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Reno Targets Internet Crime

March 2, 1999

LIMA, Peru (AP) _ Attorney General Janet Reno proposed the creation of laws to fight Internet crime, protect intellectual property rights and extradite criminals Monday at a meeting of Latin American justice ministers.

Reno will be in Lima until Wednesday to attend the three-day conference, which aims to strengthen and modernize the region’s judicial systems, a U.S. Embassy spokesman said.

Reno told delegates that laws are needed to control international computer crime, since any person with a laptop can commit crimes in another country through the Internet.

Peru’s Minister Carlota Valenzuela said high-tech crimes include fraud, illegal withdrawals from banks, child pornography and the penetration of national security computers.

Reno also proposed the region’s police forces and governments establish mechanisms to cooperate and share information in the fight against high-tech crime.

On Friday in California, Reno announced plans to create a new high-tech crime center under the jurisdiction of the FBI to combat attacks over the Internet.

Reno’s meeting with the region’s justice ministers comes three days after the U.S. State Department released its world human rights reports, which harshly criticized some Latin American judicial systems, including Peru’s, as corrupt and lacking independence from the government.

The report angered officials in Peru, and in the conference’s inaugural address Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori assured delegates that his government was reforming its judicial system.

Reno is scheduled to head to Colombia on Wednesday for talks on the war against drugs.

Update hourly