Law enforcement on social network sites: a course assessment

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University of Alabama Libraries

The current study was a pilot study intended to add to the growing literature on the use of social network sites (SNS) in investigations by law enforcement (LE) personnel. The study focused exclusively on graduates of the National Computer Forensic Institute's (NCFI) Online Social Networking (OSN) course. The study consisted of an Internet-based survey instructing respondents to evaluate their understanding of two items: (1) learning outcomes presented in the course and (2) their investigative practices since completing the course. Forty-two respondents completed the survey. The findings indicated the course is aiding law enforcement in learning and adopting SNS equipped techniques, but there is some room for improvement. Specifically, respondents displayed a lack of understanding on how to use some software programs such as FastStone Capture and On The Fly Encryption (OTFE), both important tools for investigation, apprehension, and legal proceedings. The findings emphasize the continued popularity of using SNS in investigations. Further implications of the findings are discussed and suggestions for future research in this area are presented.

Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Criminology, Educational evaluation, Education