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When it's time to call the cops

I worked for the District Attorney and am a computer consultant on the side. A friend just asked me if there was any way to look at a conversation that took place between two IMers. She works as a child care associate and believes that there may have been Internet pedophilia activity going on in a child's home that could have been recorded on IM last evening. Does the local computer hold some remnant of a file either in the temporary Internet files or cookies or something that could be found? Could she, with some law enforcement authority, take these persons' hard drives and extract such information?
If your friend is suspicious of child pornography or pedophile activity whether it's over IM, the Internet or any other venue, your friend needs to contact the appropriate law enforcement agencies -- now -- to determine what to do next. As a child advocate, I'd expect she knows that already. Many larger communities have computer crime squads, and the FBI has special agents who are trained in how to respond, and what might be possible, as well as what evidence is needed before they can proceed further.

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