The growth of technology has had an effect on every facet of our lives – including crime. Every crime, from theft, extortion, human trafficking, money laundering, consumer fraud, the creation and distribution of child pornography, the luring of children, and identity theft, can be perpetrated through technology. Tech crime can be defined in reference to the three ways in which computers and related technology can be involved in a crime:
- Target: A computer or computer network may be the target of a crime
- Tool: A computer or computer network may be used as a tool or instrumentality of a crime
- Container: A computer or computer network may contain evidence of a crime
Tech crime requires special training and expertise for law enforcement and prosecutors, the development of skilled computer forensic personnel, and a coordinated response at the local, state and federal levels that also involves stakeholders from the private sector.
In an effort to better protect the citizens of Nevada, the Legislature created the Technological Crime Advisory Board in 1999 with a broad statutory mandate under NRS Chapter 205A to develop a comprehensive coordinated response to tech crime. Responsibilities of the Board include:
- Facilitating cooperation among state, local and federal officers in the detection, investigation and prosecution of technological crimes.
- The establishment and oversight of two multi-agency task forces, one based in Reno and one based in Las Vegas.
- The coordination and provision of training and technical assistance to prevent and detect technological crimes.
- Assisting the Division of Enterprise Information Technology Services to secure government information systems against intrusion.
- Recommending changes to Nevada law to respond to technological change and law enforcement requirements.
With the clear trend towards crime that is facilitated through technology and that transcends jurisdictions, it has become increasingly evident that there is a significant nexus between the Prosecution Advisory Council and the Technological Crime Advisory Board. A single person now serves as Executive Director of both entities so that together they create a synergy and make the most effective use of their respective resources in a comprehensive coordinated response to tech crime.