FBI, police go high-tech to fight crime

July 30, 2011 - 11:14 AM

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Law enforcement agencies are rolling out new tools to keep pace with criminals in a high-tech era when the biggest cases can often hinge on the smallest pieces of evidence, some bits no bigger than a fingernail-sized microchip.

At the forefront are the FBI's Regional Computer Forensics Laboratories.

Last year, the agency's 14 labs nationwide processed more than 3,000 terabytes of information — the equivalent of 3 million copies of the Encyclopedia Britannica.

The agency says criminals have gone high-tech, and law enforcement must stay abreast.

Digital forensic experts have helped convict home-grown terrorists by breaking covert codes, and have been able to successfully cull evidence from computers that have been set on fire, tossed into lakes, shot with guns and smashed to pieces.