Reporting Computer, Internet-Related, or Intellectual Property Crime
Internet-related crime, like any other crime, should be reported to appropriate law enforcement investigative authorities at the local, state, federal, or international levels, depending on the scope of the crime. Citizens who are aware of federal crimes should report them to local offices of federal law enforcement.
Reporting Computer Hacking, Fraud and Other Internet-Related Crime
The primary federal law enforcement agencies that investigate domestic crime on the Internet include: the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the United States Secret Service, the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) , the United States Postal Inspection Service, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) . Each of these agencies has offices conveniently located in every state to which crimes may be reported. Contact information regarding these local offices may be found in local telephone directories. In general, federal crime may be reported to the local office of an appropriate law enforcement agency by a telephone call and by requesting the "Duty Complaint Agent."
Each law enforcement agency also has a headquarters (HQ) in Washington, D.C., which has agents who specialize in particular areas. For example, the FBI and the U.S. Secret Service both have headquarters-based specialists in computer intrusion (i.e., computer hacker) cases.
To determine some of the federal investigative law enforcement agencies that may be appropriate for reporting certain kinds of crime, please refer to the following table:
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|Computer intrusion (i.e. hacking)|
|Counterfeiting of currency|
|Child Pornography or Exploitation|
|Child Exploitation and Internet Fraud matters that have a mail nexus|
|Internet fraud and SPAM|
|Internet bomb threats|
|Trafficking in explosive or incendiary devices or firearms over the Internet|
Other Cybercrime Reporting Resources
The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3)
The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C). IC3's mission is to serve as a vehicle to receive, develop, and refer criminal complaints regarding the rapidly expanding arena of cyber crime. The IC3 gives the victims of cyber crime a convenient and easy-to-use reporting mechanism that alerts authorities of suspected criminal or civil violations. For law enforcement and regulatory agencies at the federal, state, and local level, IC3 provides a central referral mechanism for complaints involving Internet related crimes.
- Department of Homeland Security's National Infrastructure Coordinating Center: (202) 282-9201 (report incidents relating to national security and infrastructure issues)
- U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (U.S. CERT) (online reporting for technicians)
- National Association of Attorney General's Computer Crime Point of Contact List (all state-related cyber questions)
Reporting Intellectual Property Crime
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|Copyright piracy (e.g., software, movie, sound recordings)|
|Theft of trade secrets|
"Reporting Intellectual Property Crime: A Guide for Victims of Counterfeiting, Copyright Infringement, and Theft of Trade Secrets" (PDF)
This guide is contained in Appendix C of the Report of the Department of Justice's Intellectual Property Task Force (October 2004) (PDF). The guide also contains the following checklists for reporting intellectual property crime to law enforcement:
Other Government Initiatives to Combat Cybercrime
The stopfakes.gov website provides information to consumers and businesses on intellectual property, including information on how to report trade in fake goods.
The IPR Coordination Center's responsibilities include:
- Coordinating U.S. government domestic and international law enforcement activities involving IPR issues.
- Serving as a collection point for intelligence provided by private industry, as well as a channel for law enforcement to obtain cooperation from private industry (in specific law enforcement situations).
- Integrating domestic and international law enforcement intelligence with private industry information relating to IPR crime, and disseminating IPR intelligence for appropriate investigative and tactical use.
- Developing enhanced investigative, intelligence and interdiction capabilities.
- Serving as a point of contact regarding IPR law enforcement related issues.
Those with specific information regarding intellectual property crime can submit an IPR Coordination Center Complaint Referral Form.