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Dealing with Digital Evidence Backlog

Written by DFM team

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 42 on sale from February 2020:


Forensic Syntactical & Linguistic Investigation

Mark Iwazko presents a case study regarding a Forensic Syntactical & Linguistic investigation: Instructed by the Moscow General Council of one of the actual big four accountants. Read More »

Forensic Readiness: A Proactive Approach to Support Forensic Digital Analysis

An increasing number of criminal actions are inflicting financial and brand damage to organizations around the globe. An impressive number of such cases do not reach the courts, mainly because of the organization’s inefficiency to produce robust digital evidences that are acceptable in the courts of law. Read More »

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Using Error-Patterns for Attribution: An Applied Linguistics Technique

Corpus Linguistics within Second Language Acquisition has developed models of error patterns made by defined groups of second language learners. This knowledge base can be leveraged by a knowledgeable analyst to attribute content to a subset of authors. Read More »

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