Legal Challenges to Digital Evidence Collection: Is the Forensics Examiner Able to Produce All of the Process Documentation for Trial?
Whichever forensic method is used to extract digital evidence, the forensic examiner must document every step of the process in preparation for possible legal challenges in criminal defense cases. If documentation is missing, cross-examination by the Public Defender can reveal flaws in the extraction process. The forensic examiner should be able to confirm that the forensic equipment that was used was properly functioning and that the software they use has been validated. Also, the Public Defender should ask the forensic examiner for verification that the target media contained no information before the forensic copy or forensic evidence file was placed onto the target media. If this documentation does not exist, the examiner cannot be certain that the suspect material came from the defendant’s digital device.