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IT giants fund US police

Intel, HP, others hand over huge wedges for fight against computer crime

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Hi-tech companies are paying out thousands of dollars to hard-up police departments in the US to help combat computer-related crime. According to a report in the LA Times, Intel regularly slips police departments in Oregon $100,000 a year to help pay the wages of a few law enforcement professionals. It's also more than happy to part with $10,000 to kit out the odd sheriff's department with a wire-tap or two. Then there's Hewlett-Packard which is more than happy to let police officers use its corporate jet if it helps catch a computer villain. Snag is, some people think this is an abuse of the system. They claim these firms are "buying justice" in their bid to crackdown on computer crime which reportedly cost the US $3 billion last year. But one outspoken officer told the LA Times that such allegations were way out of line. "If you're inferring that we're paid off, that's not right," Sgt Michael Tsuchida of the Sacramento County Sheriff's Office told the LA Times. "I'll eat your dinner, sleep in your hotel and still arrest you if you're breaking the law," he said. It's nice to know that the judgement of the boys in blue is not swayed by a few greenbacks. In a way, the hacks at The Register are no different. They swan off on fancy all-expenses-paid press trips, get taken out to swanky restaurants -- and still manage to dish the dirt about their hosts. The Register -- eating the hand that feeds IT. ®

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