Integrity of Digital Evidence-Necessary!Randy Mitchell
Integrity of Digital Evidence-Necessary! Digital evidence in criminal investigations and court proceedings is vital in today’s digital world! In order to ensure the admissibility and integrity of this evidence, there are specific handling standards and best practices in place that are mandatory from the moment of evidence seizure until its presentation in court. One of the fundamental principles in handling digital criminal evidence is the “Chain of Custody” of the evidence. This involves painstaking documentation of the evidence’s journey from the moment of seizure through storage and analysis, to its presentation in court. Digital evidence is susceptible to “wireless tampering”. This tampering is blocked by encasing the evidence in an RF Shielded Evidence Pouch or Forensic Evidence Enclosure at all times. Any break in the Chain of Custody can cast doubt on the authenticity and admissibility of the evidence.
Integrity of Digital Evidence-Necessary! Preservation is another crucial aspect. The original state of the digital evidence must be preserved. Forensic experts create exact duplicates of the original data, then securely store the original evidence. Documentation contains every action taken with the evidence including who handled it and its storage. Authentication, legal authority, and data recovery are also important considerations in the evidence’s reliability and legality. Expert analysis and reporting should be clear, comprehensive, and defensible in court.
Integrity of Digital Evidence-Necessary! Ultimately, adherence to these standards and best practices not only safeguards the integrity of digital evidence, but also assures its admissibility in court. Compliance with legal standards, including relevant laws and rules of evidence is crucial to ensure that justice is paramount in the digital age. Digital forensic experts and legal professionals follow standards, assuring credibility of digital evidence in the legal system.
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