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Worried about Digital Evidence Tampering?

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the she-blinded-me-with-science dept.

Graphics 292

2marcus writes "As digital technology continues to improve and is used in more and more applications, the ease of tampering with digital files becomes more pertinent. This is especially important in the field of criminal justice, where even the appearance of possible impropriety can sway a jury. CNN has an article on the issues with digital photos being used for fingerprints and other forensics evidence."

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Fristy Prosty (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8240539)

Maybe?

A DEAN HAIKU (-1)

CmdrTaco (troll) (578383) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240600)

Intense searing pain
After finding support just
Few dirty hippies

Another CNN link... (1, Interesting)

BWJones (18351) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240548)

Yeah, digital evidence tampering makes you worry about stuff like this [cnn.com]

Re:Another CNN link... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8240589)

LOL! President Bush SUCKS!!

Re:Another CNN link... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8240651)

President Bizzle is da shizzle!

I read about this (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8240549)

As digital technology continues to improve and is used in more and more applications, the ease of tampering with digital files becomes more pertinent. This is especially important in the field of criminal justice, where even the appearance of possible impropriety can sway a jury. CNN has an article on the issues with digital photos being used for fingerprints and other forensics evidence.

Only solution (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8240568)

make digital evidence inadmissable. Photoshopping/gimping/email fraud/video editing is becoming too easy and too difficult to trace.

Re:Only solution (4, Insightful)

metallicagoaltender (187235) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240790)

Uhhhhh...you just made it next to impossible to prosecute a lot of crimes. Take kiddie porn for example - you're saying that a hard drive full of kiddie porn images shouldn't be admissable?

Please clarify your point, because you either didn't think your comment through, or meant something entirely different than what you wrote.

Re:Only solution (0, Offtopic)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240851)

you forgot option 3: he got caught with a hard drive full of kiddie pr0n.

Re:Only solution (5, Insightful)

gcaseye6677 (694805) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240860)

With our society relying on more digitized information all the time, it is not practical to make it all inadmissable as evidence. There's no way in the world that you could prosecute computer crime or for that matter almost any fraud without digital evidence. As for the photo example, non digital photos can be doctored as well. For example, you could doctor a photo digitally, recapture the picture with film and develop the non-digital photo of the digitally altered image. If its done well, it would be very hard to detect. Bottom line is, we need better evidence authentication, not exclusion of all digital evidence.

Re:Only solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8240920)

Everyone is also missing another key point... Its just as easy to scan a photograph, edit it, and reprint it onto shiny glossy prints. At least digital evidence can be signed by the camera (and you then have to trust the camera software (both the signer(camera) and the signature reader)

This shouldn't change anything (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8240573)

There has always been the possibility that the evidence could have been tampered with before. Since it is digital this only makes it slightly easier to do. It shouldn't matter however because it is always based on the honesty of the law enforcement official to do what is right.

Re:This shouldn't change anything (1)

FuzzyShrimp (751090) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240672)

As was said before in a court of law, "You must admit, the bit doesn't fit!" What's new?

Re:This shouldn't change anything (2, Funny)

Hagakure (203111) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240798)

isn't that followed by...

"If Chewbacca lives on Endor YOU MUST ACQUIT!"

re: this shouldn't change anything (0)

ed.han (444783) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240832)

i phear j00r mad south park-fu!

ed

Wrong (5, Interesting)

FreeUser (11483) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240698)

There has always been the possibility that the evidence could have been tampered with before. Since it is digital this only makes it slightly easier to do. It shouldn't matter however because it is always based on the honesty of the law enforcement official to do what is right.

Bullshit.

This should matter a lot.

Mark Furman's bigotry was enough to create the appearance of "reasonable" doubt as to the veracity of the DNA evidence that unequivocably linked O.J. Simpson to the murder of his ex wife and her friend. Nevermind that the evidence was almost certainly NOT tainted or modified ... the fact that the jury recognized (and weighed most heavilly) was that the honesty of the law enforcement offical(s) was in serious doubt ... and quite frankly, often is.

Digital evidence is as fleeting as the wind. I can copy a file to your hard drive, make a phone call, and the assumption will be you're guilty. Or a cop could walk in with a CD, do the same thing, and convict you.

Gnupg and similiar encryption tools, combined with date and time stamping (perhaps even authenticated date and time stamping via ntp servers) could be deployed relatively simply and make data tampering virtually impossible (e-mails are certain to be real, and have been created on such-and-such a date, etc).

Similiar schemes might be applicable to preserving the integrity of digital imagry, video, etc., and it is very important that these issues be addressed.

