11 May 1997
Source: http://www.gao.gov/special.pubs/soi/contents.htm


Investigators Guide to Sources of Information


This document was last updated April 23, 1997


ALR Art Loss Register
ATF Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
CFTC Commodity Futures Trading Commission
CIS Central Index System
CLASS Consular Lookout and Support System
CRS Congressional Research Service
CTR Currency Transaction Report
DCII Defense Central and Investigations Index
DEA Drug Enforcement Administration
DECA Development of Espionage Counterintelligence and Counterterrorism Awareness
DLR Division of Labor Racketeering
DOD Department of Defense
DOJ Department of Justice
EDGAR Electronic Data Gathering and Retrieval
EFF Electronic Frontier Foundation
e-mail electronic mail
EPIC El Paso Intelligence Center
ERISA Employee Retirement Income Security Act
EX-Im-Bank Export-Import Bank of the United States
FAA Federal Aviation Administration
FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation
FCC Federal Communications Commission
FDA Food and Drug Administration
FDIC Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
FERC Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
FHWA Federal Highway Administration
FinCEN Financial Crimes Enforcement Network
FIRS Fingerprint Identification Records System
FMS Financial Management Service
FPDC Federal Procurement Data Center
FTP File Transfer Protocol
GAO General Accounting Office
GILS Government Information Locator System
GPO Government Printing Office
GSA General Services Administration
HHS Department of Health and Human Services
IBIS Interagency Border Inspection System
IBM International Business Machines
ICTS International Criminal Police Organization Case-Tracking System
IFAR International Foundation for Art Research
III Interstate Identification Index
INS Immigration and Naturalization Service
INTERPOL International Criminal Police Organization
IRC Internet Relay Chat
IRS Internal Revenue Service
JMIE Joint Maritime Information Element
LESC Law Enforcement Support Center
MAGLOCLEN Middle Atlantic-Great Lakes Organized Crime Law Enforcement Network
MOCIC Mid-States Organized Crime Information Center
NADDIS Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Information System
NAIL NARA Archival Information Locator
NAILS National Alien Information Lookout System
NARA National Archives and Records Administration
NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NCIC National Crime Information Center
NCMEC National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
NCUA National Credit Union Administration
NESPIN New England State Police Information Network
NFIC National Fraud Information Center
NICB National Insurance Crime Bureau
NIIS Nonimmigrant Information System
NLETS National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System
NRC Nuclear Regulatory Commission
NTC National Tracing Center
OSI Office of Special Investigations
RISS Regional Information Sharing System
RMIN Rocky Mountain Information Network
ROCIC Regional Organized Crime Information Center
SBA Small Business Administration
SEC Securities and Exchange Commission
SPICIN South Pacific Islands Criminal Intelligence Network
SSA Social Security Administration
TECS Treasury Enforcement Communications System
USDA U.S. Department of Agriculture
USMS U.S. Marshals Service
USNCB U.S. National Central Bureau
VA Department of Veterans Affairs
WAIS Wide Area Information Server
WHD Wage Hour Division
WSIN Western States Information Network
WWW World Wide Web


This 1997 Investigators' Guide to Sources of Information is published as a service to the investigative community by GAO's Office of Special Investigations. It is intended to be a useful investigative tool for identifying sources of information about people, property, business, and finance. This year's guide is organized so that all of the information about a single source is located in a single definitive category. An index has been added to locate sources of information about a topic that may be discussed in one or more places in the guide. Finally, to make the guide useful in an increasingly electronic environment, we have added Internet addresses wherever possible and a chapter on how to use the Internet to gather information valuable to the investigative process.

Additionally, for the first time, this year's guide will be accessible electronically from GAO's home page ( http://www.gao.gov ) by first selecting "Special Publications and Software" and then "Investigators' Guide to Sources of Information (GAO/OSI-97-2)." From this screen, certain sections of the report are interactive, enabling the investigator to initiate national and international links to a wide range of organizations. These links can be established by "clicking on" either an underlined and highlighted agency name or a specific Internet address in the guide.

The information provided in this guide is current as of the date of publication. As with the two previous editions of the guide, we request your assistance in updating and improving the guide periodically. Please submit any updates or suggestions on how the guide can better meet users' needs directly to us by e-mail at soiguide.osi@gao.gov or by fax at (202) 371-2442. You may also write to us at the Office of Special Investigations, U.S. General Accounting Office, 441 G Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20548.

Donald J. Wheeler
Acting Director

About the Guide

The 1997 Investigator's Guide to Sources of Information contains five chapters, four on information sources and a fifth on how to access information through the Internet.

The first four chapters--on local and state governments; federal agencies; directories, reference works, and other sources; and electronic databases--discuss selected information sources in definitive categories that investigators will find helpful. The guide's descriptions of information found in specific electronic databases were furnished by the organizations that administer the databases and have not been validated by GAO. Depending on their specific needs, users of the guide may want to independently validate the currency and accuracy of information in the databases. Tables in chapters 1 and 2 provide details on topics discussed in the chapters.

Chapter 5 is a guide to using the Internet for investigative purposes. In addition to sections on how to access the Internet and the tools and functions available for Internet interaction, chapter 5 contains a sample search that may be of particular interest to the novice Internet user. Chapter 5 also informs the user about the types of information available from the Internet. For specific information on the Internet and specific web browsers, please consult applicable software manuals, local bookstores and libraries, and/or various Internet service providers.

Chapters 2 and 5 list selected Internet addresses for investigators' use, including addresses for federal agencies and electronic databases. Because Internet addresses change frequently, GAO will periodically update the electronic version of the guide to reflect such changes.

The guide's table of contents, supplemented by its index, should help users to locate specific subject matter. While major topics such as federal government agencies, federal contracting, state and local government, and directories are listed in the index, subtopics such as counterfeiting, criminal history, income tax, and driver's licenses are also listed.

This guide is not intended to be an exhaustive compilation of all sources of information available to investigators. There are many other sources of valuable information that may be useful for investigative purposes. The specific sources of information identified in the guide exemplify the types of information available to investigators, many of which have proven useful in the past. The inclusion of specific products or services should not be viewed as an endorsement by GAO.

The images in the "SEARCHING THE NET" section of chapter 5 are reprinted with the permission of the copyright owners.1

1 Figures 5.1 through 5.10 of this guide contain images that are the property of Netscape, copyright 1997 Netscape Communications Corporation, all rights reserved. Netscape is a trademark of Netscape Communications Corporation, which is registered in the United States and other countries. The images in figures 5.1 through 5.10 are reprinted here with the permission of Netscape.

Figures 5.1 and 5.2 of this guide contain images that are the property of C | net, copyright 1996-97, all rights reserved, and are reprinted here with permission.

Figures 5.3 through 5.10 of this guide contain images that are the property of Cornell University Legal Information Institute and are reprinted here with permission.

As a user of this guide, you should be aware that, in many cases, information in the sources we cite may be privileged or confidential and, therefore, unavailable. Generally, the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552a (1994), prohibits federal agencies from disclosing a record from "system of records" from which information may be retrieved by individual identifier, e.g., name, number, or symbol. However, federal agencies may disclose a record to another agency or governmental instrumentality for a lawful civil or criminal law enforcement activity. To receive a record, the head of the requesting agency must request the record in writing from the agency that maintains the record, specifying the portion of the record desired and the law enforcement activity for which the record is sought. The Privacy Act imposes criminal penalties on agency employees who wrongfully disclose protected information and on any person who wrongfully requests or obtains protected information under false pretenses. (5 U.S.C. 552a(i)).

Chapter 1
Local and State Governments

Local Government

State Government



The following information is available from a building inspector's office:


Coroner registers generally contain the name or description of the deceased; date of inquest, if any; property found on the deceased and its disposition; and the cause of death.


Court clerks often maintain court files on such civil actions as liens, name changes, and divorces. These files generally include the complaint (identifying the plaintiff(s), the defendant(s), and the cause of action); the answer to the complaint; and the judgment rendered. Also, depositions introduced as exhibits become part of the court records. The court clerk's minutes or the file jacket may indicate whether a transcript of the proceedings was taken.

Divorce case complaints usually identify the plaintiff and defendant; place and date of marriage (which points to the appropriate county recorder's records); date of separation, if applicable; names, ages, and birthdates of any children; community property; and grounds or charges, if any; and the attorneys retained by the parties. The plaintiff's signature is usually on the complaint and the defendant's signature can be found on the cross-complaint or answer.

Probate indexes will list probate actions alphabetically, by name of the estate or petitioner, and will give the filing date and the docket number. Individual case files often list causes of action and rulings regarding the estate, and status of potential beneficiaries who may be minors, adopted, incompetent, or insane.

