SEARCH Helps Develop Second CD-ROM on Email and Internet Chat


The High-Technology Crime Prosecutor/Investigator Resource CD-ROM: Email and Internet Chat—is the second online tool SEARCH has helped develop in the past two years.

The practical material provided in this easy-to-use format includes important "how-tos" to assist high-tech prosecutions and investigations, such as legally obtaining electronic mail and Internet chat records, introducing computer-based evidence in court, and presenting email and chat record evidence to a jury.

"This resource CD-ROM is intended as a reference tool to assist federal, state and local prosecutors and investigators as they investigate and prepare to prosecute cases involving the misuse of electronic mail and online chat. Such crimes can include fraud and financial crimes, identity theft, child exploitation and pornography, stalking, harassment and terrorist threats, network intrusions and software piracy," noted SEARCH Training Director Todd Shipley.

The design, development and production of the CD was underwritten by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. DOJ, and the Sacramento Valley Hi-Tech Crimes Task Force, a unit of the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department. It was a collective effort of the Office of California Attorney General Bill Lockyer, the Task Force, the National Center for Justice and the Rule of Law of the University of Mississippi School of Law, and SEARCH.

The CD-ROM was submitted to the partner agencies for review, duplication and dissemination. And although the content was geared toward California and Washington State agencies, other states may find the materials useful.

The CD-ROM provides:
  • a detailed introduction that will answer the questions "what is electronic mail and how does it work?" and "what is Internet chat?", and a step-by-step methodology to trace emails and Internet chat records for investigative purposes
  • instructional material for use in court presentations and training
  • transcripts of testimony of expert forensic examiners involving their forensic analysis and collection of electronic evidence
  • legal documents, modifiable templates (search warrants, trap-and-trace orders, etc.), jury presentation guides, and other resource materials
  • State and Federal guidelines to obtaining electronic evidence in criminal investigations
  • an extensive list of legal and technical contacts available to field questions to assist prosecutors in case preparation.

This CD-ROM builds on materials in a previous version released in early 2003. SEARCH prepared that CD as well, which was developed using grant funds from the California Governor's Office of Criminal Justice Planning (OCJP) under a partnership of the Task Force, OCJP, the Office of California Attorney General Bill Lockyer and SEARCH.