Funding for R&D, security sees boost after Sept. 11

Counterterrorism programs received a boost in funding when Congress reconciled the spending bill for the Commerce, Justice and State departments after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on Washington and New York.

Before Sept. 11, for example, getting funding for a counterfeiting study was a dubious proposition, but the recently approved spending bill offers $750,000 for the National Academy of Sciences to conduct a study on global intellectual-property counterfeiting and piracy. The purpose of the study is to develop effective, long-term strategies for addressing such threats to U.S. economic strength. The academy is scheduled to complete the study by Sept. 30, 2002.

The study will help the United States understand the impact counterfeiting has on industries such as software and pharmaceuticals, said David Peyton, director of technology policy at the National Association of Manufacturers. It is important for the United States to understand the implications because product counterfeiting has been linked to global organized crime and terrorist funding, Peyton added.

The bill also provided U.S. attorneys $10 million for cybercrime and intellectual-property enforcement, the amount the Senate recommended and an increase over the $6.9 million the House requested.

Of the $3.49 billion allocated for the FBI, meanwhile, $459.2 million will go toward counterterrorism investigations, foreign counterintelligence and other national security measures. That represents a dramatic increase over the $31.3 million considered for such purposes before Sept. 11.

Lawmakers also instructed the Office of Justice Programs to examine a proposal for a $4 million Cyber Science Laboratory. It would be used to purchase and develop new and advanced investigative, analysis and forensic tools for federal state and local law enforcement to make better use of technologies.

Peyton also hailed increased funding for the Advanced Technology Program. The Bush administration proposed a halt to funding for new grants under the program. Instead, the Senate prevailed, winning $184.5 million over the $12.9 million the House wanted to allocate. That "was a major win from our standpoint," Peyton said.

In addition, $3.1 million was provided for communications programs, for which 5 percent could be used for telecommunications research projects designed to develop a national information infrastructure.

The Patent and Trademark Office funding levels were increased to $1.13 billion due to the significant growth in filings for patents. The office took a $3 million hit from the figure previously mulled by Congress. The $3 million was redirected to physical security measures.

The bill also included $68.9 million in funding for the Commerce Department's Bureau of Export Administration and directs its Critical Infrastructure Assurance Office to write a report detailing the requirements of the office and submit it to the House and Senate appropriations committees by Feb. 14.