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U.S. Department of State - Great Seal

U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Computer Investigations and Forensics Branch

Diplomatic Security forensics analyst examines video evidence.
The Computer Investigations and Forensics Branch was established in 2004 to help Diplomatic Security (DS) investigators confront a rapid increase in crimes involving computers and other electronic technologies affecting the U.S. Department of State.

In 2005, DS opened 218 investigations involving computer forensics, a 19 percent increase over 2004, and a 43 percent increase over 2003. DS investigators have used computer forensics to uncover passport and visa fraud, and child pornography.

To accomplish its mission, CIF has built a highly skilled staff of Special Agents and civilian forensic examiners, network analysts, and evidence technicians.

CIF personnel are specially trained and equipped to execute search warrants worldwide on electronic devices and storage media such as:

Diplomatic Security computer forensics technician examines a computer hard drive.

  • Computers & servers
  • Cell phones & Personal data assistants (PDAs)
  • Digital & video tape recordings
  • Audio recordings
  • RFID chips
  • Other new technologies 

CIF personnel analyze those items utilizing the latest forensic technology and methods to extract relevant electronic evidence.

CIF staff provide criminal, administrative, and other investigators with a variety of services and resources, including:

 Computer seized as evidence for forensic examination by Diplomatic Securitys Computer Investigations and Forensics Branch.
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Investigative Resources Page


  • Drafting appropriate search warrant language for seizing digital evidence
  • Advice and contact numbers for dealing with Web-based e-mail providers
  • Specialty training for evidence technicians and agents in appropriate seizure of digital materials
  • Media analysts to search various forms of digital media (hard drives, diskettes, flash media, cell phones, pagers, etc)
  • Password recovery
  • Advising on all aspects of digital evidence collection and analysis
  • Assisting in any computer-related incident with a criminal nexus



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