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U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs National Institute of Justice

JAN. 07

Special

REPORT

Investigations Involving the Internet and Computer Networks
www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij

U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs 810 Seventh Street N.W. Washington, DC 20531

Alberto R. Gonzales Attorney General Regina B. Schofield Assistant Attorney General David W. Hagy Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Office of Justice Programs and Principal Deputy Director, National Institute of Justice

This and other publications and products of the National Institute of Justice can be found at: National Institute of Justice www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij

Office of Justice Programs Partnerships for Safer Communities www.ojp.usdoj.gov

JAN. 07

Investigations Involving the Internet and Computer Networks

NCJ 210798

David W. Hagy Deputy Assistant Attorney General,
Office of Justice Programs and Principal Deputy Director,
National Institute of Justice

This document is not intended to create, does not create, and may not be relied upon to create any rights, substantive or procedural, enforceable by law by any party in any matter civil or criminal. Opinions or points of view expressed in this document represent a consensus of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice. The products, manufacturers, and organizations discussed in this document are presented for informational purposes only and do not constitute product approval or endorsement by the U.S. Department of Justice. This document was prepared under Interagency Agreement #2003–IJ–R–029 between the National Institute of Justice and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Office of Law Enforcement Standards. The National Institute of Justice is a component of the Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, and the Office for Victims of Crime.

Photo Credits Cover: Getty Images and Photodisc Text: Photodisc, Getty Images, and Digital Stock

Foreword
As the use of the Internet and other computer networks has grown rapidly in recent years, so has the opportunity for electronic crime. Unlawful activity can be committed or facilitated online. Criminals can trade and share information, mask their identity, identify and gather information on victims, and communicate with co-conspirators. Web sites, electronic mail, chat rooms, and file sharing networks can all yield evidence in an investigation of computer-related crime. This report was developed by the Technical Working Group for the Investigation of High Technology Crimes and is intended to be a resource for individuals responsible for investigations involving the Internet and other computer networks. It is one of a series of electronic crime investiga­ tion documents already published or in development by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ). The guides are developed by technical working groups that consist of practitioners and subject matter experts brought together by NIJ to help law enforcement agencies and prosecutors deal with the growing volume and com­ plexity of electronic crime. The series of guides will discuss the inves­ tigation process from the first responder, to the laboratory, to the courtroom. Specifically, the guides will address: ■

Electronic crime scene investigation by first responders. Forensic examination of digital evidence. Internet and network investigations. Investigative uses of technology. Courtroom presentation of digital evidence. Development of a digital evidence forensic unit.

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The recommendations presented in this guide are not mandates or policy directives and may not represent the only correct course of action. The guide is intended to be a resource for those who investigate crimes related to the Internet and...
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