FBI Steps Up Efforts to Fight Crimes Related to Computers
Seper, Jerry, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)
The FBI has opened its first multiagency, multijurisdictional office aimed at combating the escalation of computer-related crimes and has assigned it the task of acquiring, archiving and analyzing digital evidence in support of criminal investigations.
The new facility, located in San Diego, is designed as a prototype for new regional laboratories being established across the country.
"The role of the computer forensics examiner will become increasingly more important as criminals continue to exploit emerging computer technology," says FBI Director Louis J. Freeh.
"As we have found on the national level, joining forces with other federal, state and local agencies produces higher levels of service in the full range of cases where computers are either used to facilitate crime or the computer itself is the target of a criminal act," he says.
Attorney General Janet Reno has called for an aggressive effort to combat computer crimes, saying government and industry need to work together to determine what should be done both to increase security and to catch criminals.
Mr. Freeh has urged Congress to consider expanding the use of the federal racketeering law, known as RICO - traditionally used against organized-crime figures and drug cartels - to apply against computer criminals. He also has urged members of Congress to lower the $5,000 minimum in damages that victim companies must suffer before attackers can be prosecuted under federal computer crime laws.
The new San Diego office, known as the Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory, consists of computer forensic examiners from the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, Naval Criminal Investigative Service, U.S. Customs Service, San Diego County Sheriff's Office and District Attorney's Office, California Highway Patrol and police departments in Chula Vista, El Cajon, Escondido, La Mesa and San Diego. …