Champlain College helps the nation battle cybercrime

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Champlain College helps the nation battle cybercrime

Mon, 09/06/2004 - 8:00pm -- tim

Thirty-five prosecutors, law enforcement officials, forensic tool developers, and computer forensics practitioners from around the country convened on the Champlain College campus on September 1 and 2, 2004, as part of a US Department of Justice project. Champlain College is an important partner in the National Institute of Justices (NIJ) Electronic Crime Partnership Initiative (ECPI). The ECPI is promoting Champlain's Computer & Digital Forensics program as a model that can be replicated elsewhere in the country to help fight electronic crime and cyber terrorism.
US Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, Americas Cyber Senator, came to the Champlain College campus to meet the ECPI participants.
Realizing that the United States is facing increasing incidents of electronic crime and terrorism and a lack of trained professionals to investigate these crimes, one of ECPIs tasks is to foster educational programs in this field. The ECPI noted there are very few college-level programs in existence, and they are looking to Champlain's Computer & Digital Forensics program to be a model to replicate in the US.
I want to congratulate Champlain College for being proactive and ahead of the field in the development of a digital forensics curriculum, said John Morgan, assistant director of the National Institute of Justice, during opening remarks. This will be groundbreaking for the field.
I think digital forensics is the most pressing need in law enforcement, Morgan said. The intent is to take the bull by the horns and solve this problem. We must have a much stronger, proactive capacity in federal, state and local law enforcement to deal with this.
While in Burlington, ECPI working groups addressed a variety of topics -- from identity theft to child safety on the Internet to education and training. The Outreach and Education working group worked to further develop standards, technology, education, training and certification to increase the nation's ability to combat electronic crime. The task group learned more details about Champlains program outcomes from faculty members, and discussed ways to expand the reach of Champlains program.
Gary Kessler, director of Champlains Computer & Digital Forensics program, and Lt. Mike Schirling of the Burlington Police Department and the Vermont Internet Crimes Task Force are members of ECPI.
"We are fortunate to have strong digital forensics expertise in the Vermont law enforcement community and that the College has a good relationship with that community, Kessler said. The advice and support from local experts has been critical in the success of the definition and rollout of this program.
Champlain's program was instituted a year ago and it includes professional certificate, associate's and bachelor's degree options. It was the first bachelor's degree of its kind in New England. This fall Champlain is launching it online as an accelerated program, and it's the first online degree of its kind in the nation.
Today, computers often play a key role in the commission of crimes, as in financial fraud and identity theft, while at other times they serve as record-keepers of conversations and incriminating data. White-collar crooks, international terrorists and common criminals using computers to plan and execute crimes, and Champlain's program trains professionals to apprehend these criminals. Adult students and traditional aged students learn how to examine computers and pull relevant evidence from them, which can then be used in court.