered in Montevideo August 14-18 to participate in a cybercrime conference organized by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of International Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property (ICHIP) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
The conference allowed participants to learn online investigation techniques, digital evidence collection from a mock crime scene, and presentation of evidence in court. Online hackers and cyber criminals are constantly evolving their techniques, so it is important that law enforcement 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. 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,” U.S. Ambassador to Uruguay Heide B. Fulton said during the opening ceremony of the conference.
The goal of this conference was 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. 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,” Fulton said.
The U.S. 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 authorities visited Uruguay four times since 2021, in order to cooperate 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 highlighted the importance of international cooperation and Uruguay’s first cybercrime bill currently under consideration by Uruguayan legislators.
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.