Court clerks also maintain criminal court files, which may contain information describing the crime and the charges in an indictment. These files may also contain the complainant's signature (exemplar); a transcript of the preliminary hearing (usually consisting of testimony of the complainant, defendant, witnesses, and arresting officer); the names of the prosecuting and defense attorneys; the probation officer's report, with complete background investigation of the defendant; and any subpoenas issued in the case.


Health departments often license and inspect properties, identify and investigate local health problems, educate businesses on local health issues, and provide direct emergency services.

Death certificates are usually available at health departments. A death certificate provides the decedent's name; address; sex; age; race; social security number; birthplace; birthdate; and date, place, and time of death. Additionally, a death certificate generally provides the medical and coroner's certificate and information about the decedent's parents, including their occupations.


Personnel departments maintain the following information:


Public schools maintain the following information:


Recorder offices maintain the following information:


Registrars of voters may maintain the following:


Applications for business licenses, which are filed by local regulatory agencies, have valuable information on certain types of businesses and professions. Also, such applications often have useful information about individuals engaged in those businesses or professions. In many cities, the following types of businesses and professions would be regulated and their owners and/or practitioners would be required to apply for licenses:


Surveyor offices maintain maps of elevations, baselines, landmarks, important sites, roads, rights of way, and easements.


Tax assessor offices maintain maps of real property, including information on a property's dimensions, address, owner, taxable value, and improvements.


Tax collector offices maintain the following information:


Information filed by welfare commissions is gathered by social workers, psychologists, and physicians. Generally, the information gathered--frequently provided by welfare recipients--is not verified. Welfare commission files contain such information as the recipient's address, previous employment, prior earnings, and property owned. Welfare files also contain information on (1) the property owned by the recipient's relatives and (2) the relatives' health and criminal records.



State attorneys general are good sources of information on (1) efforts made in the areas of statewide criminal justice, civil enforcement, and consumer protection and (2) the functions or administrative structure of the state offices responsible for these areas. The following table lists addresses and telephone numbers for state attorneys general.

Table 1.1: State Attorneys General
State Address Telephone number
Alabama State House, 3rd Fl.
11 South Union Street
Montgomery, AL 36104-3760
(334) 242-7300
Alaska Post Office Box 110300
Diamond Court Building
Juneau, AK 99811

123 Fourth Street, 6th Fl.
Diamond Court House
Juneau, AK 99801
(907) 465-3600
Arizona 1275 West Washington Street
Phoenix, AZ 85007
(602) 542-4266
Arkansas 323 Center Street
200 Tower Building
Little Rock, AR 72201
(501) 682-2007
California 1300 I Street
Post Office Box 944255
Sacramento, CA 94244-2550
(916) 323-5370
Colorado 1525 Sherman Street, 5th Fl.
Denver, CO 80203
(303) 866-4500
Connecticut 55 Elm Street
Post Office Box 120
Hartford, CT 06141-0120
(860) 566-2026
Delaware Carvel State Office Building
820 North French Street
Wilmington, DE 19801
(302) 577-8338
District of Columbia Office of the Corporation Counsel
441 4th Street, N.W., Rm. 1060 North
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 727-6248
Florida The Capitol Building
Plaza Level, Suite 01
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1050
(904) 487-1963
Georgia 40 Capitol Square
Atlanta, GA 30334-1300
(404) 656-4585
Hawaii 425 Queen Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
(808) 586-1282
Idaho 700 West Jefferson Street
Post Office Box 83720
Boise, ID 83720-0010
(208) 334-2400
Illinois James R. Thompson Center
100 West Randolph Street, 12th Fl.
Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 814-2503
Indiana Indiana Government Center South, 8th Fl.
402 West Washington Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204
(317) 233-4386
Iowa Hoover State Office Building, 2nd Fl.
Des Moines, IA 50319
(515) 281-3053
Kansas Judicial Building
301 S.W. 10th Street
Topeka, KS 66612
(913) 296-2215
Kentucky Capitol Building, Suite 116
700 Capitol Avenue
Frankfort, KY 40601
(502) 564-7600
Louisiana 300 Capitol Drive
Post Office Box 94005
Baton Rouge, LA 70804
(504) 342-7013
Maine Six State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333
(207) 626-8800
Maryland 200 Saint Paul Place
Baltimore, MD 21202-2021
(410) 576-6300
Massachusetts One Ashburton Place
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 727-2200
Michigan Law Building, 7th Fl.
Post Office Box 30212
525 West Ottawa Street
Lansing, MI 48909-0212
(517) 373-1110
Minnesota 102 State Capitol
St. Paul, MN 55155
(612) 296-6196
Mississippi Post Office Box 220
Jackson, MS 39205

450 High Street
Jackson, MS 39201
(601) 359-3692
Missouri Post Office Box 899
Jefferson City, MO 65102

207 W. High Street
Supreme Court Building
Jefferson City, MO 65101
(573) 751-3321
Montana 215 N. Sanders
Post Office Box 201401
Helena, MT 59620-1401
(406) 444-2026
Nebraska 2115 State Capitol Building
Lincoln, NE 68509
(402) 471-2682
Nevada 198 South Carson Street
Carson City, NV 89710

100 North Carson Street
Carson City, NV 89701-4717
(702) 687-4170
New Hampshire 33 Capitol Street
Concord, NH 03301
(603) 271-3658
New Jersey Dept. of Law and Public Safety
Office of Attorney General
Richard J. Hughes Justice Complex
CN 080
Trenton, NJ 08625
(609) 292-4925
New Mexico Post Office Drawer 1508
Santa Fe, NM 87504-1508

407 Galisteo Street, #260
Santa Fe, NM 87501
(505) 827-6000
New York N.Y. State Dept. of Law - the Capitol
Albany, NY 12224
(518) 474-7330
North Carolina Post Office Box 629
Raleigh, NC 27602-0629

2 E. Morgan Street
Raleigh, NC 27601
(919) 733-3377
North Dakota State Capitol
600 East Boulevard Avenue
Bismarck, ND 58505-0040
(701) 328-2210
Ohio Rhodes Tower
30 East Broad Street, 17th Fl.
Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 466-4320
Oklahoma 2300 North Lincoln Boulevard
Suite 112
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
(405) 521-3921
Oregon 1162 Court Street, NE
Salem, OR 97310
(503) 378-6002
Pennsylvania Strawberry Square, 16th Fl.
Harrisburg, PA 17120
(717) 787-3391
Rhode Island 150 South Main Street
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 274-4400
South Carolina Post Office Box 11549
Columbia, SC 29211-1549

1000 Assembly Street
Columbia, SC 29202
(803) 734-3970
South Dakota 500 East Capitol
Pierre, SD 57501
(605) 773-3215
Tennessee 500 Charlotte Avenue, Suite 114
Nashville, TN 37243
(615) 741-6474
Texas Post Office Box 12548
Austin, TX 78711

209 W. 14th Street
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 463-2191
Utah 236 State Capitol
Salt Lake City, UT 84114
(801) 538-1326
Vermont 109 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05609-1001
(802) 828-3171
Virginia 900 East Main Street
Richmond, VA 23219
(804) 786-2071
Washington 1125 Washington Street S.E.
Post Office Box 40100
Olympia, WA 98504-0100
(360) 753-6200
West Virginia State Capitol, Building 1, Rm. E26
1900 Kanawha Boulevard East
Charleston, WV 25305-0220
(304) 558-2021
Wisconsin Post Office Box 7857
Madison, WI 53707-7857

114 E. State Capitol
Madison, WI 53702
(608) 266-1221
Wyoming 123 Capitol Building
Cheyenne, WY 82002
(307) 777-7841


Bureaus of Vital Statistics have birth certificates on file and are an excellent source of information about people. Birth certificates can provide a child's name, sex, date of birth, and address of place of birth; the names of the attending physician, midwife, and/or other assistants; the parents' names, ages, addresses, race, places of birth, and occupations; the mother's maiden name; and the number of siblings. (In some states, birth certificates may be found at the local level, such as at the health department.)


State Departments of Motor Vehicles maintain information on driver's licenses, vehicle registrations, titles, automobile transfers and sales, car dealers, car salespersons, emission inspection facilities, and--in some states--auto repair businesses. Of those states requiring that photographs of licensed drivers appear on their licenses, most maintain the photographs. Many states are changing to digital photographs.


