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Titles Actions Overview All Actions Cosponsors Committees Related Bills Subjects Latest Summary All Summaries

Titles (2)

Short Titles

Short Titles - House of Representatives

Short Title(s) as Introduced

Justice in Forensic Algorithms Act of 2019

Official Titles

Official Titles - House of Representatives

Official Title as Introduced

To prohibit the use of trade secrets privileges to prevent defense access to evidence in criminal proceedings, provide for the establishment of Computational Forensic Algorithm Standards, and for other purposes.


Actions Overview (1)

Date Actions Overview
09/17/2019Introduced in House

All Actions (4)

Date All Actions
10/02/2019Referred to the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet.
Action By: Committee on the Judiciary
09/17/2019Referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, and in addition to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.
Action By: House of Representatives
09/17/2019Referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, and in addition to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.
Action By: House of Representatives
09/17/2019Introduced in House
Action By: House of Representatives

Cosponsors (2)

* = Original cosponsor
CosponsorDate Cosponsored
Rep. Evans, Dwight [D-PA-3] 10/22/2019
Rep. Johnson, Henry C. "Hank," Jr. [D-GA-4] 12/12/2019

Committees (2)

Committees, subcommittees and links to reports associated with this bill are listed here, as well as the nature and date of committee activity and Congressional report number.

Committee / Subcommittee Date Activity Related Documents
House Judiciary09/17/2019 Referred to
House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet10/02/2019 Referred to
House Science, Space, and Technology09/17/2019 Referred to

No related bill information was received for H.R.4368.


Latest Summary (1)

There is one summary for H.R.4368. View summaries

Shown Here:
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.