SEARCH Podcast Series for Law Enforcement Investigators Focuses on the Digital World

The SEARCH High-Tech Crime Training Services team has launched a new podcast series, featuring interviews with subject matter experts who share their practitioner knowledge and insight on specific investigative issues and challenges faced by law enforcement.

The first four podcasts are moderated by Ms. Elizabeth Tow, SEARCH High-Tech Crime Training Specialist. Each covers a general theme of online resources that are available to law enforcement:

  • Bill Wiltse
    TLOxp®—A Public Records Research System
    A former police officer, Mr. Bill Wiltse now works as the Security Director of Law Enforcement Systems at TLO. In this podcast, he provides a quick overview of the company's philosophy toward law enforcement (give them what they need at little or no cost) and then discusses specific features of the TLOxp® Online Investigative System. He covers what the product does (takes billions of pieces of public data and fuses it together into something meaningful); costs (core functions are free to law enforcement); and user authentication and credentialing. Mr. Wiltse also discusses the expert search function, which allows an investigator to enter disparate pieces of information and receive (in less than a second) a limited subset with which to work.

  • Nicole Bocra
    Information Searching
    Ms. Nicole Bocra, President of Infinity Investigative Solutions, is a certified fraud examiner who teaches investigations and intelligence gathering. In this podcast, she shares tips on how investigators can ensure their search results are relevant (use two pieces of personally identifiable information, or PII). She also names her favorite free and fee-based web resources and gives advice on how to use search operators to narrow online results. Ms. Bocra discusses the different types of information that can be found on free vs. fee-based websites, and urges investigators to take advantage of the free public information that can be found on social networking sites. She also recommends which fee-based websites are best for law enforcement investigators.

  • Cynthia Hetherington
    People Searching
    A background in library science helps Ms. Cynthia Hetherington, president of the Hetherington Group, focus on how information is stored, disseminated, and ultimately used. As the owner of a private detective agency specializing in Internet investigations, Ms. Hetherington is well versed on how to find what she's looking for. She shares her own list of favorite paid and free sites, stressing that choosing which sites to frequent is often a personal preference. She offers a variety of resources, and advises investigators to take the time to learn the resource before beginning a search. Ms. Hetherington credits successful investigators with having analytical ability and tenacity, and she echoes Ms. Bocra's advice that investigators should become especially familiar with social networking sites, as this is where valuable information can be found.

  • Todd Shipley
    Capturing and Saving Data
    Mr. Todd Shipley is a former law enforcement officer, as well as a former director of SEARCH's High-Tech Crime Training Services program. He now runs Vere Software, a company that makes tools for online law enforcement investigations. In this podcast, Mr. Shipley shares his passion for digital evidence recovery, stating that capturing this evidence is often an underutilized process. He makes a strong case for why agencies need to develop policies pertaining to digital evidence (officer safety, agency guidance) and offers resources for agencies to get help with writing policies. He also discusses a project Vere is working on with the University of Nevada to develop a tool that helps law enforcement identify individuals who are operating on the Internet under a cloak of anonymity.