Digital Evidence and Computer Crime Essay

Digital Evidence and Computer Crime Essay

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Digital Evidence and Computer Crime: Forensic Science, Computers, and the Internet is essentially a guide on how to collect and process digital evidence in any situation. In this book, digital evidence is defined as “any data stored or transmitted using a computer that support or refute a theory of how an offense occurred or that address critical elements of the offense such as intent or alibi” (Casey, 7). Most crimes today have some kind of digital element to them, from the crime itself to the criminal’s use of computer systems to communicate, store incriminating data, or search for ways to commit a crime and this creates new challenges for those in law enforcement (Casey, 3).
To fully understand what digital evidence is and how it is to be collected, one must have knowledge of the different types of computer systems. The first and most obvious is called an open system. This consists of a hard drive, keyboard, and a monitor, such as a desktop computer or laptop (Casey, 7). The next type of system is a communication system. This system includes telephones, mobile phones, the Internet, and computer networks, anything that communicates with another device (Casey, 7). The final type of computer system is an embedded system, which includes anything that has a computer or a computer chip embedded in it such as a GPS system, mobile devices, and vehicles (Casey, 8).
These three different systems all provide different types of information that may be useful to digital investigators. For example, an open system stores data on the hard drive. The data stored can be anything from web searches to incriminating pictures. Communication systems can tell whom a suspect has been in contact with leading up to the crime. Embedded systems can show ...


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... everything happens on computers, with the aid of computers, or can be found online. If law enforcement officers don’t take advantage of this during their investigations, they could lose valuable evidence and time on a case. They also have to take care to handle all digital evidence as they would physical evidence so that it will be admissible in court. While digital evidence collection can still be considered to be in its early stages, I believe that it can provide some of the most valuable evidence in many different crimes and Casey’s book can help to advance the way digital evidence is collected simply by providing understandable information about it, even for those of us who are not technologically savvy.



Works Cited

Casey, Eoghan. Digital Evidence and Computer Crime: Forensic Science, Computers, and the Internet. 3rd Ed. Boston: Academic Press, 2011. Print.

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