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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 229175 Find in a Library
Title: Crime Scene Evidence You're Ignoring: Computers and Cell Phones Aren't the Only Digital Devices That Hold Evidence
Journal: Law Enforcement Technology  Volume:36  Issue:10  Dated:October 2009  Pages:36,38-40,42,45
Author(s): Christa Miller; Kipp Loving
Date Published: October 2009
Page Count: 8
Document: HTML
Type: Instructional Material; Report (Technical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article calls attention to digital devices that may hold evidence but are often overlooked by first officers on the scene and investigators.
Abstract: New digital storage and entertainment devices are constantly being released to the mass market. Files can be stored on anything that a computer treats as a "drive." A digital camera, iPod, voice recorder, flash drive, and memory card can be used to hold files and images that may provide evidence of or related to a crime. This article advises officers and investigators who collect evidence to not be selective in what is seized. Any kind of device observed should be taken for later evaluation, so as to prevent evidence from being ignored or later hidden or destroyed by a suspect. It is also useful to be able to preview digital devices on-scene while executing a search warrant. Investigators should carry a laptop with an external USB media reader. Another potential evidence source consists of accounts that involve uploading data to private servers. Because evidence from these kinds of accounts can be time sensitive, investigators must be careful to send a letter of preservation to the company, so the account can be locked before the suspect can have evidence deleted. Just like computers and mobile phones, digital storage media are getting smaller, can hold more data, and make the recovery of stored or deleted data more difficult. Investigators and first responders must stay up to date on what's available on the market and what is coming, as well as what is required to retrieve evidence from new digital devices.
Main Term(s): Police policies and procedures
Index Term(s): Computer related crime; Digital communications; Evidence collection; Investigative techniques; Records
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