SAN JOSE , Calif., March 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a transcript of remarks prepared for delivery by Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey at the Tech Museum of Innovation:
Good morning. The technological advances that have occurred over the last few years, and the ways in which those changes have affected our lives, are incredible. It's a pleasure to be in a room with some of the people responsible for those changes, and I want to thank you for being here today.
But while we celebrate the positive contributions of technology, we can't forget that there's a dark side to almost every innovation. Every new technology we create can be abused -- whether it's a common identity thief looking for a new way to steal your bank account information, or an international terrorist looking to advance a murderous plot.
So this morning I want to talk to you for a few minutes about what the Department of Justice is doing in this area. But before I do that, I want to make one point very clear - the Department is committed to enforcing intellectual property rights. As proof of our commitment, I'm pleased to announce today that Mark Filip , the new Deputy Attorney General and number two official at the Department, will be chairman of the Department's Intellectual Property Task Force. This will give the task force even more prominence, and will ensure that IP related issues remain on our radar screen.
That is not to suggest that we've been standing idly by before now. Yesterday, for example, I met with entertainment industry leaders in Los Angeles , where I participated in a roundtable discussion focused on IP issues and enforcement strategies. Earlier this morning, I had a similar roundtable discussion with leaders from Silicon Valley.
While it may be stating the obvious, it's worth noting that patented inventions, copyrighted software code, and trademarks are precious commodities. And as intellectual property becomes ever more valuable, its theft poses an ever greater threat.
First, there's the obvious economic threat -- I suspect that you in this room are far too familiar with this part of the problem.
Second, counterfeiting and piracy generate huge profits, much of it flowing to organized crime. Criminal syndicates, and in some cases even terrorist groups, view IP crime as a lucrative business, and see it as a low-risk way to fund other activities. A primary goal of our IP enforcement mission is to show these criminals that they're wrong.
And third, in many cases IP crime can also pose a serious threat to health and safety. Fake products of all kinds erode consumer confidence in the marketplace, but the counterfeiting of products like pharmaceuticals and medical devices, auto and airplane parts, or electronics that go into our nation's critical infrastructure, can present a real and direct danger to the public.
To put it simply, the continuing worldwide escalation of counterfeiting and piracy poses a threat to both our economy and public safety. Since that threat comes from so many different directions, our response has to proceed on several fronts. We need strong and coordinated law enforcement efforts, both at home and abroad; we need robust intellectual property laws; and we need adequate resources devoted to IP law enforcement.
The mission of the Department of Justice is clear: whether it's a complex international narcotics ring, a corrupt public official abusing his office, or some scam-artist selling counterfeit software, our job is to enforce the law and bring to justice those who perpetrate these crimes.
In order to do that, the Department has dedicated substantial resources to combating IP crime here in the United States , through our Intellectual Property Task Force, the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section of our Criminal Division, and approximately 230 federal prosecutors around the country in our Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property, or CHIP, network.