Digital Evidence Collection: Best Practices and Legal Challenges

In digital forensics, any interaction with a device can alter its contents, so any part of the process that is not carefully and properly documented can be a point where reasonable doubt is emphasized.  Adhering to the best practices process guides the defense in evaluating how the digital evidence was handled.

The collection and examination of digital evidence should be conducted in accordance with the best practices and a quality management system.  The prevailing governing standards and best practices are set forth by The Scientific Working Group of Digital Evidence (SWGDE) and The National Institute of Justice (NIJ).  These guides establish recommendations for how defense investigators should handle digital evidence.

Additionally, early case assessment of digital evidence that uses a standardized method that focuses on the time-sensitive nature of digital evidence ensures that the criminal defense team follows best practice guidelines. For additional information see IRIS LLC Digital Evidence Case Assessment Method and Digital Evidence Innocence Initiative