We know that the police and the FBI do tamper with evidence. We know that they bear false witness in court ... indeed, we even know of at least one case where the FBI insured that an innocent man was convicted of murder and sent to prison in order to protect their own informant.

Law enforcement will tamper evidence on occasion, and making it easier for them to do so virtually insures that it will be tampered more often. In order to maintain (or even improve) the integrity of our justice system, we need to make modifying digital evidence as difficult (or impossible) as is possible, and we have numerous tools already to do so.

Dismissing this issue is foolish ... unless you want a scenerio where any Jury with any technical knowhow whatsoever will always vote to acquit, on the grounds that digital evidence is no more valuable than a he-said/she-said argument.

Re:Wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8240885)

indeed, we even know of at least one case where the FBI insured that an innocent man was convicted of murder and sent to prison in order to protect their own informant.

What case was that?

Re:This shouldn't change anything (2, Funny)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240720)

There has always been the possibility that the evidence could have been tampered with before. Since it is digital this only makes it slightly easier to do.

Slightly? Right now, I can take a picture of myself and make it look like I'm drinking a beer with Bill Clinton and George W. Bush while we all sit around a table at a titty bar. This wasn't possible 30 years ago.

It shouldn't matter however because it is always based on the honesty of the law enforcement official to do what is right.

Law enforcement can not be trusted. They are people, and no matter what the occupation or field of employment a certain percentage of them will be corruptable. I am not willing to risk my freedom on the honesty of people that have already shown me that they are dishonest.

The OJ Simpson trial is something that people love to point to when talking about the failure of our criminal justice system, I point to that same trial to illustrate how police can not be trusted.

LK

Re:This shouldn't change anything (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240759)

*Slightly? Right now, I can take a picture of myself and make it look like I'm drinking a beer with Bill Clinton and George W. Bush while we all sit around a table at a titty bar. This wasn't possible 30 years ago.*

it was. it was slightly harder but it still was possible.

usually the more important evidence is backed up with somebody saying(under oath) that it's truthful(logs&etc..).

Re:This shouldn't change anything (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240850)

it was. it was slightly harder but it still was possible.

OK, I'll concede that it was *possible* 30 years ago, but it was a LOT more difficult then than it is now.

LK

Re:This shouldn't change anything (4, Informative)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240855)

Slightly? Right now, I can take a picture of myself and make it look like I'm drinking a beer with Bill Clinton and George W. Bush while we all sit around a table at a titty bar. This wasn't possible 30 years ago.
Erm, the old Soviet Union (no jokes please) used to play these kinds of stunt all the time, adding people to pictures where they weren't there, and removing them when they were. Airbrushing and other techniques date back to Stalin, and probably earlier.

Sure, it's a little easier, but it's not something we suddenly can do that we weren't able to do previously.

Re:This shouldn't change anything (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8240895)

You are an ignorant dipshit. Better put on some more tinfoil --- the feds might be tracking your brainwaves!

Chain of Evidence (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8240823)

No, law enforcement officers are required to maintain strict control and tracking of evidence now ("Chain of Evidence") to try and prove the evidence has not been tampered with. The mutability of digital records adds extra considerations, in some cases.

One way of hardening the chain is to burn the digital record onto a CD-R, with a least two witnesses and recording the serial number of the CD-R onto the evidence log.

Wow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8240574)

They appear to use photoshop in police stations, as opposed to fancy animated programs (scanlines included!) as shows like CSI would have you believe.

maybe someone should write a book (3, Funny)

B3ryllium (571199) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240582)

"How to commit the perfect murder, using Microsoft's debug.exe"

Re:maybe someone should write a book (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8240760)

They'll forgive you if you use it to kill Clippy, the paper clip ;)

Someone has tampered with this article! (2, Funny)

heironymouscoward (683461) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240584)

It was supposed to be about the upcoming Snorx/3.2 window manager! You can't trust any sources any more.

Seriously, this has been coming for a long time and there is plenty of material about the impact of a totally digital, totally manipulable reality in the SciFi archives.

It's a cycle anyhow. Eventually paper and touch will become valuable again because they mean something. Anyone want to buy a signed printout of this comment? Only $0.02!

Re:Someone has tampered with this article! (1)

djh101010 (656795) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240783)

Anyone want to buy a signed printout of this comment? Only $0.02!

Do you take PayPal?

Re:Someone has tampered with this article! (1)

heironymouscoward (683461) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240830)

No, I don't trust it. All those bits... how am I to know which ones are the right ones?

Chain of custody (4, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240590)

Any form of physical evidence can be tampered with. That's why the chain of custody is such an important concept. Everybody who had control of that evidence from the point it was discovered to the courtroom needs to testify that they didn't nothing funny, and they saw to it that nobody else did anything funny. That makes tampered evidence just as bad as any other lie to the court, somebody's on the hook for perjury.

