Planned MS Center To Teach Officers How To Fight Cyber Crime

Mississippi is on target for a new law enforcement training center devoted to fighting such Internet-related crimes as pornography and identity theft.

Mississippi State University's Center for Computer Security and a team that includes the attorney general's office, the FBI and Jackson State University will create the cyber crime lab that links instruction at MSU's Starkville campus with on-the-job training in Jackson.

Attorney General Jim Hood says where Mississippi has been lacking is in the ability to train local law enforcement officers so they can bag and tag-go in, seize a computer, secure evidence of crimes and preserve it for use in court.

Ray Vaughn, a computer science and engineering professor who heads the MSU center, said the program expects to receive a $986,000 grant from the Justice Department for the lab at Jackson State's E-Center.

Vaughn says classroom training will provide officers with the basics of conducting forensics investigations of such computer crimes as child pornography and identity theft.

He says other classes will include an introduction to computers and computer forensics software and search-and-seizure procedures.

At Jackson State, the officers will work on real cases in a real environment, sitting shoulder-to-shoulder with computer forensics investigators in a computer crime lab and applying what they've learned in the classroom.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)