Best Practices in Digital Evidence Management

National Police Training
July 19, 2013 — 4,823 views  
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Digital Evidence is information stored or transmitted in binary form which may be found in a computer, USB Drive, CD, or a mobile phone among other media. Digital Evidence is relied upon in court. Although formerly associated mostly with e-crime, digital evidence is now used to prosecute all types of crimes.

How to Manage Digital Evidence

The process of Digital Evidence Management consists of four elements:

  • Collecting: Collecting digital evidence is the first element. It involves either physical gathering of evidence at a crime scene or pulling out data from the internet from established sources across a network.
  • Storing: Storing the digital evidence is very important. Building an archive out of the digital evidence is always a great idea and it helps in facilitating media retention.
  • Securing: Securing the intentional or unintentional deletion of digital evidence is critical. Usage of software for data protection or creating fail-safe backups is a good one if you want to secure all your digital evidence.
  • Disseminating: As Digital evidence or property, to the internal sources, external agencies, defense, prosecution or the media.

Software which aid in Digital Evidence Management is as follows:

  • Digital Evidence Viewer or DEV: Includes Automated Intelligent Evidence Management. It provides solutions that automatically manage files based on a series of evidence value indicators.
  • Reveal Media’s RS-DEMS: Complete Evidence Management Suite which allows for uploads of videos both manually and automatically. These videos are then archived and secured off.
  • Digital Evidence Pro: Server class Network based system. Allows for managing all digital evidence from once convenient location.

Emerging Trends in Digital Evidence Management

  • Social media: With the ever rising popularity of Facebook and Twitter, information about big cases ended up on these platforms. LinkedIn too can be a rich source for E-Discovery.
  • Managing the Corporate E-Discovery workflow: Emergence of a need for E-Discovery workflow management. In house workflow management is improving but progress is slow owing to the discovery workflow being huge and complex.
  • More Multi matter management: Refers to preserving attorney work product and privilege and ensuring its application to other additional matters.
  • E-discovery on the cloud: Typically, the cloud is just another data storage target and application delivery mechanism.
  • Big Data Collections: If estimates are to be believed, available data almost doubles up every 2 years broadening the scope of E-Discovery.
  • Predictive Coding: It’s an excellent tool for accelerating manual analysis and review tasks.
  • Pressure towards cost reduction: E-Discovery has always been expensive, and given the state of the world economy, there is pressure at all times towards effective cost cutting.

Digital Evidences are here to stay and their usage in all likelihood will continue to multiply manifold in the years to come. Digital Evidence has its own charm and is always a strong argument for a lawyer’s defense in a case. But caution must be exercised because despite all the security that may be in place this evidence may have been tampered with. Over-reliance on these can also stray a lawyer away from other forms of evidence.

National Police Training

Digital Evidence is information stored or transmitted in binary form which may be found in a computer, USB Drive, CD, or a mobile phone among other media. This article explains the best practices you should be using to manage it all.