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Proceedings Paper

Advancing the science of forensic data management
Author(s): Timothy Sean Naughton
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Paper Abstract

Many individual elements comprise a typical forensics process. Collecting evidence, analyzing it, and using results to draw conclusions are all mutually distinct endeavors. Different physical locations and personnel are involved, juxtaposed against an acute need for security and data integrity. Using digital technologies and the Internet's ubiquity, these diverse elements can be conjoined using digital data as the common element. This result is a new data management process that can be applied to serve all elements of the community. The first step is recognition of a forensics lifecycle. Evidence gathering, analysis, storage, and use in legal proceedings are actually just distinct parts of a single end-to-end process, and thus, it is hypothesized that a single data system that can also accommodate each constituent phase using common network and security protocols. This paper introduces the idea of web-based Central Data Repository. Its cornerstone is anywhere, anytime Internet upload, viewing, and report distribution. Archives exist indefinitely after being created, and high-strength security and encryption protect data and ensure subsequent case file additions do not violate chain-of-custody or other handling provisions. Several legal precedents have been established for using digital information in courts of law, and in fact, effective prosecution of cyber crimes absolutely relies on its use. An example is a US Department of Agriculture division's use of digital images to back up its inspection process, with pictures and information retained on secure servers to enforce the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act. Forensics is a cumulative process. Secure, web-based data management solutions, such as the Central Data Repository postulated here, can support each process step. Logically marrying digital technologies with Internet accessibility should help nurture a thought process to explore alternatives that make forensics data accessible to authorized individuals, whenever and wherever they need it.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 July 2002
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 4709, Investigative Image Processing II, (19 July 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.474726
Show Author Affiliations
Timothy Sean Naughton, primeSolve Business Services (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4709:
Investigative Image Processing II
Zeno J. Geradts; Lenny I. Rudin, Editor(s)

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