Tamper vs Analyse (4, Insightful)

nuggz (69912) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240634)

Yes, but then the question of "what is tampering".

There are actually cases of people photoshopping fingerprints to "bring them out".

Is that evidence tampering?
What if they just use a large burn/dodge tool? what if they just use a small one?

Where is the line?

Yes I didn't read the article (1)

nuggz (69912) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240665)

Punish me now.
This is old news BTW, years old

Re:Chain of custody (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240640)

correct, the digital media SHOULD be locked away and only brought out when it is necessary to show it off. Problem is that the "teams" are using "enhancements" via Photoshop (or the like) to create a better image (or supposedly what the image would have looked like if natural damage had not occured).

If you had read the article you would have noticed that Photoshop can do 100x more "damage"/"good" than a photographer in a dark room.

Re:Chain of custody (1, Insightful)

swoebser (148435) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240682)

What if the chain of custody is interrupted by a cracker who messes with the fingerprints (or any other images) just for fun? Any evidence stored on a computer on the net is succeptible to this kind of tampering. It would be much easier to crack into a police computer than to break into the police station and mess with things.

Re:Chain of custody (1)

MoneyT (548795) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240696)

Well then the evidence should be presented as Exhibit A the original and Exhibit B the enhanced according to our scientists.

Re:Chain of custody (2, Informative)

rotomonkey (198436) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240735)

Any form of physical evidence can be tampered with. That's why the chain of custody is such an important concept.

That is also why I applaud the Oregon State Police's efforts at ensuring chain of custody by keeping an encrypted version of the original image locked away on CD. It also makes any mods reproducible in front of a jury, if necessary.

The potential for modification doesn't scare me as much as the ability to permanently archive evidence. I can go back to a negative shot in 1930 and print it (provided it hasn't decomposed too badly). Will the same be true of digital formats?

Re:Chain of custody (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8240746)

Chain of custody is only really an issue in criminal trials. In civil trials, 99% of the time the authenticity (and admissability) of the evidence is stipulated to in the pretrial order.

Re:Chain of custody (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8240897)

Name the last 10 individual who where found guilty of perjury.

I have seen people admit to perjury on the stand and yet the courts did not press the issue and no charges of perjury where laid.

People lie all the time - it is just matter of perception. The line between lying and interpreting the actual truth is very gray. Perjury is next to impossible to prove - just asks Bill Clinton.

I love it (5, Funny)

DarkHand (608301) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240591)

Ahh, digital evidence tampering, where would I be without you! I was quite good a creating doctors office letterhead for getting out of school. :)

Forensic Analysis (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8240595)

I always look at the created/modified date by right clicking the file in question. This proved handy when trying to track down the bastards responsible for deleting tables in my MS Access porn database.

Re:Forensic Analysis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8240663)

Ah, so it's you who runs this piece of shit [autopr0n.com] then? What a pathetic excuse for a website.

Whoa! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8240596)

Holy crap guys, I forgot what I was going to say!

XBox rules!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8240612)

first post!!! you lame assholes... I can post first because my XBox is a american product and my pride in my great country and my great XBox accelerate everything...

If only they would make games for that bitch... IAve played Metroid Prime and it ruled... I hope M$ will buy those japanese bastards and port Metroid to my great american console system!!!

Re:XBox rules!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8240674)

you lose.

and xbox sucks.

Videos and photos (2, Funny)

lukewarmfusion (726141) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240614)

We all know how convincing digitally altered photos or videos can be. I mean, what jury wouldn't be convinced that those dinosaurs in Jurassic park were real? They sure looked real to me.

Nothing new here. Move along. (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240618)

Every time science comes up with a new form of evidence (or even a new way of analysing old techniques), someone gets convicted because of a persuasive argument which blinds the jury with science.

It's happened with DNA, fingerprints, computer cracking.... Hopefully the technology is eventually ironed out such that this stops happening.

Meantime, this is cold comfort to victims of such miscarriages of justice, or their families. At least if you have the death penalty the vctim of the miscarriage of justice (eventually) isn't in too much of a position to care.

(That last comment was slightly tongue in cheek, karma be damned!)

Re:Nothing new here. Move along. (2, Insightful)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240901)

Every time science comes up with a new form of evidence (or even a new way of analysing old techniques), someone gets convicted because of a persuasive argument which blinds the jury with science.

It's happened with DNA, fingerprints, computer cracking.... Hopefully the technology is eventually ironed out such that this stops happening.]

