SORRENTO VALLEY — The FBI’s Regional Computer Forensics Lab in San Diego has received international accreditation, a months-long process that attests to the quality of the work performed there.
The recognition was celebrated at the FBI’s headquarters in Sorrento Valley Tuesday.
The lab was the first of its kind in the U.S. when it was conceived by local law enforcement in the 1990s. Individual police agencies didn’t have the manpower, technology or expertise to conduct in-depth examinations of computers, so they formed the regional lab under the direction of the FBI. The success of San Diego’s program led to 15 other labs opening across the country.
When a case involves complex digital evidence, an investigator can drop off the devices at the lab for a full examination, such as pulling evidence of child pornography off a computer. If an investigator has something more simple, such as videos or text messages on a cellphone, the lab offers do-it-yourself kiosks.
The lab won the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors’ accreditation in 2008, and now has been accredited internationally. The reaccreditation process occurs every five years.
Inspectors reviewed more than 400 working processes, including tools and training, and found that all met or exceeding their standards for quality, said FBI spokeswoman Emily Yeh.