Departments and agencies that regulate individual and business activities within a particular state can be valuable sources of information. Individuals obtain licenses for activities such as driving, hunting, and fishing and for such professions as medical, legal, and public accounting. Businesses are also often required to obtain licenses and permits to operate and file periodic reports such as for worker's and unemployment compensation, sales tax, and state income tax. The following state regulatory departments and agencies maintain information valuable to investigators:

Chapter 2
Federal Agencies

Financial Institutions and Related Federal Administrations and Corporations

Independent Agencies and Government Corporations

Legislative Branch Agencies

Judicial Branch

Inspectors General




Various USDA agencies maintain information on

Chapter 3
Directories, Reference Works, and Other Sources



This annual publication thoroughly describes and indexes about 15,000 directories of all kinds, including business and industrial directories, professional and scientific rosters, state and city directories, and foreign and international directories. Arrangement is by broad subject category, and indexing is by subject, title/keyword, and alternative (electronic) format. A mid-year supplement adds approximately 700 titles per year. Directories in Print is available electronically through a commercial database.



Volumes 1 and 2 of this 3-volume annual Dun & Bradstreet directory list approximately 11,000 parent companies and over 79,000 subsidiary companies and divisions owned by the parent companies. Parent companies must have at least two locations, 250 employees, and one subsidiary to be included in volumes 1 and 2 of the directory. Volume 3 is the international companion to volumes 1 and 2 and lists approximately 7,100 parent companies and 34,000 subsidiaries in the United States and overseas. A company must have at least one U.S. company and one subsidiary elsewhere to be listed in volume 3. Parent company entries are alphabetically arranged and indexes of parent companies and subsidiaries are listed by name, location, and industrial code.


The annual editions of the Best Insurance Reports (Life-Health and Property-Casualty) present detailed information on the financial position, investments, earnings, operating results, management, history, and group affiliation of 4,950 U.S. and 1,100 international insurance companies. This material is the basis for Best's credit rating of each company. Weekly updates in Best Week Insurance News and Analysis cover individual corporate rating changes, general insurance news stories, financial reports, executive announcements, and Washington and international events. Best's Rating Monitor charts rating changes on a similar schedule.


Published by GPO, this directory lists over 14,000 companies that sell stock on the national exchanges or over the counter and that file annual reports with SEC. Entries are arranged alphabetically by name and numerically by standard industrial classification code. This directory distinguishes between public and private parent companies.


This 3-volume annual directory provides information on almost 150,000 public and private parent, subsidiary, and associate companies in the United States and overseas. Entries are arranged first by the parent's location, and then hierarchically by the company's organization. Criteria for inclusion is revenue in excess of $10 million or a work force in excess of 300 for U.S. companies, and revenue in excess of $50 million for non-U.S. firms. A 2-volume master index provides access by company name, brand name, location, personnel, and standard industrial classification code.


This 3-volume annual Dun & Bradstreet directory contains information on over 20,000 public and 140,000 private utilities, transportation companies, banks, trust companies, mutual and stock insurance companies, wholesalers, and retailers. The type of information available includes annual sales, corporate officers, locations, phone numbers, type of business, and number of employees. To be included in the directory, a company must be a headquarters or a single location and have 250 or more employees, $25 million or more in sales, or a net worth of $500,000 or more. Company names are arranged alphabetically. A 2-volume index is arranged by location and standard industrial classification code.


This directory lists over 41,000 top executives at leading financial institutions from chief executives to subject-area officers and over 8,500 board members and their affiliations. The directory has five indexes--on company, parent organization, geographical location, financial services rendered, and individual name.


This directory has sections on foreign corporations, foreign-based financial institutions, foreign governments (embassies and consulates), intergovernmental organizations, non-U.S. media, and personnel who represent foreign corporations and government in the United States. It includes officials' titles, addresses, and telephone and fax numbers.


This manual contains background and financial information on over 3,000 foreign firms. It is arranged by country and gives economic and political information and statistics for each geographical area. It provides statistical information regarding foreign stock exchanges, consumer price indexes, money market rates, imports, and exports.


Moody's broad business sector manuals cover companies whose stock is traded in the New York and American stock exchanges, regional American stock exchanges, and in over-the-counter transactions. Each entry contains history and background; data on acquisitions, mergers, and subsidiaries; business and product descriptions; names and titles of officers and directors; number of stockholders and employees; location of plants and properties; the headquarters phone number and address; and financial statements. Separate annual volumes with weekly supplements cover industries, transportation, utilities, and banking. Another series supplies detailed data on corporate and government bond sales and ratings.


Issued weekly and cumulated monthly, quarterly, and annually, this directory indexes articles on products, companies, and industries that appear in most business periodicals and newspapers. Funk and Scott also publishes the quarterly Index of Corporate Change, which lists recent business activities such as mergers and acquisitions. The indexes are available on CD-ROM.


Originally provided to Standard & Poor subscribers, this directory is now available on CD-ROM. The records cover over 12,000 publicly traded companies and 34,000 subsidiaries, affiliates, and privately held firms. Coverage consists of a company's brief history, financial statements, capital structure, lines of business, subsidiaries, and officers and directors. Information on 70,000 executives is also available.


This 3-volume annual directory lists about 56,000 public and private companies and the names and titles of over 400,000 officials. Company information--similar to that provided by the Dun & Bradstreet and Moody directories--includes financial data, standard industrial classification code products and services, and number of employees. Indexing is by standard industrial classification code, geographical area, and subsidiaries/divisions/affiliates. The set is updated in April, July, and October.



Published by the American Medical Association, this source contains listings for the presidents and secretaries of all county medical associations. The directory also has listings of doctors--by state and city, year of birth, medical school and year of graduation, year of license, residence and office addresses, specialties, and membership in associated medical organizations. A name index of all doctors is provided.

\2 In addition to the directories focusing on individuals that are listed in this section, several other directories cited in this chapter--under other sections--contain information about individuals. These other directories are the Associations Yellow Book; Directory of Corporate Affiliations--Who Owns Whom; Dun & Bradstreet's Million Dollar Directory; Law Firms Yellow Book; Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory; Moody's Bank and Finance Manual; National Directory of Law Enforcement Administrators, Prosecutors, Correctional Institutions, and Related Agencies; National Trade and Professional Associations in the United States; Standard & Poor's Corporation Records; Standard & Poor's Register of Corporations, Directors and Executives; and Thomson Bank Directory.


This directory is prepared by the Joint Committee on Printing and is the official directory of the Congress. It presents short bibliographies of each Member of the Senate and the House--listed by states and districts, respectively--and includes additional data such as his/her committee memberships, terms of service, administrative assistant and/or secretary, and room and telephone numbers. The Congressional Directory also lists officials of the courts; the military establishments; and other federal departments and agencies, including the District of Columbia government, governors of states and territories, foreign diplomats, and members of the press, radio, and television galleries. The directory is available both in paper format and on-line. The database is updated irregularly as changes are provided by the Joint Committee on Printing.


One of a series of directories produced by the Congressional Quarterly, this directory has an extensive section on congressional staff biographies. Two lists--one of large-city mayors and the other of state governors--are also helpful, as are two indexes--key word/subject and individual/personal name. This source is updated every 4 months.


This source has extensive lists of office staff for and party posts of each member of the Congress. Additionally, it is updated quarterly and has a three-part index by staff, organization, and subject. It also contains biographical information.


This is a directory of the people who manage, direct, and shape the largest public and privately held companies in the United States. It enables subscribers to access corporate leaders, including board members who are taking increased responsibility for corporate decisionmaking. The directory features (1) over 1,000 leading corporations and over 7,500 subsidiaries and divisions; (2) names and titles of over 45,000 executives, including more than 10,000 corporate board members and their outside affiliations; (3) over 18,700 direct-dial telephone numbers of executives; (4) business descriptions and annual revenues; (5) addresses, telephone and fax numbers, and Internet addresses of corporate headquarters and domestic and foreign subsidiaries and divisions; and (6) Washington, D.C., government affairs offices, with addresses and telephone and fax numbers.


From Carroll Publishing Company, this service provides coverage exclusively for the DOD. Detailed charts describe the organization and list the staff of the Office of the Secretary, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the unified commands, and the individual services. Indexes reference locations, acronyms, key words, personal names, and program elements. This source is updated monthly.


This loose-leaf chart produced by Carroll Publishing Company provides names, addresses, and telephone numbers for staff members in the White House, executive departments, independent agencies, quasi-governmental organizations, and congressional support offices. It has name and key word indexes and it is updated monthly. Due to its high cost and time-consuming maintenance, it is mostly available at selected federal government libraries.


This yellow book describes federal regional offices located outside Washington, D.C. It contains over 3,000 regional directors and over 29,000 administrative staff of federal departments and agencies. It also has information on administrators and professional staff at federal laboratories, research centers, military installations, and service academies.


Another Congressional Quarterly tool, this item is similar to the Federal Yellow Book. One of its strong points is its "Quasi-Official, International and Non-Government Organizations" section that describes the mission and lists the staff of almost 50 such organizations. In addition, it contains over 2,600 biographies of key executives and senior staff as well as entries for U.S. ambassadors to other countries and other countries' ambassadors to the United States. It is indexed by key word/subject and individual/personal name. It is updated semiannually.


