District Attorney Vance Hosts 6th Annual Financial Crimes and Cybersecurity Symposium at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York


November 18, 2015

Manhattan DA’s Office Releases White Paper on Smartphone Encryption

Read the District Attorney’s Remarks as Prepared

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today hosted the 6th Annual Financial Crimes and Cybersecurity Symposium at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, convening experts in law enforcement, finance, regulation, and technology to share insights, best practices, and experience from diverse areas of government and industry. District Attorney Vance was joined at the event by keynote speaker James B. Comey, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Adrian Leppard, Commissioner of the City of London Police; John E. Smith, Acting Director of the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control; New York City Police Commissioner William J. Bratton; Alice Cherif, Chief of the Cyber Section of the Paris Prosecutor’s Office; and William F. Pelgrin, Chief Strategic Adviser of the Global Cyber Alliance.

“Much like a virus, threats to national and international security are rapidly and aggressively evolving,” said District Attorney Vance. “At virtually any moment, hostile actors may be launching an onslaught of unseen attacks on our financial systems, infrastructure, and information networks. Many of these attempts may fail, but without a strong system of defense in place, an eventual breach is inevitable, given the sheer volume of attacks. In an increasingly globalized environment, international collaboration is more important than ever, and only by working together will we be able to effectively address malicious cyber activity and immunize ourselves against future threats.”

City of London Police Commissioner Adrian Leppard said: “Now more than ever it is important that international law enforcement, governments and the private sector come together to share thoughts, plans and strategies for combating financial crime and creating greater cyber security in our respective societies. We live in an inter-connected world where a problem or a threat in or against New York is likely to be mirrored in London and cities and countries across Europe and around the World. The key to providing the most effective response to these rapidly evolving challenges and dangers is for those who seek to uphold and respect the law to work in close alliance, which is why this year’s symposium is such an important event.”    

The annual event is designed to provide cross-sector specialists and organizations with the opportunity to share expertise, strengthen existing relationships, and develop new partnerships to enhance cybersecurity. Last year, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office announced a partnership with the City of London Police as part of a transnational personnel and intelligence-sharing program, culminating in criminal charges involving multimillion-dollar schemes.

In addition, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office today released a white paper detailing the investigative challenges posed by smartphone encryption. Both District Attorney Vance and Director Comey have supported reasonable measures to ensure that law enforcement agencies are able to access data stored on encrypted smartphones when there is probable cause to search devices. Smartphone encryption, however, places potential evidence beyond the reach of a valid search warrant, significantly impeding the ability of law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute crimes. 

The full white paper can be found here.

Earlier this year, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office announced the formation of the Global Cyber Alliance (“GCA”), created in partnership with the City of London Police and the Center for Internet Security, and representing a multi-sector, global commitment to reducing cyber risk through data sharing and enhanced international collaboration. As a non-profit organization with headquarters in New York and London, GCA has no regional restrictions, financial motive, or goal apart from the prevention of cyber attacks. 

More than 50 individuals representing different organizations have joined or voiced their support for GCA since its formation, including New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio; New York City Police Commissioner William J. Bratton; former U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary and University of California President Janet Napolitano; DeepEnd Research Security Researcher Andre DiMino; Hathaway Global Strategies, LLC President Melissa Hathaway; CrowdStrike Services President and former FBI Executive Assistant Director Shawn Henry; Defense Security Information Exchange Executive Director Carlos Kizzee; City University of New York Chancellor James Milliken; Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center President and CEO Bill Nelson; SANS Institute Founder and Director of Research Alan Paller; Deloitte Center for Cyber Innovation Chairman Lt. Gen. Harry Raduege, Jr., (USAF, Ret.); Ridge-Schmidt Cyber, LLC Partner Howard Schmidt; and U.S. Bank Cybersecurity Partnership Executive Jenny Menna.