Law enforcement agencies have to keep their unique needs in mind when choosing an Internet option. There are many good ISPs to choose from and there are some excellent online service providers. They all provide worldwide e-mail capabilities with varying degrees of computer security and user features. Defining the technology needs of the law enforcement agency is a good first step in the decision-making process. Also, use the expertise of the agency's computer crime unit. Usually, such computer crime specialists are experienced and well-trained on these issues. If they don't have the answers, they will have access to other computer specialists who do.

Michael R. Anderson, who retired from the IRS's Criminal Investigation Division in 1996, is internationally recognized in the fields of forensic computer science and artificial intelligence. Anderson pioneered the development of federal and international training courses that have evolved into the standards used by law enforcement agencies worldwide in the processing of computer evidence.

He also authored software applications used by law enforcement agencies in 16 countries to process evidence and to aid in the prevention of computer theft. He continues to provide software free of charge to law enforcement and the military. He is currently a consultant. Contact him at P.O. Box 929 Gresham, OR 97030.

E-mail: .