Criminal Defense Challenges in Computer Forensics

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Computer forensic techniques may be unfairly applied in order to tip the scales of justice in the direction of prosecution. Particular areas that are known to be problematic for defense experts include: erroneous allegations of knowledgeable possession; misuse of time stamps and metadata; access, control and observation in the discovery process; authentication issues; deficiencies and the lack of verification for proprietary software tools; deliberate omission or obfuscation of exculpatory evidence; and inadvertent risks resulting from the use of legitimate services. Examples in the author’s caseload are used to illustrate these inequities in an effort to encourage reform.

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