National Computer Forensics Institute up for reauthorization

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The proposal would continue NCFI’s services through 2028 for any government employee who could help prevent or investigate cyber crimes.

Senators have proposed legislation to reauthorize and expand the reach of the National Computer Forensics Institute through 2028.

NCFI is a federally funded training center dedicated to educating state, local, tribal and territorial law enforcement officers, prosecutors and judges on cyber and electronic crimes and related threats. It opened in 2008 in Hoover, Alabama, as a partnership between the city, the state of Alabama, the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Secret Service and the Alabama District Attorneys Association. With NCFI training, graduates can conduct their own forensic examinations rather than sending files and devices off to federal labs.

The National Computer Forensics Institute Reauthorization Act of 2022, introduced by Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), reauthorizes the NCFI through 2028 and makes its services available to federal employees or agencies and any state, local, tribal, or territorial employee who might reasonably help with the investigation and prevention of cyber and electronic crime and related threats. 

Since 2008, NCFI has trained more than 18,000 law enforcement officers, prosecutors and judges from all 50 states, 68% of those in the last five years. Graduates represent over 2,500 agencies nationwide. 

“Since the National Computer Forensics Institute was first authorized in 2017, law enforcement around the country have benefitted from the training, techniques and skills that it offers. Our bipartisan bill would ensure NCFI can continue and expand its operations so American law enforcement has the best digital forensics training possible,” Feinstein said in a statement. 

The House passed a similar bill in July.