This quarterly publication provides detailed listings of the names, locations, and telephone numbers of more than 40,000 staff members in the White House, the executive departments, and the independent agencies. Like its congressional counterpart, it has subject, organization, and staff indexes. Over 4,000 fax numbers and e-mail addresses are also included.


This yellow book lists over 18,000 government affairs professionals who lobby at both the state and federal levels. It details the issues the lobbyists contest as well as the coalitions they form to advance their legislative agenda. Five indexes are included--on organization, subject, current legislative issues, geographical location, and individual name. Biographical data is included on each professional.


This directory provides detailed biographical information for state and federal judges and gives information on each judge's staff, including law clerks. It features more than 2,000 judges in the federal court system and more than 1,200 state judges of the highest appellate courts.


This directory provides information on over 30,000 elected and appointed officials in U.S. cities, counties, and authorities, including name, address, and telephone and fax numbers. It contains sections on cities and counties, which feature complex hierarchies of municipal officials. This directory also has listings for local departments, agencies, subdivisions, and branches.


This directory provides information on who's who in the executive and legislative branches of the 50 state governments, as well as American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. It has both a subject and personnel index and includes information on government officials, departments, agencies, and legislative committees. Informational profiles of all states and territories are also provided.


This biennial series of international, U.S., regional, and professional biographical sources contains information submitted by the individual at the request of the publisher. Who's Who in America contains entries for over 100,000 nationally prominent individuals, and the regional and professional volumes cover many thousands more people who are renowned in a locality or an occupation. Each entry includes information about an individual's family, schooling, profession, writings, and awards and about offices held by the individual. Indexing is by location, profession, who retired, and who died. Non-U.S.-wide titles, while following the same format as U.S. entries, do not have indexes.



This is a directory of major trade and professional associations. Semiannual editions of the Associations Yellow Book provide current information on chief staff executive turnovers, changes in staff and governing boards, mergers, and name changes. It features (1) over 45,000 officers, executives, and staff, with titles, affiliations, education, and telephone and fax numbers, at more than 1,175 associations with budgets over $1 million; (2) addresses and e-mail addresses and telephone and fax numbers of headquarters and branches, and Internet addresses for headquarters; (3) boards of directors, with outside affiliations; (4) committees and chairmen, Washington representatives, political action committees, and foundations; (5) publications, including editors; and (6) annual budget, tax status, number of employees, and number of members.


This 4-volume annual directory describes more than 22,000 nonprofit associations in the United States and some foreign countries. Each entry includes the organization's name, address, telephone and fax numbers, purpose, recurring publications, and computer services. A 2-volume set covering more than 15,000 international organizations is also available. Since the books are alphabetically arranged by subject, keyword, and name, it is important to use the name, keyword, geographical, or executive index. These resources are also available as a commercial computer database file or on CD-ROM.


This annual directory lists about 7,500 active U.S. national trade and professional associations, labor unions, scientific societies, and technical organizations. Alphabetically arranged entries contain the name, location, telephone and fax numbers, executives' names, history, recurring publication titles, budget amount, membership count, and annual meeting times. The directory has subject, geographical, budget, executive, acronym, and management firm indexes.



This 4-volume annual manual covers the field of finance represented by banks (including trust companies and savings and loan associations), federal government financial agencies, insurance companies, investment companies, unit investment trusts, and miscellaneous financial enterprises. Information is also given on real estate companies and real estate investment trusts. Material for the manual (history, subsidiaries, officers, directors, financials, policies, and property) comes from the institutions themselves, the stock exchanges, or SEC filings.


These reports are weekly supplements to the annually published Moody's manuals which provide information on more than 30,000 publicly traded companies worldwide, and 20,000 municipal and government entities. There are currently eight manuals and corresponding News Reports, grouped according to size of company, exchanges traded on, and nature of business. The objective of News Reports is to inform customers of announcements that may affect companies' financial condition, stability, and growth by providing reports on their financial, structural, operational, legal, capital, and market activities.


This semiannual directory in 4 volumes is a guide to all U.S. and non-U.S. banks. Entries include the name, address, and telephone number of the bank; type of charter; funds processor; automated clearinghouse; holding company; asset rank; financial figures; balance sheets; officers and directors; branches; subsidiaries; and foreign offices.



This directory has information on 715 of the largest corporate law firms in the United States. It focuses on the 4,500 administrators and 10,000 attorneys in these firms, and it is indexed by specialties, law schools, management/administrative personnel, geography, and personnel. It is updated semiannually.


This 19-volume annual directory contains over 900,000 entries consisting of profiles of law firms, corporate law departments, state bar associations, and law schools; biographies of lawyers in private and corporate practice; and descriptions of legal service, supplier, and consultant firms in the United States and Canada. Indexing is by individual, firm, specialty, and geographic area. The 4-volume International Law Directory, which is part of the 19-volume work, has similar entries and indexes for non-U.S. and non-Canadian firms and individuals. It includes law digests for 140 countries and is available electronically on CD-ROM and LEXIS.


This annual source lists the following information: names, addresses, telephone numbers, and fax numbers of city chiefs of police, county sheriffs, district attorneys, state highway patrols, and federal law enforcement agencies.



This list includes over 40,000 owners, managers, and managing agents for vessels listed in the Register of Ships. It is published annually in August and includes postal addresses; telephone, telex, and telefax numbers; fleet lists; and a geographical index. Subscribers receive eight cumulative supplements with the list.


This register is available in 3 volumes annually (April, August, and December). The register is indexed by ship and company name and lists 20,000 companies operating on ships of at least 1,000 gross tons or more; ownership of 30,000 ships; registered owners, grouped by ship management company; and subsidiaries and associate companies, identified together with owners' representatives.


This register is published annually in October. It contains sections listing mobile drilling rigs, submersibles, underwater systems, work units (ships, barges, and platforms) used for a variety of offshore work, owners, and addresses of offshore support ships with their fleet lists.


This register is published in 3 volumes annually in July, listing details of over 80,000 merchant ships. Cumulative monthly supplements are provided to update the volumes.


This index is published every week with reports on current voyages, latest reported movements, and essential characteristics of approximately 22,000 merchant vessels worldwide. There are three sections in the index: (1) the World Fleet Details section which lists 22,000 vessels engaged in oceangoing trade and records over 40,000 changes to their ownership, characteristics, latest positions, and casualty histories; (2) the Marketing Briefing section which highlights major changes in the market, from launches and name changes to demolition sales; and (3) the Buyer's Guide which lists products and services directly related to the world's marine market.


This record details the recent voyage history of 22,000 vessels in commercial service by reporting movements collected continuously by Lloyd's agents worldwide. It is a companion to the Shipping Index, which lists the historical movements of vessels.


This list is a noncumulative set of amendments--in alphabetical order by ship name--to details published in the Register of Ships. Although the amendments will appear in the monthly supplements, the Weekly List is intended for those who need to receive updated information expeditiously.



This monthly source, which cumulates quarterly and annually, is an alphabetically arranged subject index to English-language periodicals. Subjects include agricultural chemicals, agricultural economics, agricultural engineering, agriculture and agricultural research, animal husbandry, biochemistry, biology, biotechnology, botany, ecology, entomology, environmental science, fishery sciences, food science, forestry, genetics and cytology, horticulture, marine biology and limnology, microbiology, nutrition, physiology, plant pathology, soil science, veterinary medicine, and zoology. A separate listing of book review citations follows the subject entries.


This directory provides detailed descriptions of over 5,900 data bases worldwide that are available on-line. Its scope includes all types of databases in all subject areas. Information under each entry is organized for rapid retrieval via computer. Producer contact information is also included with each entry.


This 3-volume annual directory contains information on 38,000 serial publications printed in the United States, Canada, Bermuda, and the Philippines as well as data on radio and television stations and cable systems. Arrangement is alphabetical by location, name, and media type. The information given about each publication includes its address, phone number, frequency of publication, names of editors and publishers, advertising rate, and circulation. Material on electronic media includes programming formats, network affiliations, operating hours, key personnel, advertising rates, and wattage. Indexes of publishers and subjects are included, as are maps showing sites where media originates.


This source covers English-language articles from over 600 regularly published legal periodicals, bar association reports, and judicial council reports of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand. Arrangement is alphabetical by subject and author. Electronic access is available on the WilsonLine commercial database and on CD-ROM.


This monthly classified index of the world's biomedical literature (including research, clinical practice, administration, policy issues, and health care services) is produced by the National Library of Medicine. It covers publications in all principal languages and includes periodical articles and other analytical material as well as books, pamphlets, and theses. The January issue includes lists of the periodicals indexed and medical subject headings used. Quarterly and annual cumulations are provided, and electronic access via commercial databases and CD-ROM is also available.


