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Field Search

NCJ Number
Date Published
February 2009
2 pages
This paper describes the NIJ-funded (National Institute of Justice) development of Field Search, which is a tool designed to assist nontechnical probation and parole officers quickly search an offender's computer and create a detailed report of their findings.
Field Search is not a forensic software application. Instead, it is designed as a fast and user-friendly investigative and management tool for field agents untrained in computer forensics. Field Search is particularly useful in the management and monitoring of sex offenders computer use. It can alert authorities to a new crime, such as possession of child pornography. It can also help reinforce treatment prohibitions against access to sexual material. Field Search-Windows version 3 (FS-Windows 3.0) was released in May 2008. It works with the latest versions of Windows and adds the ability to view the most recently used files. This capability enables officers to quickly see what a subject has been viewing recently, perhaps since the last visit. It is quicker than doing a full scan. The first version of Field Search for Macintosh (FS-Mac) became available in September 2008. Ideally, officers will carry both Field Search versions on the same portable drive, so they can deal with whatever computers they encounter in the field. Both versions reveal a browser history and cookies search, which works with the most popular browsers. Results are displayed in an easy-to-read format that includes the date and time the subject visited each Web site. It also conducts an image search to reveal all image formats in a gallery view. A media search will locate and play video files. Other features are a built-in report function of all items selected for inclusion, a text search for specific words and phrases in any logical file, and an export function.

Date Published: February 1, 2009