Summary: H.R.4368 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.4368. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (09/17/2019)

Justice in Forensic Algorithms Act of 2019

This bill establishes federal standards and procedures for the use of computational forensic software. (Computational forensic software refers to software that relies on an automated or semiautomated computational process to process, analyze, or interpret evidence.) It also prohibits the use of trade secret protections to prevent criminal defendants from accessing evidence.

First, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) must establish the Computational Forensic Algorithm Standards for the development and use of computational forensic software. These standards must, among other things, address requirements related to software testing and reporting to criminal defendants on the use and results of software in their cases.

Further, NIST must establish the Computational Forensic Algorithm Testing Program. The testing program must, among other things, test individual software programs using NIST standards. Federal law enforcement agencies and related crime laboratories must comply with these NIST standards and testing requirements in their use of computational forensic software.

In addition, criminal defendants must receive information resulting from analysis by computational forensic software, including access to the software for testing purposes.

Evidence resulting from computational forensic software is only admissible in a criminal case if (1) the software was submitted to the NIST testing program, and (2) the software developers and users waive their legal claims against the defense for the purposes of the defense analyzing or testing such software.

The bill also prohibits the use of trade secret protections when a criminal defendant would otherwise be entitled to obtain evidence.