Over 31,000 reporters, writers, editors, and producers at more than 2,900 national news media organizations are listed in this yellow book. It features 12 media categories--on newspapers, news services, and bureaus; television, radio, and cable stations and networks; publishers; independent journalists; and consumer, trade, and association magazines. This directory is fully updated on a quarterly basis.


This subject index to the articles, books, documents, microfiche, pamphlets, and reports in the public affairs field is published monthly and cumulated annually. Each year, it includes selective indexing to more than 1,600 periodicals and 8,000 books from around the world. It contains factual and statistical information about political science, government, legislation, economics, and sociology. It is also available electronically via CD-ROMs and commercial databases.


This guide indexes articles by subject and author in over 225 popular magazines. It is published semimonthly and cumulates annually. Each entry includes the article's author, title, and pages as well as the periodical's title, volume, and date. The presence of graphic material is also noted. This tool is also available electronically on a commercial database and on CD-ROM.


This source, published semimonthly and cumulated annually, includes an exact reference to the date, section, page, and column of The New York Times edition in which articles will be found. It contains cross references to names and related topics and has a brief synopsis of articles. Electronic access to the index is available in many forms from many sources: searchable, full-text files in the NEXIS and Dow Jones databases; a searchable, full-text CD-ROM called The New York Times ONDISC; and a searchable, full-text Internet site known as THE NEW YORK TIMES ON THE WEB.

Similar resources exist for many large-city newspapers in the United States, including the Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.



Abstract and title companies generally develop an overview of the property, examine the title for liens and other conditions, and prepare a commitment to insure. Information contained in supporting records may include transfer of property, locations, mortgage amounts, and releases of mortgages.


Better Business Bureaus are independently operated by Council of Better Business Bureaus in various localities. They (1) maintain records showing the manner in which listed merchants or businesses operate and (2) record and investigate complaints filed against such merchants or businesses.


An application for a bond contains the applicant's (person or firm) financial statement and data. This is essentially the same information as required in loan applications but in greater detail.


Car Fax is a private service that provides a history of automobiles. It determines whether there is an odometer discrepancy or evidence of prior salvage or title washing. It covers most of the United States and contains over 45 million problem records for over 18 million vehicles.


Routine credit bureau records will disclose identifying information limited to name, address, former address, or current/former places of employment. They may also provide information concerning the number of persons in the family, addresses, bank accounts maintained, and record of judgments. However, in most instances, such information can not be used unless obtained through a grand jury subpoena. (Full-service databases--Equifax; Trans Union; and Experian, formerly TRW--are discussed in chapter 4.)


This association has information on all international matters dealing with aviation security, including counterterrorism efforts worldwide. It also monitors and attempts to prevent fraud against airlines, such as ticket fraud.


IFAR is a non-profit organization established in 1969 to help prevent the circulation of forged and misattributed works of art. IFAR offers an Authentication Service to help resolve controversies concerning the authenticity of works of art. IFAR also publishes IFARreports ten times a year with articles on authentication research, art law, theft and recovery, and extensive listings of recently reported stolen and missing art and antiques. The IFAR can be contacted at (212) 391-6234.

See chapter 4 for information on the Art Loss Register.


This association is the organization of insurance regulators from the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the 4 U.S. territories. It provides a forum for the development of policy when uniformity is appropriate. A state regulator's primary responsibility is to protect the interests of insurance consumers and the association helps regulators fulfill that obligation.


The Phonefiche Community Cross-Reference Guide is divided into three parts--U.S. directories, Canadian directories, and Puerto Rican directories--and each part is subdivided into sections entitled Community Index and Directory Coverage. The guide is both a compendium to Phonefiche and an independent reference tool. It facilitates the use of telephone directories in any format and provides search assistance for directories included in the Phonefiche program.

The guide includes a revised listing of all United States, Canadian, and Puerto Rican telephone books arranged in alphabetical order by state or province.


This six-disk CD-ROM set provides telephone numbers from millions of residential and commercial listings across the United States. Searchable elements include name, street, city, state, zip code, area code, telephone number, and standard industrial classification code. Search results can be sorted, printed, or downloaded. Currency is indicated by the month and the year a listing appeared in a printed directory. This set is updated quarterly.


Western Union (1) offers commercial financial and messaging services to businesses as well as worldwide fund transfer services to individuals and businesses and (2) maintains records of these transactions.

Chapter 4
Electronic Databases

Other Databases



The Canadian Interface is a semiautomated link between law enforcement information networks of the United States and Canada. It allows the 50 states, federal agencies that are members of the National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System, and their Canadian counterparts to exchange police information through the National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System, using the INTERPOL National Central Bureaus in Washington and Ottawa as the necessary interface.

See the discussion in this chapter on the National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System for the type of information available from the Canadian Interface.


CIS is an INS system that assists in locating files that contain information on legal immigrants, naturalized citizens, and aliens who have been formally deported or excluded. CIS also contains information on some aliens who have come to the attention of INS because of an investigation or an application for benefits. Available information usually includes name, birthdate, nationality, applicable INS files control office, date of entry, and immigration status. The immigration status should not be considered definitive unless confirmed by an INS officer.

Local INS offices or the El Paso Intelligence Center can provide directions to the appropriate state coordinator. Requests may be made by providing either a file number or name and birthdate. The El Paso Intelligence Center is discussed further later in this chapter.

Also, see the discussion in this chapter on INS' Law Enforcement Support Center, the point of contact for federal, state, and local criminal justice agencies that want to know the immigration status of a suspect alien arrested for committing an aggravated felony.


The Department of State's CLASS consists of an automated database of several million names including those of aliens who have been found ineligible for visas; those whose visa applications require a Department of State opinion prior to issuance; and those who might be ineligible for a visa should they apply for one. CLASS also includes the network of telecommunication lines linking diplomatic posts to the Washington, D.C. computer and the terminals used for CLASS access at posts abroad.


DCII is the automated central repository that identifies investigations conducted by DOD investigative agencies and personnel security determinations made by DOD adjudicative authorities.

DCII is an unclassified system that is operated and maintained by the Defense Investigative Service. Access is limited to DOD and other federal agencies with adjudicative, investigative, and/or counterintelligence missions. Information contained in the DCII is protected by the Privacy Act of 1994.

The DCII database consists of an alphabetical index of names and titles of individuals that appear as subjects, cosubjects, victims, or cross-referenced incidental subjects in investigative documents maintained by DOD criminal, counterintelligence, fraud, and personnel security investigative activities. In addition, personnel security determinations are maintained, by subject, in DCII.


EPIC is a cooperative established to collect, process, and disseminate intelligence information concerning illicit drug and currency movement, alien smuggling, weapons trafficking, and related activity. Staffed by personnel from 15 federal agencies, its primary functions are (1) to disrupt the flow of illicit drugs at the highest trafficking level through the exchange of time-sensitive, tactical intelligence dealing principally with drug movement and (2) to support, through the intelligence process, other programs of interest to EPIC's participating agencies, such as alien smuggling and weapons trafficking.

EPIC is mandated to support local law enforcement entities with drug intelligence, all 50 states, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, District of Columbia, U.S. Forest Service, National Marine Fisheries, Bureau of Prisons, Amtrak, and DOD through South COM, Joint Interagency Task Force, East and West, and Joint Task Force 6.

The EPIC member agencies include DEA, INS, Customs, Coast Guard, ATF, FAA, USMS, FBI, IRS, Secret Service, Department of State, Department of the Interior, Central Intelligence Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency, and DOD. Member agencies have direct access to all EPIC information, with appropriate safeguards to provide for the protection and/or secure communication of highly sensitive or classified information. State and local law enforcement entities have access to EPIC data through a designated group within the respective organization or through a member agency.

EPIC can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-888-USE-EPIC (873-3742).


EDGAR accelerates the receipt, acceptance, dissemination, and analysis of time-sensitive corporate information filed with the SEC. It performs automated collection, validation, indexing, acceptance, and forwarding of submissions by companies and others who are required by law to file forms with the SEC. Not all documents filed with the SEC by public companies will be available on EDGAR for the following reasons: some documents are not yet permitted to be filed electronically, some submissions are voluntary, other documents may be filed manually, and filings by foreign companies are not required to be filed on EDGAR. Public filings to the SEC can be viewed on the SEC home page within 48 hours of being filed.


FPDC is a convenient source of consolidated federal buying information. It has governmentwide procurement information beginning with fiscal year 1979. The FPDC master file contains detailed data regarding the procurement actions of 60 federal agencies. The system can provide a wide variety of information about federal buying. It contains 24 data elements, including the name of the agency that awarded the contract; contract number including order and or modification number; purchase office and address; date of award; principal product or service; and the name and address of the contractor. A standard report is published each quarter which examines the data from a variety of perspectives.


