Good Example Of Creative Writing On Digital Forensics:
Digital forensics refers to the use of computer science methods and investigative techniques for legal purposes to analyze digital evidence after collection using the neccessary search and seizure methods, chain of custody verification and validation using mathematics, application of validated techniques and tools, reporting, method repeatability, and professional (expert) presentation (Zatyko, 2007).
The digital forensics course is required by a non-criminal justice major since he is required to be familiar with and adopt best practices in digital forensics in order to adhere to court evidence admissibility standards, evidence inspection, documentation analysis, and proper court representation to ensure the success of legal proceedings. Lack of, or ignorance of these best practices raises questions on the validity of digital evidence presented in court. Such questions include the search and seizure methods used, case jurisdiction, evidence tampering, evidence preservation, investigation and analysis, and issues of the “principle of good faith” (Ami-Narh & Williams, 2008).
This paper will provide two case examples of why familiarity with digital evidence best practices and criminal justice standards for someone in a non-criminal justice position could make or break a case. The cases involve the investigation stage of forensic evidence which requires a lot of planning and consideration to uphold the integrity of the original evidence. In order to ensure the integrity of digital evidence, the forensics expert is required to make a mirror image (exact copy) of all media (hard disks, backup tapes, flash drives etc.) and data using appropriate software imaging tools. In this case, the mirror image preserves the value of the evidence as originally recovered.
In the case involving Gates Rubber Company vs. Bando Chemical Industries, the court imposed sanctions on the defendant since his employees destroyed electronic evidence. The court criticized the digital forensics expert brought in by the defendant for not making a mirror image of the drive in question to preserve the evidence (Ami-Narh & Williams, 2008). The case outcome shows that the digital expert’s lack of knowledge and ignorance of electronic evidence preservation methods led to the defendant’s penalization.
In another case involving the State vs. Cook, the defendant placed an appeal against the court’s ruling for possession and receipt of child pornography material. The defendant argued that part of the evidence exhibited in court was not from a mirror image generated from his hard disk drive. However, the court discussed the mirror image creation process, the integrity and authenticity of data retrieved from the image, and the possibility of data tampering. After the discussion, the original ruling was upheld by the appellate court citing that the evidence had been properly admitted by the plaintiff and his digital forensics expert (Ami-Narh & Williams, 2008).
These two cases discussed above that knowledge of digital forensics and criminal justice best practices and standards could make or break a case. The first case demonstrates case failure resulting from poor evidence handling by the defendant and failure of his expert to make a mirror image of data, while the second case demonstrates how the digital forensics expert applied best practices when presenting electronic evidence in court leading to case success.
Ami-Narh, J., & Williams, P. (2008). Digital forensics and the legal system: A dilemma of our times. In Proceedings of the 6th Australian Digital Forensics Conference (pp. 1-6). Perth: Edith Cowan University. Retrieved from http://ro.ecu.edu.au/adf/41
Zatyko, K. (2007). Commentary: Defining Digital Forensics. Forensic Magazine. Retrieved 19 March 2015, from http://www.forensicmag.com/articles/2007/01/commentary-defining-digital-forensics