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High-Tech FBI Lab In Sorrento Valley Receives International Accreditation

Evening Edition

Aired 10/30/13 on KPBS News.

The FBI's internationally accredited San Diego Regional Computer Forensic Lab helps local law enforcement solve cybercrime and find digital evidence.

The FBI’s San Diego Regional Computer Forensic Lab has received international accreditation from the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors. On Oct. 29, police chiefs, FBI agents and law enforcement officials gathered at the field office in Sorrento Valley to celebrate the new status.

FBI Special Agent Daphne Hearn said only 47 other forensics labs in the world have obtained the international accreditation in both the digital and multimedia disciplines.

San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne said the high-tech capabilities of the lab are helpful for local police.

“I'm happy because it’s where we take our cases in cybercrime," Lansdowne said. "They do the research and the forensics background work for us to be able to prevent people from becoming victims, and prosecute those who commit crimes."

During the investigation of the 2008 federal courthouse bombing in San Diego, investigators used the lab to extract evidence from digital sources including computers, the Internet, Facebook accounts and cloud computing.

U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy said this evidence is extremely valuable and a critical component in prosecution.

The forensic lab was opened in 1998 and received national accreditation in 2008. It has served as a model for 15 other digital labs in the country. Last year, the lab completed more than 750 digital examinations.

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