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The Danger of Exposure to the Internet
By Michael Cherry, Edward J. Imwinkelried
We are entering an era of rampant error in Internet data. It may soon
become nearly impossible for courts to determine the truth based on
digital information. In the long term, America should implement a
strategy of isolating key computer systems with sensitive data from the
Internet. In the short term, the judiciary ought to generally adopt a
more skeptical attitude toward computer data proffered in court, and in
particular permit attorneys to conduct extensive discovery concerning
the possibility that the data has been compromised by alteration.
How can 5’ 9” illegal alien Luis Aguilar also be 5’7” and 6’5”? The
government’s computer data say that he is, that’s how. According to the
government’s computers, his fingerprints matched those for three
different AKAs with records stating different heights. One record was an
INS folder for a 6’5” person; that record contained a mug shot
photograph showing the height. A second record was another INS folder
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