Formerly titled the Identification Division Records System, the FBI's FIRS performs identification and criminal history record information functions and maintains those records for (1) federal, state, local, and foreign criminal justice agencies, (2) noncriminal justice agencies, and (3) other entities. It also provides identification assistance during disasters and for other humanitarian purposes. FIRS represents (1) individuals fingerprinted as a result of arrest or incarceration, (2) persons fingerprinted as a result of federal employment applications or military service, (3) persons fingerprinted for alien registration and naturalization purposes, and (4) individuals who want their fingerprints on record with the FBI for personal identification purposes. In addition to the criminal records of about 24 million people in the automated file, there are approximately 10 million older records in the manual files.


ICTS, located at USNCB in Washington, D.C., contains information about persons, property, and organizations involved in international criminal activity. USNCB can determine the existence of an international connection to an investigation or of any previous international criminal activity.


The III system contains information on criminal records of about 24 million people who were born in 1956 or later and have an FBI record. The system also contains information on persons born prior to 1956 whose first arrest was recorded with the FBI in 1974 or later, and selected older records for certain fugitives and repeat offenders. See the discussion on the National Crime Information Center in this chapter.


JMIE--a consortium of U.S. government agencies from the law enforcement and intelligence communities--has developed a consolidated maritime database. Consortium members are the Office of Naval Intelligence, Military Sealift Command, DEA, Department of State, Executive Office of the President's Office of National Drug Control Policy, Customs, Central Intelligence Agency, Coast Guard, Maritime Administration, Department of Energy, Defense Intelligence Agency, INS, and National Security Agency.

The system includes information on maritime-related law enforcement and national foreign intelligence data to meet members' operational missions, such as narcotics interdiction, smuggling, sea and defense zone surveillance, border control, petroleum traffic monitoring, and emergency sealift management.

Approximately 35 operational sites allow access to data sources that provide at-sea and in-port location information and characteristics on commercial and private vessels and vessel registration files for Florida, California, Delaware, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.


INS' LESC--located in South Burlington, Vermont--provides information on aliens who have been arrested. The center's staff queries six INS databases in responding to requests from federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. Direct access to the center is available from the National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Because of the sensitive nature of the information provided by LESC, it can only be accessed by agencies authorized to request criminal record information over the National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System.


The List is maintained by GSA for the use of federal programs and activities. Issued monthly, it identifies those parties excluded from receiving (1) federal contracts or certain subcontracts and (2) certain types of federal financial and nonfinancial assistance and benefits.


NADDIS inquiries should be limited to narcotics-related cases or files, smugglers of funds, other contraband, and aliens. NADDIS is accessible through EPIC and local DEA offices.


NAILS is an INS index of names of individuals who may be excludable from the United States. All names in NAILS are passed to the Treasury Enforcement Communications System (TECS), which is discussed later in this chapter. Therefore, a search of NAILS is not necessary if TECS has been searched.


NCIC is a widely used law enforcement computer system. Most major law enforcement agencies have NCIC connections.

NCIC is often compared to a large "file cabinet," with each file having its own label or classification. This cabinet of data contains information concerning the following:

The NCIC, through the Interstate Identification Index (III) system, can provide an investigator with information on the criminal records of about 24 million people. See the discussion on III in this chapter.


NLETS is a sophisticated message-switching network that links all law enforcement and criminal justice agencies in the United States; Puerto Rico; and, through a computerized link, to INTERPOL Canada. Agencies include state and local law enforcement agencies, motor vehicle and licensing departments, and a wide variety of federal enforcement agencies. The latter includes Customs, FBI, DOJ, Secret Service, USMS, Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Department of State, Department of the Army, and Department of the Interior. The National Insurance Crime Bureau is also linked to NLETS.

A great deal of information is available through the network, including the following:

Through an interface to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police's Canadian Police Information Centre, many files are available, including the following:

Users have the capability to send free-form messages to other users either individually or via a broadcast message.


NTC, a branch of the Firearms Enforcement Division of ATF, provides 24-hour assistance to ATF field offices and law enforcement agencies worldwide. Using ATF's Firearms Tracing System, NTC systematically tracks firearms used to commit crimes from their place of manufacture to the place of sale.


The Center is dedicated to supporting law enforcement in the prevention, investigation, and prosecution of economic crimes and computer-related crimes. The Center has a database system that contains information on individuals and businesses suspected of economic criminal activity, including advanced fee loan schemes, credit card fraud, computer fraud, and securities and investment fraud. It can be contacted at (800) 221-4424 or (804) 323-3563.


NIIS is an INS system that contains information on the arrivals and departures of nonimmigrants, or aliens entering the United States for a temporary stay. Canadians and Mexicans who visit for pleasure are not entered into the system. NIIS also contains entry and departure data on students, except classes Fl and Ml. Information can be queried and retrieved by nationality, port of entry, admission class, and date of entry.

See the discussion on the Central Index System in this chapter.


More than 4,500 local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies are members of RISS. Comprised of 6 regional projects, RISS operates in 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Canada.

Although the following RISS projects focus on the overall objective noted above, each project is allowed individuality in its choice of multijurisdictional crimes to target and in its range of services by which to support member agencies.


This on-line service is maintained by the Library of Congress and its Congressional Research Service (CRS).


Located in Boston, Massachusetts, the Securities Information Center operates SEC's Lost and Stolen Securities Program. The Center maintains a central database that receives and processes reports and inquiries about missing and stolen securities. Established in 1977 to reduce trafficking in lost, stolen, and counterfeit securities, the Center is used by investment professionals. The Center's database currently consists of reports of lost, stolen, and counterfeit certificates.


Sentry is a Federal Bureau of Prisons on-line database that contains information on all federal prisoners incarcerated since 1980. The information includes physical description, inmate profile, inmate location or release location, numerical identifiers, personal history data, security designation, past and present institution assignments, custody classification, and sentencing information. To obtain information, contact the Sacramento Intelligence Unit.


SPICIN is a law enforcement program of the South Pacific Chiefs of Police Organization comprising 21 member countries of American Samoa, Australia, the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (Saipan), Cook Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia (Tahiti), Guam, Kiribati, the Kingdom of Tonga, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua - New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and Western Samoa.

The primary purpose of SPICIN is to promote the gathering, recording, and exchanging of information not otherwise available through normal channels. Information made available concerns drug trafficking, mobile criminals, organized/white collar crime, terrorism, the use of the Pacific Island waters and aircraft, and other information of a criminal nature that concerns law enforcement in the Pacific region and elsewhere.

In addition to the 21 member countries, SPICIN can provide assistance to the national and international law enforcement communities regarding


TECS is a Department of the Treasury system managed by Customs. It was designed to provide controlled access to a large database of information about suspects and to interface with a number of other law enforcement systems. These capabilities are provided to TECS users through various applications, including the following.



ALR, which began operations in 1991, is a private international information clearinghouse on stolen art and antiques that offers several services to the art community, law enforcement, and the insurance industry. The register contains a database of over 80,000 items reported as stolen or missing by INTERPOL, state and local police, insurance companies, the FBI, foreign governments, private collectors, art dealers, and museums. Prospective art buyers may check the ALR to see whether a proposed purchase is stolen property before buying a work of art. Also, theft victims and law enforcement officials may register stolen works of art in the database.

Shareholders in the ALR include the IFAR, Sotheby's, Christie's, Phillips, Nordstern Insurance, Aon Corporation, the Society of Fine Auctioneers, and the British Antique Dealers Association. ALR can be reached at (212) 391-8791.


CDB Infotek is an on-line source of public records, including more than 3 billion records collected from local, county, and state governments all across the United States; the federal government; and various businesses.


CyberHound Online provides information on databases, discussion groups, libraries, companies, people, associations, and newspapers that have home pages on the Internet. Each entry includes name; access paths, including gopher, telnet, file transfer protocol, electronic mail, and web addresses; and description of the site. CyberHound covers all subject areas accessible via the Internet and is international in scope.


DataStar, a service of Knight-Ridder Information, Inc. provides worldwide access to over 350 databases and focuses on business data. Information available includes directory-type listings of companies or associations, company financial statements, bibliographic citations, and the complete text of journal articles. Subscribers can reach DataStar databases at its home page or via telnet.


Deluxe ChexSystems provides data on over 11 million individuals and businesses that have had their account closed for cause by their financial institution due to fraud or abuse. Reasons include automatic teller machine fraud, check kiting, and writing checks on closed accounts. Records on abused accounts are maintained for 5 years.


DIALOG is a Knight-Ridder Information, Inc. service that provides access to over 450 on-line databases and more than 45 CD-ROM titles. DIALOG provides professional librarians and researchers with access to articles, conference proceedings, news, and statistics from many subject areas, such as scientific, technical, medical, business, trade, and academic disciplines. It also has access to over 100 full-text newspapers worldwide as well as thousands of magazines and journals.


