UPDATE: April 16, 2009 – 1:00 p.m. Pacific

Posted by Matt Miszewski 
Government General Manager, Worldwide Public Sector

Interpol_COFEE

I’m pleased to report that at the Worldwide Public Safety Symposium yesterday, we announced INTERPOL will use Microsoft’s Computer Online Forensic Evidence Extractor (COFEE) to help its law enforcement investigators gather live computer evidence at the scene of  cybercrimes all over the globe.

INTERPOL is the world’s largest international police organization, with 187 member countries.

The COFEE software tool is based on a number of common digital forensics tools, bringing them together for the express purpose of gathering live computer evidence with the use of a simple USB device, which requires minimal training to use.  This means that officers at the scene of a crime don’t have to be computer experts to gather important digital evidence.  Law enforcement agencies that previously lacked any computer forensics capability can now easily collect critical data in a reliable and cost effective way. 

Under yesterday’s agreement, Microsoft will  provide  COFEE free of charge to INTERPOL for use in each of the 187 countries where the organization operates. Additionally, INTERPOL will work with the Cybercrime Center at the University College Dublin to develop computer forensics training programs for law enforcement. 

Armed with this new tool INTERPOL and its affiliated law enforcement agencies around the world can better combat the myriad ways criminals use the Internet to commit crimes.

Microsoft also launched today the Citizen Safety Architecture (CSA), a set of software solutions and services that are designed to help governments respond in real time to threats to public safety. And we announced support of INTERPOL’s Global Security Initiative (GSI), which aims to address international security challenges. Both the Citizen Safety Architecture and GSI take effective action to combat crime and bring humanitarian relief to crisis situations, which all demand collective action across disparate groups.

If you want more background on this announcement, or if you want to take a look at a transcript of Microsoft Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner’s remarks at yesterday’s event, take a look at the content posted over on PressPass.

Worldwide Public Safety Symposium 2009

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As we all know, the world has been changing in fundamental ways and at breakneck speed in recent years. Technological innovation, which has made many of our  lives richer and more productive than ever, has created new and increasingly complex threats to the societies our governments were formed to protect.

At the same time, the economic challenges confronting countries around the globe are limiting the resources available to public safety and law enforcement agencies to keep their citizens secure.

Given these realities, we must find ways to arm our public officials with better tools to battle the challenges in front of them while consuming fewer scarce public resources.  This week, we are convening our firstWorldwide Public Safety Symposium at our Redmond campus to tackle these issues as a global community. 

The solutions being highlighted at the Symposium are aimed at amplifying the effectiveness of public safety officials.

The incredible work these people do on a daily basis is enhanced through new and consolidated views of intelligence, for instance.  The power to compare and connect disparate data sources to construct a full picture of threatening situations is now literally at their fingertips.  The ability to take all of that raw intelligence and display it in an easily digestible and actionable format is unprecedented.  These solutions not only make it easier to respond to crime and crises as they occur, but also improve the ability to prevent such incidents from happening in the first place.  And while the solutions by themselves are impressive, their combined power creates a force multiplier previously unseen.

However, none of this will happen with severely constrained resources unless our solutions leverage existing assets.  The solutions being discussed this week focus on familiar tools that do not require onerous training costs or long learning cycles.  They embody our commitment to open standards as a way to share vital information securely across silos, thereby eliminating expensive integration efforts.  The simplicity of use multiplies the productivity of our existing officers, allowing budgets to be stretched without risking our citizens’ safety.

The fact that we are gathering as a global community to address these important challenges is significant in itself.  The days of interdepartmental rivalry and jurisdictional complications are no longer sustainable.  The toolsets being used to frustrate public safety officials require us to join together like never before.  In our solidarity, we magnify our strength.  And in this community we build a stronger, safer recovery.