Google's Home State Increases Investigations of Digital Crimes

Posted by: Aaron Ricadela on December 13, 2011

By Olga Kharif

California Attorney General Kamala Harris today unveiled a new push to fight technology crimes and identity theft in a state that’s home to companies such as Google Inc., Apple Inc. and Facebook Inc.

Comprising 20 investigators and prosecutors, a high-tech unit announced today may be the largest such team in the country and will tackle crimes such as identity theft, child pornography and software piracy, as well as thefts of iPads and other devices made and imported into California, said Shum Preston, a spokesman for the California State Department of Justice. The agency’s ECrime unit, formed in August, has filed 20 criminal cases to date and is investigating an additional 24, Preston said in a telephone interview.

More than 1 million Californians become victims of identity theft every year and total losses in the state exceeded $46 million in 2010, according to a department statement.

The ECrime unit will target criminals who “increasingly use the Internet, smartphones, and other digital devices to victimize people online and offline,” Harris said in the statement.

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Bloomberg Businessweek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, and Douglas MacMillan, dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.

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