Cybercrime expertise listed online

State and local law enforcement agencies are going to the Internet in order to fight computer-related crime more effectively.

The National Association of Attorneys General (www.naag.org) is pulling together a list of people responsible for investigating and prosecuting cybercrime in their particular jurisdictions, and who can provide assistance to law officers seeking electronic evidence stored outside their states.

NAAG representatives said that as the use of the Internet by criminals increases — covering abuses such as child solicitation, drug trafficking, fraud and security intrusions — requests are increasing dramatically for stored electronic evidence from Internet service providers.

The organization's list stems from remarks made early last year by then-Attorney General Janet Reno about the idea of a "24/7 network" offering assistance in fighting computer crime, said Kim Herd, the project's director at NAAG.

"There are limited resources in any state as far as cybercrime is concerned," Herd said. "Also, cybercrime is very often cross-jurisdictional. The crime may have happened and the effects felt in one state, but much of the information needed [for an investigation] may have to come from another."

An organization may join the Computer Crime Point-of-Contact (CCPC) list if:

    * It is a law enforcement agency that investigates and prosecutes high-tech crime.

    * It is willing to provide the kind of help out-of-state organizations will need.

    * It has e-mail access and is willing to have general contact information posted in the NAAG list.

The list currently includes two contacts per state, and Herd said the plan is to include the names of local government contacts also, but she gave no timetable for when she expects that to happen.

Robinson is a freelance journalist based in Portland, Ore.

About the Author

Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.

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