Moving Digital Forensics Beyond Reasonable Doubt!

forensics

The wide range of digital devices and extraction processes [within digital forensics] yields a commensurate potential for recoverable evidence within the criminal justice system.  I begin with this expression because while researching Digital Evidence and Computer Crime, I read that digital evidence can be used to reconstruct a crime scene or incident, identify suspects, apprehend the guilty, defend the innocent, and understand criminal motivations”, which heightened my awareness of the abilities of forensics. I wallowed in fictional and fabricated short stories and novels of investigation.  I immersed myself consistently into TV dramas of criminal justice.  However, what I see all too often is a lack of cohesion in the digital forensic world as detectives and CFS’ sort through evidence trying to avoid loopholes.

As a result of my readings I have arrived at the notion that multiple court trials that use multiple approaches for evaluation of evidence does have the potential to create environments of confusions. The field of digital forensics does not currently have mathematics or statistics to evaluate levels of certainty associated with digital evidence (Casey). This pertains to the fact that there is no set procedure available across the board used for evaluating evidence in the field of digital forensics.  There are no generalized approaches or consistent studies that would generate statistics.   This creates inconsistencies that result in unreliability.  Any evidence that is perceived as unreliable creates a reasonable doubt when placed before a judge and a jury.

It is therefore my opinion that the weakness in the digital forensics industry lies in the inability to predict by using consistency that in turn create statistics. To satisfy these lapses, each and every case should be assessed individually incorporating a generalized approach.  Beyond reasonable doubt is the highest standard of proof that must be met in any trial and if digital forensics could generalize its approach to surpass this standard then the industry will achieve a milestone, and digital forensics shall be viewed as an industry much more respected and appreciated.

-Dominique Briscoe, M.S.C.T

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