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Dealing with Digital Evidence Backlog

Dealing with Digital Evidence Backlog 

Don Kohtz


Storage, resources and personnel can push digital evidence processing back for months. Is outsourcing the answer?


Digital evidence is everywhere, and it's compounding. Larger storage space on smaller, more portable devices means more convenience for criminals. Mobile phones, flash drives, digital cameras and voice recorders, GPS devices, wireless hard drives and conventional desktop and laptop computers increase cases' complexity, and obtaining their stored evidence takes more time, expertise and equipment.


Furthermore, the evidence is not limited to the jurisdiction in which it was found. Identity theft, child pornography and fraud span local, state and even national boundaries. So in addition to processing a higher volume of evidence, law enforcement must share information to a greater extent than ever before.


Regional task forces have helped to some extent. They pool local and county resources, and are often supported with state and federal funding. They are especially useful to smaller agencies, which get access to personnel and equipment they would not otherwise have. Still, even task forces and the forensic labs attached to them must prioritize caseloads in order of severity.


An alternative, the outsourcing of digital evidence to private forensic firms is often dismissed by law enforcement for a variety of reasons. Yet it has been successful in the United Kingdom, as is outsourcing of physical evidence DNA, drug testing and audio/video analysis in the United States. Thus digital forensic outsourcing deserves careful consideration. 


Why not outsource?

Several arguments exist as to why law enforcement should not outsource digital forensics - and these are explored in Issue 6 - out in February. Subscribe today!

 
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Coming up in the Next issue of Digital Forensics Magazine

Coming up in Issue 39 on sale from February 2019:


Making Sense of Digital Forensic International Standards

To many the complexity of Standards, their numbering and obscure contents fail to make practical sense and confuse the entry points for effective use. A roadmap is provided in this paper for Standard information access and optimal use. Read More »

Evidentiary Challenges: Social media, the Dark Web, and Admissibility

This article takes a look at two categories of remote evidence: social media, and the dark web. We will also examine two interesting cases: The Target store credit card breach; and the civil case of Fero v Excellus Health Plan, Inc. Read More »

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Vehicle Data Forensics on Unsupported Systems

The article will help readers understand how to approach a vehicle from a digital forensics’ perspective, it will cover a range of infotainment units from popular manufacturers, data extraction methods and examples of data types found which may be considered intelligence and or used as digital evidence. Read More »

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