High-Tech Crime Investigative Resources

High-tech crime investigators at all levels can benefit from tools and resources that provide targeted information, strategies and tips. The stakes are high—online fraud, Internet bullying, child exploitation, identity theft, and more—with nearly every crime today leaving a digital footprint. Collected here is a range of SEARCH resources developed for high-tech crime investigators.

While most investigators today have a working knowledge of the Internet, they may not be aware of the many free tools available that can take that basic knowledge and turn it into something more robust. While these tools help to streamline and enhance investigations, they are not considered too high-tech or advanced for the basic investigator to master.  These podcasts offer the knowledge and insight of practitioners in conducting the three main components of an online investigation: people searching, information searching, and capturing/saving data.

See our Podcasts page for detailed descriptions of each podcast and the participants, as well as links to resources offered by the practitioners we interviewed.

Check out our online ISP List, which provides legal contact information for more than 700 Internet Service Providers, for service of subpoenas, court orders, and search warrants.

Use our handy online form to request one or more of these documents, offered by ISPs as a service to law enforcement investigators:

  • Comcast Cable/Xfinity Law Enforcement Handbook
  • Ebay Responding to Law Enforcement Record Requests
  • Experience Project Law Enforcement Guidelines
  • Formspring Law Enforcement Guide
  • Formspring Legal Process Policies
  • hi5 Official Law Enforcement Guide
  • MeetMe Law Enforcement Compliance Guide
  • MocoSpace Law Enforcement Guide
  • myYearbook Law Enforcement Guidelines
  • Omegle Law Enforcement Guide
  • Sonic.net Legal Process Policy
  • Stickam Law Enforcement Guide
  • Tagged Official Law Enforcement Guide
  • TeenSpot.com Law Enforcement Handbook
  • Verizon Law Enforcement Legal Compliance Guide
  • Wickr Law Enforcement Guide
  • Yahoo! Compliance Guide for Law Enforcement

The SEARCH Investigative Toolbar is an aid for investigators who conduct online, cellular telephone, or wireless network investigations. Once installed, it becomes a readily available desktop resource that contains some of the most frequently used and up-to-date online investigative links for law enforcement.  Learn more about the Toolbar  

Note: Users must download the Toolbar Installation Guide, which provides download and installation instructions for the Toolbar itself. We strongly advise all users to follow these instructions carefully.

SEARCH offers four basic, self-paced training courses for high-tech crime investigators.

  • Social Networking Sites: Investigative Tools and Techniques
    This course is suitable for ALL law enforcement investigators—high-tech crime, gangs, homicide, vice, property crimes, narcotics, or other details. It covers tools, techniques and tips for investigating Facebook and other social networking sites.
  • Basic Computer Skills for Law Enforcement
    This course is designed for investigators planning to attend advanced onsite computer investigation courses through SEARCH, the National White Collar Crime Center, and the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Program. This course will guide you through basic computer skills and will ensure that you are sufficiently prepared to attend future computer investigation classes.
  • Network Investigation and Digital Triage (NIDT): Pre-Course Considerations
    This course introduces investigators to networking, lays the groundwork for how the Internet works, and shows how to determine the legal compliance resources for an IP address and a domain name. It is a prerequisite for the classroom NIDT training course offered by SEARCH.
  • Crime Involving Handheld Computing Devices
    This course covers the basics for identifying various handheld devices, related physical evidence (such as memory and storage cards, peripherals), proper seizure methods, secure transport and storage, evidence analysis requests, testimony strategies, and much more.

1This project was supported by Cooperative Agreement #2010-BE-BX-K022 by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Assistance. Points of view or opinions expressed in this presentation are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.