Dell launches digital forensics service for police

LONDON (Reuters) - Dell, the world’s second-biggest maker of personal computers, launched a service on Tuesday designed to help law-enforcement agencies convict more criminals as digital evidence proliferates.

The company said its digital-forensics solution would help police reduce backlogs that can be as long as two years as it would allow multiple analysts to work simultaneously on the same data, while preserving an audit trail of evidence-handling.

“Law enforcement agencies across the world have told us about the enormous challenges they face in analysing huge volumes of data on seized digital devices,” Josh Claman, head of Dell’s European public-sector business, said in a statement.

James Quarles, Dell’s head of public-sector marketing in Europe, told Reuters that customers remotely accessing criminal evidence in parallel from Dell datacentres could gain a crucial time advantage, for example when legally constrained as to how long they could hold terrorism suspects without evidence.

Dell made about $15 billion (9.2 billion pounds) in sales to the public sector last year, including hospitals, government, education and defence -- about a quarter of its total revenues.

The company cited estimates by research firm IDC that the U.S. digital-forensics market would be worth $630 million this year, up from $252 million in 2004, while the international market would be worth $1.8 billion by 2011.

Partners in Dell’s offering include data-storage gear maker EMC, chipmaker Intel, business-software maker Oracle, security-software maker Symantec and privately held digital-forensics specialist AccessData.

Dell will present the new service to Britain’s Association of Chief Police Officers on Tuesday.

Reporting by Georgina Prodhan