ATLANTA – Over 40 representatives from state and local law enforcement agencies joined Attorney General Thurbert Baker for an Internet investigations training session with the Microsoft Corporation today. The day-long session at the DeKalb Tech campus in Covington was held jointly with the Georgia Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. Attendees included law enforcement personnel from the Attorney General’s Office, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, sheriffs’ offices, local police departments, and investigators for several District Attorneys’ offices.

During the training session, representatives of Microsoft’s internal law enforcement team conducted presentations on the Xbox 360 gaming platform, Windows Vista operating system, Windows XP operating system, and Windows Live chat. The training focused on Internet forensics for tracking predators, legal compliance issues to obtain information that will be admissible in court and undercover investigation techniques for catching these predators. Attendees, who work every day tracking and prosecuting internet predators who target Georgia children, are expected to utilize the information from today’s session in conducting investigations, ultimately helping to create a safer Internet experience for Georgia residents. The training from the Attorney General’s office was the first time that Microsoft had conducted training for law enforcement in the southeast United States, and only the second time nationally, on the new Xbox 360 chat features and the features of the new Vista operating system, expected to be released to home consumers after the first of the year.

“The law enforcement personnel here today are on the front lines protecting our children in the fight against internet predators. The Georgia Attorney General’s Office remains committed to ensuring that our law enforcement has the tools and the expertise to track and catch these criminals in order to best protect the children of Georgia,” said Baker.

“Microsoft is honored to partner with Georgia Attorney General Baker and with law enforcement officers throughout Georgia to share the tools and technical knowledge needed to conduct secure Internet investigations,” said Dustin Brighton, director of state government affairs in Microsoft’s greater southeast district. “Public-private partnerships like these go a long way in helping to make the Internet safer, and will remain the cornerstone of Microsoft’s Internet safety efforts.”

Internet predators have increasingly begun to rely on person-to-person internet contact with potential victims rather than the open chat room dialogue that law enforcement had become accustomed to investigating. As technology has advanced, allowing gamers to chat with one another in real-time on the Xbox 360 and instant messaging becoming even more popular, predators have seized on this technology to allow one-on-one conversations with potential victims. Today’s training session by Attorney General Baker and Microsoft is to provide law enforcement investigators the knowledge to track predators who utilize this technology. This expertise will allow Georgia law enforcement to better protect Georgia children and build cases to put these predators behind bars.