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Attorneys from 16 Countries Attend Third NAGTRI International Program

Hedda Litwin, NAAG Cybercrime Counsel

Twenty-one government attorneys from 16 countries participated in the National Attorneys General Training and Research Institute’s (NAGTRI’s) third International Fellows Program on June 1-9. NAGTRI is the training and research arm of NAAG. The attorneys met at the NAAG headquarters in Washington D.C. to learn about and discuss strategies for combating cybercrime, which claims 1.5 million victims daily and costs $110 billion each year worldwide.

The program got underway with a welcome reception at the Maryland home of Chris Toth, NAGTRI director and NAAG deputy executive director. “This is an exciting opportunity for U.S. and international attorneys to learn from each other and develop international networks for their mutual benefit,” said Toth. “Law enforcement, like many other facets of society, increasingly has to work across borders, and this fellowship program is designed to make that process easier.”

After the Fellows enjoyed a tour of Washington, D.C. by bus, they spent a full day learning about NAAG and hearing from some of the leading experts on cybercrime issues. John Lynch, chief of the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section at the U.S. Department of Justice, was the first guest speaker. They also learned about the cybersecurity and digital privacy issues from Sharon Bradford Franklin, senior counsel at the Constitution Project. Digital privacy was the focus of the 2012-13 NAAG presidential initiative, led by Maryland Attorney General and then-NAAG President Doug Gansler.

These presentations provided the foundation for the Fellows to begin their group work on four different aspects of cybercrime, aimed at developing solutions that countries might implement to help combat these crimes. The individual groups met throughout the week and started to compile their recommendations on implementing cybersecurity, protecting children from Internet predators, ensuring the digital privacy of a country’s citizens and combatting crimes perpetrated via mobile devices.

On Tuesday, June 4, the Fellows had the opportunity to meet with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. They also had a full day of lectures, which included presentations by Tim Lott, director of the High Tech Crime Training Services Program at SEARCH; Mary Leary, associate professor of law at Columbus School of Law at Catholic University; Scott Longo, assistant attorney general in the Ohio Attorney General’s Office; Marsali Hancock, president of; and Christopher Kelly, director of the Computer Forensics Lab at the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office. That evening, the Fellows enjoyed a taste of American culture by attending a Washington Nationals baseball game.

Their last two days in the nation’s capital were busy ones. They toured the U.S. Supreme Court and met with Clerk of the Court William Suter. Due to the funeral of a Senate colleague, they were unable to meet with U.S. Senator (and former state attorney general) Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, but met instead with his staff. They also listened to additional topical presentations from Steve Loftin, Forensic Imaging Unit supervisor at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children; David Sohn, general counsel and director of the Project on Copyright and Technology at the Center for Democracy and Technology; Deanee Moran, program associate at the National Stalking Center of the National Center for Victims of Crime and Abigail Abraham, assistant general counsel at AOL.

After finalizing their papers on the group topics they had discussed during the week, the Fellows traveled to New York City. They first attended a solemn tour of Ground Zero, and then headed to New York University Law School, where they presented their papers to David Szuchman, chief of the Investigations Division, and his colleague Patty Johnson, of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. They also attended the hit Broadway musical “Pippin” and participated in a graduation ceremony and closing dinner.

Reviews of the program were overwhelmingly positive. As one participant stated, “We so rarely have the opportunity to learn from our counterparts overseas who are tackling similar challenges. The International Fellows Program gave us a truly unique opportunity to not only learn from the experience of prosecutors in other countries, but also to forge new bonds that will strengthen the international law enforcement network.”

Fellows participating in the program were Louise Manukian from Armenia, Glenn Kolomeitz from Australia, Ermin Imamovic from Bosnia, Didi-Nuraza Latiff from Brunei, Snejana Maleeva from Bulgaria, Michael Segu from Canada, Christal Chan from China, Haim Wismonsky from Israel, Sergio Castro Guevara from Mexico, Maartje Nieuwenhuis from the Netherlands, George-Maria Tyendezwa from Nigeria, Patricia Agostinho from Portugal, Jayantha Jayasuriya from Sri Lanka, Hou-hsein Chung from Taiwan, Gary Balch from the United Kingdom, Robert Shapiro from Colorado, Andrew Kobe from Indiana, Stephen Ruckman from Maryland, Tom Ralph from Massachusetts, Olga Vysotskaya from North Carolina and James Lee from Rhode Island.

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