Computer Forensic Science and Evidence

The world is becoming a much smaller place in which to live and work. A changing revolution in communications and information exchange has taken place in jobs, homes, and public places. Our world today is much more invested in information processing and management. Most of our daily lives depend on the use of some type of personal computer. We bank and transfer money electronically, and we are much more likely to receive an E-mail than a letter. We shop more on the Internet than in a regular store. We buy groceries on the Internet, clothes, animal products, jewelry, and medicine. If you can name it, you can probably find it on the Internet somewhere. It is estimated that the worldwide Internet population is over 349 million per CommerceNet Research Council 2000. As the workforce has slowly converted from manufacturing goods to processing information electronically, criminal activity has also changed from a physical dimension. Evidence and investigations are found in a wireless dimension, in which evidence exists only electronically, and investigations are conducted online. Computer forensic science was created to address the specific needs of law enforcement and specially trained forensic experts to make the most of this new form of electronic evidence. Computer forensic science is the science of acquiring, preserving, retrieving, and presenting data that has been processed electronically and stored on a computer media. Computer forensic science is, at its core, different from most usual traditional forensic disciplines. The computer material that is examined and the techniques available to the examiner are products of a market-driven private sector that are useful. In contrast to traditional forensic analysis, there now is a way to perform computer examinations at virtually any physical location, not only in a controlled laboratory setting. Rather than producing hypothetical conclusions, as in many forensic disciplines, computer forensic science produces direct information and data that may have significance impact in a particular case. This type of direct data collection has wide-ranging implications for both the relationship between the investigator, the forensic specialist, the lawyers, the judge, the accused and the work product of the forensic computer examination.
Using a computer data base is very useful in identifying identity theft, child pornography, and misrepresentation of an individual or just any type of scam artist. The computer has in deed changed over the past twenty years. The computer can do basically anything for you. The good thing about knowing the computer and being able to analyze the computer is you learn more and more, both scientifically and logically. Even though criminals think they have erased evidence on their computer or laptop, it is still in the computer brain somewhere, it’s just up to specialists and investigators to know what exactly to do to find that stored information. Having access to a criminal’s hard drive (if able to do so) is a great advancement. It will help in a situation if every thing else has gone cold, or law enforcement cannot find any other justification.

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