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The National Identity Crimes Law Enforcement (NICLE) Network, formerly known as the "Regional Identity Theft Network (RITNET)," became operational in July 2008. The project originated with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in coordination with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Middle Atlantic-Great Lakes Organized Crime Law Enforcement Network (MAGLOCLEN). In NICLE’s day-to-day operations, data concerning stolen or criminally used identity information are uploaded from collecting agencies to NICLE through the MAGLOCLEN computer network. Those data include national law enforcement-generated information, submitted by local, state, and federal agencies, and banking information through an industry clearinghouse, the Identity Theft Assistance Center. The data are available to local, state, and federal law enforcement over a secure Internet connection through the Regional Information Sharing System Network (RISS), which is available nationwide to member agencies.
NICLE provides a central repository of identity crime-related information, allowing agencies to learn immediately whether a particular piece of identification (driver’s license, credit card, address, social security number, etc.) has been reported stolen or used elsewhere in the course of a crime. It also names investigators associated with particular investigations, so that departments and agencies can coordinate across jurisdictional lines when working on crimes involving the same or connected identities or credit card numbers.
As of August 2009, NICLE “contained 6.5 million records and was used by approximately 190 police departments, 26 state agencies in 5 states, and 12 federal agencies.”