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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 166130 Find in a Library
Title: Effects of Computers on Forensic Document Examiners
Journal: International Journal of Forensic Document Examiners  Volume:2  Issue:3  Dated:(July/September 1996)  Pages:187-191
Author(s): S L Ramsey
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 5
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper profiles and analyzes the results of two surveys (1988 and 1993) that attempted to define and explain trends in the submissions and examination of questioned computer-generated documents.
Abstract: In 1988 a questionnaire was administered to 89 forensic document examiners to determine trends related to the number of questioned document submissions of a handwritten or computer- generated nature over a 5-year period. The survey also measured the success rate for the comparison and identification of computer-generated questioned documents. The 1988 survey found that 10.1 percent of respondents reported a decrease over the previous 5 years in the number of handwritten documents submitted for examination. This prompted a second survey that was conducted in 1993. This survey found that 17.2 percent of respondents reported a decrease in the number of questioned handwritten documents received for examination. In an effort to explain these relatively low percentages of decrease in handwritten documents in a computer age, the author notes that despite the pervasive nature of questioned computer-generated documents, there has been an increase in population, a down turn in economies, and a sparse use of computers in daily commercial activities throughout the world. The creation of handwritten documents for the purposes of criminal activities, although not as concise and neat as a computer-generated document, remains the quickest route to preparing a questioned document for illicit ends. Bank and industry officials believe the debit card will substitute for checks and cash in possibly 10 to 15 years. Currently, grocery stores accept 70 percent of all the checks written. Future debit cards are expected to contain a computer chip so they can be used for telephone and vending machines. Consumers can transfer money from their checking account onto the chip, and by sliding the card through a slot on a vending machine, purchase a product. The purchase amount is then deducted from the total originally loaded onto the chip. Document examiners must address these new forms of evidence. 10 tables and 21 references
Main Term(s): Computer evidence
Index Term(s): Computer aided operations; Document analysis
Note: Revision of original paper presented at the 47th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, Seattle, Wash., February 16, 1995.
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