It is my great pleasure to welcome you to Open Source Intelligence Tools: The convergence of investigating intellectual property crime, organized crime, human trafficking, and cybercrime, and a special welcome to those of you for who this is the first time taking part today, the 17th ICHIP and largest webinar we have done here in Romania since April 30th. Today we have again partnered with our good friends at INTERPOL to share the best practices in combatting the illegal activities of organized crime.
The last several months have been difficult for all of us. With the COVID-19 pandemic and with having to adapt to new criminal threats, your jobs have become even more challenging. But your dedication has never wavered and we thank you.
Today, with the invaluable help of an extremely talented team from Underwriter Laboratories, you will learn how to use intelligence derived from publicly available sources to investigate organized crime, intellectual property crime, human trafficking, public corruption, and cybercrime. Open source intelligence is often a starting point for every type of investigation you will do. The skills you learn today will help you investigate, catch, and ensure that more criminals will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
The United States is dedicated to supporting the Rule of Law. President Trump and our team within the U.S. Embassy are dedicated to being your partner and supporting you. Over the past several months, hundreds of you have joined us in these training webinars. Every week I hear of the great achievements you are making in combatting crime. I read about your investigations, your arrests, and your successful prosecutions. Your dedication to the job and learning new skills in our common fight against crime reinforces my hope that criminals will no longer be allowed to brazenly break the law without fear of punishment.
As prosecutors and law enforcement investigators you are on the front lines ensuring that justice always prevails. When we say that “the first duty of society is justice,” this is more than words etched into government buildings. It is the embodiment of our duty not only as law enforcement officials, but as citizens. Justice is an ideal that we must strive for everyday because the forces of crime and intolerance are strong, but they will not win. To my friends here in Romania, we reaffirm our common commitment to ensuring that justice and the Rule of Law will always prevail. Together we will defeat the forces of crime and corruption. Together we will ensure peace, safety, and justice.
There are many people who work tirelessly to advance the Rule of Law. The future of a free and democratic Romania is due to these peoples’ daily efforts. To Justice Minister Predoiu, Interior Minister Vela, General Prosecutor Scutea – thank you for your friendship, partnership and steadfast commitment to justice and the Rule of Law within Romania. The hurdles you faced as you came into your jobs were high, but your commitment is strong. You have been steadfast in making life better for the citizens of Romania and undoing the corruption and criminality of the prior years in Romania. You are great Romanians, and you make us all proud.
To Kirstine Pedersen and your team at INTERPOL, thank you for your partnership on these training webinars. Partnerships such as these are essential in defeating transnational crime. We look forward to our continued collaboration and friendship.
I also want to thank Bruce Swartz, the Deputy Assistant Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice, and Scott Kerin from the International Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property program, for their hard work, support and for putting together these webinars during the COVID-19 pandemic. The ICHIP program is a joint U.S. Department of Justice – Department of State program that is essential to defeating transnational crime. While much of the world shut down during the pandemic, DOJ and ICHIP took action – you kept moving forward. Bruce and Scott, thank you. You are great Americans. You make us all proud. Scott, as I said before, you are absolutely indefatigable in preparing and organizing these seminars. Truly amazing!
I am also honored and thankful to President Trump for giving me the opportunity to return to the country of my birth as the United States Ambassador.
Strengthening the Rule of Law within Romania is not an easy task – it is an essential task. The damage down by the prior government Romania has not been easy to undo. Romania is an amazing country and it is a strong country. President Trump and I are proud to stand alongside you as your partners in ensuring justice and strengthening the Rule of Law. Romania has no better friend than the United States.
As I stated previously, I believe in the greatness of democracy. I believe in the greatness of Romania. I believe a better future is possible. And to accomplish that, I ask all of you to be courageous and protect freedom and democracy. I ask you all to believe in yourselves, and I ask you all to perform great deeds.
We hope you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy during this pandemic.
May God bless you and keep you safe as you carry out your work, and may God bless the people of Romania and the United States. Thank you all.