This on-line directory contains information on more than 1.1 million U.S. business establishments with 10 or more employees. Data provided includes company name, address, and telephone number; type of business, chief executive officer, company status, and subsidiary; language preference and geographic codes; number of employees at a given location and total number of employees; and total sales volume.


Equifax provides credit and commercial information, card processing, check authorization, analytics and consulting, and financial software. Some of the services provided by the Equifax subsidiary CDB Infotek for locating persons or businesses in the United States follow.


Experian, which replaced TRW Information Systems and Services, provides services on consumer and business credit, direct marketing, and real estate information services. Key Experian services include credit card processing, risk management, and target marketing. Some of these services follow.


Global Scan USA Inc. is now an integral part of the Equifax Europe group of companies. It has been developing its position in the on-line, business information arena since its formation in 1991. Global Scan is a multilingual (10 languages), multinational on-line gateway service providing subscribers with (1) a way to access credit reports and financial statements on any public or private company in the world and (2) country reports, including political and trade reports and country filing requirements.


Information America, an affiliate of West Publishing, offers on-line databases and document services that can be used to obtain background data about businesses, locate assets and people, and retrieve official public records. It can also provide ownership and financial information on businesses. Information America can be reached on the Internet or by calling (800) 532-9876.


IBM Internet Connection is a large international provider of on-line services that offers its subscribers Internet connection services, electronic mail, newsgroups, and business services. In addition, it provides more than 860 dial-in numbers in approximately 50 countries.


A division of Reed Elsevier Inc., the LEXIS full-text legal information service contains major archives of federal and state case law, continuously updated statutes of all 50 states, state and federal regulations and public records from major states, and international legal materials from selected countries. LEXIS Public Records Online service provides on-line access to information from selected states about real and personal property assets, Uniform Commercial Code liens, secretary of state corporation filings, verdicts and settlements, and court indices and dockets. The NEXIS news and business information service contains more than 7,100 sources, 3,700 of which provide their entire publications on-line. These include the full text of regional; national; and international newspapers, news wires, magazines, trade journals, and business publications. NEXIS service is the exclusive on-line archival source for The New York Times in the legal, business, and other professional markets. Also available are brokerage house and industry analyst reports and public records such as corporate filings, company records, and property records.


MetroNet, implemented by Metromail Corporation, specializes in consumer and business information. MetroNet provides on-line access to Metromail's National Consumer Databases for the following purposes:


NCMEC is a private, nonprofit organization--mandated by the Congress--that works in cooperation with DOJ's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. It is a vital resource for law enforcement agencies throughout the United States in the search for missing children and the quest for child protection. NCMEC operates a 24-hour, toll-free hotline for the recovery of missing children in cooperation with DOJ. It also operates a 24-hour, toll-free child pornography tipline in cooperation with Customs and the Postal Inspection Service. Additionally, NCMEC handles for the Department of State, applications that seek the return of or access to children abducted and brought to the United States under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. Among its services is a National Computer Network linked via online services with 49 state clearinghouses, the District of Columbia, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Canada, New Scotland Yard in the United Kingdom, Belgium Gendarmerie, Netherlands Police, Australia National Police, INTERPOL, Secret Service Forensic Services, and the Department of State. The network allows the instant transmission of images and information on missing child cases. The NCMEC can be contacted at 1-800-THE-LOST.


NFIC--a project of the National Consumers League--helps consumers report fraud and offers advice on how to avoid becoming a victim. Incident reports are entered in the NFIC database and referred electronically to the National Electronic Fraud Database administered by the Federal Trade Commission and the National Association of Attorneys General. NFIC incident reports are also referred to a variety of federal and state regulatory and enforcement agencies--the FBI, Secret Service, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, SEC, and U.S. Attorneys.


NICB, a national, not-for-profit, tax-exempt organization established in 1992, is supported by approximately 1,000 property/casualty insurers and self-insured companies. The bureau maintains an on-line computer database of 300 million records that assists law enforcement officials and insurance investigators and claims personnel in detecting fraudulent insurance claims and identifying stolen vehicles. NICB also has an investigative force of 200 experienced special agents who team up with insurance investigators and law enforcement officials to uncover and prosecute vehicle theft and insurance fraud. To obtain more information and access to NICB, call 1-800-447-6282.


Questel-Orbit, an international on-line information company, has files on patent, trademark, scientific, chemical, business, and news information.


Standard & Poor, a McGraw-Hill company, offers access to a variety of information about companies. For an Internet link to more information about several Standard & Poor resources, the McGraw-Hill Internet site offers a starting point. Some Standard & Poor information is also available as printed directories, some of which are discussed in chapter 3.


Trans Union is an international consumer credit information company whose products include credit reports, credit and insurance risk scoring models, target marketing systems, preemployment evaluation reports, skip tracing and search tools, collection services, customized lists, and transaction services. Some of the search services follow.


USDatalink provides access to individuals' credit reports, criminal records, education, workers' compensation claims, and employment histories. A people locator service can search for individuals using social security numbers, names, addresses, phone numbers, and surnames. USDatalink also gives information on vehicles from automobiles to airplanes. The database contains information on numerous companies including asset reports, in-depth general reports, and case records. USDatalink provides access to background checks, and other information reports, from public record repositories and proprietary databases throughout the United States.


Westlaw, a service of West Publishing, is a computer-assisted legal research service that contains over 9,000 databases. Coverage includes federal and state court cases, the U.S. Code Annotated and state statutes, federal regulations, administrative law decisions, topical databases, legal periodicals, West's Insta-Cite, West's QuickCite, Shepard's Citations, Shepard's PreView, Black's Law Dictionary, and public records.

Chapter 5
Investigators' Guide To the Internet

The Internet is made up of more than 80,000 academic, commercial, government, and military interconnected communications (computer) networks in over 200 countries. Originally developed for the military, the Internet became widely used for academic and commercial research in the 1980s. Currently, the number of Internet users is estimated to be over 70 million; some 10 million users are said to be connected to the "Net" at any given time. It is not unreasonable to expect that, by the year 2000, some 1 billion users will have access to the Internet.

For the investigator, there may be significant advantages to accessing sources on-line rather than using a library or another information medium. The Internet provides enormous resource potential for investigators in a timely and cost effective manner and is often more up-to-date than its paper counterparts.

For those who seek to defraud the public, the Internet provides a ready avenue for their schemes. Credit card fraud, money laundering, counterfeiting, and extortion are only a few of the ways that high technology criminals are using the Net. Criminal investigators are using both traditional and "cyberspace" techniques to identify and apprehend the malefactors.


The Internet has become a rich resource for government information, in part, because work produced by many government agencies is not eligible for copyright protection. Many local, state, and federal agencies have "home pages," or information sites, on the Internet, thus enabling law enforcement investigators to gather information in cyberspace. Internet users can access hundreds of sources of current government information from around the world--census data, Supreme Court decisions, property and vehicle ownership records, lien filings, company financial reports, and much more.

One way to access government agencies on-line is a system called FedWorld (sometimes referred to as the National Technical Information Service System). FedWorld provides access to detailed information from over 50 agencies and includes access to about 100 government information systems. FedWorld file libraries provide on-line access to more than 14,400 files, including the full text of selected U.S. government publications.

Another system, Marvel from the Library of Congress, is considered to be a one-stop source for a multitude of government material taken from a variety of sources such as census data, congressional information, White House documents, crime statistics, and Department of State reports.


With a computer, a telephone line, a modem, and an Internet service provider, anyone may access the Internet. Many government organizations establish a direct connection to the Internet and route it through the office LAN, or local area network, to benefit the largest number of employees. You will also need a "web browser," which is software that converts messages to a graphical user interface. Two popular browsers are Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer. If you are connecting to direct dial-up systems, you will need software that supports that function. Some Internet service providers provide other popular browsers free with your subscription.

Internet browsers are designed to make your search easy, but with the tremendous amount of information and the number of systems available, finding what you need may still be difficult. To help you to maneuver through the system are many different "search engines" that allow keyword and directory-type searches and respond to your search request with an organized group or category. The various search engines use their own unique methods to catalog information. Yahoo, AltaVista, Web Crawler, Infoseek, Lycos, and Magellan are a few of the search engines on the Internet.


Most people interact with the Internet using one or more tools that are fairly standard in their functionality. These tools let you send someone a message, retrieve a file from another computer, log onto another network, access databases, participate in newsgroups and forums, and so on. Two primary tools of the Internet are electronic mail (e-mail) and the World Wide Web (WWW). Many of the functions provided by traditional sources described in the following table are Internet utilities that can be used in connection with the WWW.

