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Computer forensics: how to obtain and analyze electronic evidence
By Wade Davies
Computers (and the people who work
with them) are strange and wonderful things. Whether we like computers or not,
all of us who handle criminal cases have to learn how to deal with them as
pieces of evidence. This rule applies not only to computer crime or pornography
cases. In most business and home searches now, the government seizes computers.
The government is looking not just at what our clients have on their computers.
They are also analyzing what used to be there; when information was “deleted”
and how it was deleted.
In many ways, computerized evidence
must be dealt with the same way as any other type of evidence. It is subject to
the same need for defense inspection, the same chain of custody requirements,
and the same rules of admissibility. Defense counsel have to inspect
computerized evidence as carefully as they would a stack of documents that were
seized or the evidence taken after a barroom brawl.
In other ways, counsel’s role in
inspecting computerized evi
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