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    Wall Street Journal: So Many Local Crimes, So Few Cybercops to Help

    The Wall Street Journal has an interesting story about the high-tech crime-fighting capabilities of state and local law enforcement officials:

    As a member of the Los Angeles district attorney’s high-technology crimes unit, Mr. Feffer is part of a cadre of 21st century crime fighters who sift through digital evidence on computers, cellphones and other electronic devices. While the Internet has vastly expanded the reach of criminals, the digital fingerprints that these activities leave can be a powerful investigative tool — for those with the knowledge and equipment to use it. […]

    “Police chiefs and sheriffs have realized it is smart to have a cyber presence in their department,” but many “don’t have the budget to support” the specialized equipment and training needed, says Robert Hopper of the National White Collar Crime Center, a Glen Allen, Va., nonprofit that provides training to law enforcement.

    There are examples of local success in cyber crime fighting. Computer investigators at the Manhattan district attorney’s office helped win convictions of five individuals who stole victims’ personal information from online databases to commit identity theft, says Antonia Merzon, head of the office’s identity theft unit.

    Investigators from the Alabama’s state computer forensics laboratory recovered pictures from a computer memory card and digital camera of Pierre Falgout III showing him abusing young children, says Barry Matson, chief prosecutor of the state forensics labs. Ultimately, he pleaded guilty and last year a federal judge sentenced him to 960 years in prison.

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