Table 5:1: Tools of the Internet
Component Function
Electronic Mail (E-Mail) E-mail allows the user to send and receive electronic messages and files.
List Server (LISTSERV) LISTSERV is an automated mailing-list distribution system that responds to subscribers' requests to add or delete their names to/from a particular discussion list. An Internet user may subscribe to a LISTSERV mailing list by sending an e-mail to the computer on which LISTSERV is running. By addressing a message to the list, subscribers may exchange messages with others on the list. Any replies to messages will be delivered to all subscribers.
Usenet & Bitnet The basic building block of Usenet is the newsgroup, which is a collection of messages with related themes. On other networks these would be called conference, forums, bulletin boards, or special interest groups. Users may access Usenet from the Internet. On the other hand, Bitnet discussion groups and mailing lists take place in e-mail.
The World Wide Web (WWW) The WWW links different Internet servers together all over the world. WWW uses "hypertext links" that can move from one reference page to another with a single mouse command. That is, the user clicks on icons or word groups with the mouse in order to call up the information requested.
File Transfer Protocol (FTP) FTP is a tool used to retrieve copies of files from other computers on the Internet to your own computer.
Telnet Telnet lets you log on to other servers on the Internet and run a program. After log on, telnet will provide you with a set of commands or menus to access the functions it provides. You can "telnet" into databases or into libraries around the world to perform research. The commands and functions that can be performed will vary with the particular system.
Gopher Gopher is a utility that lets you search hierarchical menus describing Internet files. Gopher servers were set up to provide a menu for accessing documents that exist on different computers on the Internet in a manner similar to the WWW. The primary difference is that gopher servers do not provide hypertext; they are strictly menu-driven. A gopher menu item will take you to a document or to a list of relevant documents. One menu can take you to another, which can take you to Internet sites all over the world.
Veronica Veronica is a keyword search tool used to search gopher menus and text. Veronica will search all gopher text to find the key words you are looking for.
Archie Archie is a database system that calls up file libraries and finds out what they have available. You can dial into Archie, type in a file name, and see where on the Internet it was available. Archie currently catalogs close to 1,000 file libraries around the world.
Wide Area Information Server (WAIS) WAIS is a system designed for retrieving information from networks. With WAIS, you enter a set of words that describe what you are looking for, and WAIS digs through whatever libraries you specify, looking for documents that match your request.
Internet Relay Chat (IRC) IRC is computer conferencing on the Internet. There are hundreds of IRC channels on every subject conceivable from more than 60 countries on the Net.


This is a sample Internet search for the full text of U.S. copyright laws. This Netscape browser screen provides hundreds of choices. The purpose of the search is to find information about violations of copyright law and penalties assessed for such violations.

Figure 5.1: Selecting From the Search Menu (15K)

In figure 5.1, samples of various topics are shown in the left column, while choices of search engines are listed closer to the center of the page. For this particular search, we select "Legal" as the general topic area. We also select the Yahoo search engine.

This page contains copyrighted material used here with the permission of the respective copyright holders. See page 3 for more information.

Novell® is a registered trademark and the Novell Network Symbol is a trademark of Novell, Inc. in the United States and other countries.

Figure 5.2: The Search Request (17K)

Figure 5.2 illustrates the response after we select "Legal." The search request is "copyright law," which gives three reference systems from which to choose. For this search, we select "Cornell University's Legal Information Institute."

This page contains copyrighted material used here with the permission of the respective copyright holders. See page 3 for more information.

Figure 5.3: Cornell's Legal Information Institute Web Site (14K)

This screen appears after clicking on "Cornell University's Legal Information Institute."

This page contains copyrighted material used here with the permission of the respective copyright holders. See page 3 for more information.

Figure 5.4: The LII Annotated Table of Contents (19K)

We scroll down the page and highlight "the full U.S. Code" in order to get citations on copyright law.

This page contains copyrighted material used here with the permission of the respective copyright holders. See page 3 for more information.

Figure 5.5: The U.S. Code Web Page (13K)

Selecting "U.S. Code" brings up this screen.

This page contains copyrighted material used here with the permission of the respective copyright holders. See page 3 for more information.

Figure 5.6: Access Path for Information (17K)

We scroll down the page to select "listing of all Titles" to find the title that specifically pertains to copyright law.

This page contains copyrighted material used here with the permission of the respective copyright holders. See page 3 for more information.

Figure 5.7: U.S. Code Titles and Headings (13K)

For our search, we select "Title 17 Copyrights" because we need to know what the U.S. Code has to say about copyright law.

This page contains copyrighted material used here with the permission of the respective copyright holders. See page 3 for more information.

Figure 5.8: Chapter Within Title 17 - Copyrights (15K)

From this screen, we select "Chapt. 5. Copyright Infringement and Remedies" to find information about copyright violations and penalties assessed.

This page contains copyrighted material used here with the permission of the respective copyright holders. See page 3 for more information.

Figure 5.9: Sections Within Chapter 5 - Copyright Infringement and Remedies (15K)

For our search, we want to see what the U.S. Code has to say about criminal offenses as they relate to copyright infringement, so we select
"§ 506. Criminal offenses."

This page contains copyright material used here with the permission of the respective copyright holders. See page 3 for more information.

Figure 5.10: Full Text of 17 U.S. Code, Section 506 (17K)

Our final selection provides us the information for which we searched.

This page contains copyright material used here with the permission of the respective copyright holders. See page 3 for more information.


By accessing the Internet, investigators may gather intelligence information about virtually any issue of interest to law enforcement. As evidenced by the following table, such information--including general information related to government and law enforcement and specific information about persons, businesses, and organizations--is available from a myriad of sources.

Table 5.2: Selected Internet Sites for Investigative Reference

Internet Site

Internet Address

1. Searching for Government Information


Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval


Federal Procurement Data Center




Library of Congress Computerized Catalog
Congressional Record and congressional legislation


U.S. Government Printing Office Web Site


The Federal Court Locator


The Federal Government Web Locator


U.S. Government Internet Resources





World Wide Web Servers (U.S. federal government)


State and Local

State and Local Governments


The State Court Locator


The State Government Web Locator





2. Searching for Persons, Businesses, or Organizations and Detailed Information About Them



C | net




Dun & Bradstreet








Infoseek Guide




National Fraud Information Center


Standard & Poor


Switchboard: Find People and Businesses


Teleport Internet Services: White and Yellow Pages


The World EMail Directory


Trans Union


WhoWhere?: Searches for People




3. Department of Justice and the FBI

The Justice Information Center


Department of Justice


FBI DECA (Development of Espionage Counterintelligence and Counterterrorism Awareness)


FBI Fugitive Policy


FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives


Federal Bureau of Investigation


The FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin


4. Other Law Enforcement and Legal References

Criminal Justice Organizations


COPNET: Police Resource List


Police Officer's Internet Directory


U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command


High Technology Crime Investigation Association


National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center


U.S. Code, Rules of Evidence, and Civil Procedure




5. International Justice and United Nations References

International Centre for Criminal Law Reform and Criminal Justice Policy: Guide to Internet Resources in Criminal Law and Criminal Justice


National Institute of Justice


United Nations International Drug Control Programme


6. Official Weather Resource

Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration


7. Maps

MapBlaster: Map Generating Site


MapQuest - zoom in on any street in the United States and find the best way to drive there


8. News Resources

Deja News: News Searches of All Newsgroups


FedNews - Full text speeches, news releases, congressional hearings, and Supreme Court debates.


Industrial Technology Institute Electronic Publications


NewsLink - An index of newspapers and weekly magazines


Newspage - News collected from hundreds of different sources, sorted by topic.


9. Document Indices

Government Information Locator Service (GILS)


Library of Congress Catalog


NARA (National Archives and Records Administration) Archival Information Locator (NAIL)


National Academy Press




Search FinanceNet


10. Legislative Branch Resources



Thomas - Library of Congress Legislative Server


11. Guides and Tutorials to the Internet

EFF's (Electronic Frontier Foundation's) (Extended) Guide to the Internet


Planet Earth Home Page - Virtual Library - text version


TileNet: Indexes of Listservs by Name and a Brief Description



Internet users should take precaution when writing e-mail or using any other Internet tool. Users should always assume that mail or files sent will never be erased and may be accessed or read by thousands. It is not recommended that you use the Internet to place in e-mail sensitive material--such as passwords or other information--that you would not readily make available to the public. The material you write in e-mail is analogous to the words on a postcard. You do not know how many people will actually read the information.

There are secure services, however, for the use of the Internet. These software programs generally require matching software, such as web browsers with encryption capability, for the sender and receiver. In addition, many implementations of electronic commerce over the Internet provide for security. For example, many major credit card companies offer secure electronic commerce over the Internet for software that conforms to their secure electronic transaction specifications.