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NCJ Number: 221148 Find in a Library
Title: Evolution of Digital Evidence in Forensic Science Laboratories
Journal: The Police Chief  Volume:74  Issue:11  Dated:November 2007  Pages:36-39,41,42
Author(s): C. M. Whitcomb
Date Published: November 2007
Page Count: 6
Document: HTML
Type: Report (Technical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses the necessary components involved in developing the new evolutionary forensic science discipline of digital evidence.
Abstract: With the advent of personal computers, cellular telephones, the Internet, and a seemingly unending variety of electronic devices, circumstances at the crime scene have begun to change. Much of an individual’s personal information and other evidence are saved in a potentially fragile digital format. The world is faced today with gigabytes to terabytes of digital evidence. All digital evidence, whether in the form of letters, photographs, spreadsheets, or email addresses, must be collected, preserved, and examined in a forensically sound manner. This helps to ensure that the evidence is acceptable in court. Developing any new discipline, such as digital evidence, involves a few crucial components. These components are discussed in this article and include: (1) a working group of experts must reach consensus during the development of the new discipline; (2) forensic laboratories should take a leading role, gaining support from government agencies, researching and developing needs assessments, determining education and training programs, and conferring accreditation on laboratories and professional certification for individual practitioners; and (3) formal recognition from professional organizations and acceptance of evidence in court. Digital evidence will be a major form of evidence with which society must contend for the foreseeable future. Luckily, there are educational programs and research organizations that are meeting the challenge by developing classes and programs in digital forensics. This training will provide law enforcement agencies and forensic scientists with the tools to enable them to persist in their investigations regardless of the media criminals employ. 20 notes
Main Term(s): Forensic sciences
Index Term(s): Camera technology; Computers; Criminal investigation; Criminal investigation training; Digital message entry devices; Evidence collection; Evidence identification; Police effectiveness; Policing innovation; Science and Technology
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