FBI sets up a cybercrime center in South Carolina

The FBI, the Secret Service and state law enforcement agencies last week opened a joint South Carolina Computer Crime Center, which will analyze electronic evidence of high-tech crimes and train forensic specialists.

Tom O'Neill, FBI spokesman for the Columbia, S.C., field office, said in a statement that there are similar centers in New York, San Diego and Texas, and the bureau is working to establish other state and federal partnerships in Los Angeles and Minneapolis.

The $5.6 million facility in Columbia will operate with state funding and grants from the Bureau of Justice Assistance. A statement from Sen. Fritz Hollings, D-S.C., said the center will investigate Internet fraud, computer intrusions, child pornography, denial-of-service attacks and telecommunications crimes. Hollings said all the center's resources will be shared with the state's sheriffs and police chiefs, including federal subpoena power and federal prosecution of cases.

The FBI said the shared centers aid law enforcement by giving individuals and companies a clear place to go to report cybercrimes. The Columbia field office's phone number is (803) 551-4200.

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