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The U.S. Department of Justice Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property (CHIP) program is a network of experienced and specially-trained federal prosecutors who aggressively pursue computer crime and IP offenses. Each of the 93 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices has at least one CHIP coordinator. In addition, 25 U.S. Attorney’s Offices have CHIP Units, with between two and eight CHIP attorneys, making up a total network of over 230 specially trained prosecutors nationwide. Notably, in the past five years, the number of CHIP Units has nearly doubled, from 13 to 25.
In 2006, the Deputy Attorney General issued guidance to all U.S. Attorneys’ Offices setting forth the four program responsibilities of CHIP coordinators and CHIP Unit prosecutors:
- (1) Prosecuting computer crime and IP offenses;
- (2) Serving as the district’s legal counsel on matters relating to those offenses, and the collection of electronic or digital evidence;
- (3) Training prosecutors and law enforcement personnel in the region; and
- (4) Conducting public and industry outreach and awareness activities.
- ↑ The Criminal Division and the Executive Office for United States Attorneys (“EOUSA”) have worked closely with the FBI to ensure that the new IP-focused agents provided for in the PRO IP Act will be deployed in the districts with the CHIP Units handling the largest number of IP cases, and will continue to work with the FBI to ensure that those agents will be equipped to develop further the IP prosecution strategies that exist in those districts.