President Barack Obama's campaign promise to provide grants and training to law enforcement to deter cyber crime showed up in one of the first documents posted on the new administration's White House Web site.
According to Obama's guiding principles on Homeland Security published on Jan. 22, 2009, part of the administration's larger effort to combat cyber crime would involve better training of state and local officials.
A few months later, Rep. Robert Scott of Virginia introduced a bill that would increase grants and training for state and local law enforcement officials to combat "cyber crime or computer crime, including Internet-based crime against children and child pornography."
That legislation was folded into a larger bill meant to boost the government"s ability to fight financial fraud, which was signed into law by the president on May 20, 2009.
On Oct. 1, 2009, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced plans to recruit and hire as many as 1,000 cyber security professionals over the next three years to help protect the nation"s cyber infrastructure, systems and networks.
"Effective cyber security requires all partners—individuals, communities, government entities and the private sector—to work together to protect our networks and strengthen our cyber resiliency," said Napolitano. "This new hiring authority will enable DHS to recruit the best cyber analysts, developers and engineers in the world to serve their country by leading the nation"s defenses against cyber threats."
And in December, Congress passed an appropriations bill that included $140 million -- the full amount of the White House request -- to fund the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative. According to a conference report on the appropriations bill, the total includes an additional 260 positions and $61 million to further the FBI"s investigatory, intelligence gathering and technological capabilities.
In addition, the fiscal year 2010 spending plan for the Office of Justice Programs includes $20 million for Economic, High-tech and Cybercrime Prevention. According to the conference report, the Office of Justice Programs must provide to the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations a plan for the use of the funds provided for economic, high tech, and cyber crime prevention grants.
As a result, we give Obama a Promise Kept on his pledge to create grant programs to fight cyber crime.