Meantime, this is cold comfort to victims of such miscarriages of justice, or their families.


But it's two edged:

DNA evidence is now being used to clear people who have spent decades in prison for crimes they didn't commit.

At least if you have the death penalty the vctim of the miscarriage of justice (eventually) isn't in too much of a position to care.

And it puts them beyond reach of ANY correction, when technology advances to the point where it can discover and prove their innocence, winning them release (and millions in restitution for the false imprisonment).

See The Innocence Project for more.

I, at least, am totally opposed to the death penalty. Not because the crooks don't deserve it - most of 'em do. But because it's administered by a government, with at least the usual levels of incompetence, corruption, and misuse for oppression of any government project.

Mandatory life without parole has the advantage that you CAN bring somebody back if it turns out they were innocent. It's really hard to do that once they're dead. Also: It's cheaper, since you don't get as many appeals. And you don't get so many innocents plea-barganing themselves into long jail terms rather than risk death for a crime they didn't commit but can't prove it.

Re:Nothing new here. Move along. (1)

GoodNicsTken (688415) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240918)

"It's happened with DNA, fingerprints, computer cracking..."

That's the problem. DNA I won't argue with, but do you know how bad fingerprint evidence is? The number of points required for a match varies from 9 (US) to over 28 (AU I think). Fingerprints are far from what I would consider objective scientific evidence.

Some would say Lie Detectors are "Scientific Evidence" as well. Go do a google search on the truth about lie detectors. The rely on a tricking the user into beliveing it can read them. It can easily be defeated with a tack in the shoe or controling/timing breathing rates with the questions and paying attention to the Control Questions.

A lot of my family was/is in law enforcement. It's about getting the bad guy, and sometimes that goes a little too far. I don't want digital photos manipulated to show what the computer user thinks is there. You could make it into just about anything.

DIGITAL evidence ? (5, Insightful)

cwernli (18353) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240621)

Heck, where I come from not even regular (=non-digital) photos et al. are admitted as evidence in court - because they are too easily tampered with.

Basically only human intel is admitted as evidence (witnesses) - if you want to admit other evidence (such as footprints etc.) you show photos (as an illustration, not as the proof) of course, but _always_ backed up by witnesses (fellow officers, forensics guy) who could be called to testify under oath.

Re:DIGITAL evidence ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8240667)

Where do you come from? I think it's paranoid to assume everything has been tampered with.

Re:DIGITAL evidence ? (1)

cwernli (18353) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240805)

Where do you come from?

Switzerland.

I think it's paranoid to assume everything has been tampered with.

You remember all those nice pictures [globalsecurity.org] of the mobile WMD sites ? Were we the only ones not buying it ? ... oh wait, there's France and Germany too....

Witnesses (4, Informative)

ParticleGirl (197721) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240789)

Witnesses [harristechnical.com] credibility [boisestate.edu] has been under debate [udayton.edu] for years. Witnesses can be influenced by suggestive questioning, their own backgrounds and prejudices, or the amount of sleep they have had on a given day. And how do you quantify or qualify that kind of tampering? Witness testimony has been used for millenia. No evidence is foolproof. The problem is 1. to know what kind of tampering can be done and be aware and wary of it and 2. to get the trust of the public [cbsnews.com] in that type of evidence so it can be admitted, falible or not.

Re:DIGITAL evidence ? (3, Informative)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240816)

You can prove through cryptographic means, md5 sums, etc, that the odds a digital file has been tampered with are billions-to-one. Some cameras designed for LEOs have such stuff built in, you can prove that the file hasnt changed since the camera took it.

With analog, you end up with a dozen 'experts' with magnifying glasses who cant decide if its bigfoot or a guy in a gorilla outfit.

Besides, cases are built on actual physical evidence. That freak who kidnapped the little girl from the carwash will get the chair because of DNA and other evidence, not the surveillance footage.

Canon Data Verification Kit (1)

Milkyman (246513) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240854)

canon has announced its latest version of its data verification kit
http://www.dpreview.com/news/0401/04012903can ondvk e2.asp

personally (2, Funny)

Savatte (111615) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240629)

I try to hide the evidence after I tamper with my digits. The hamper is a good hiding place.

Thank you. I'll be here till im modded down.

Fear of false tampering claims (4, Insightful)

astrashe (7452) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240639)

If tampering is possible, even if it's unlikely, there will always be an out for people who don't want to believe evidence.

In practice, the rejection of valid evidence will probably be a bigger problem than the creation of invalid evidence.

Re:Fear of false tampering claims (1)

gid13 (620803) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240715)

"In practice, the rejection of valid evidence will probably be a bigger problem than the creation of invalid evidence."

Until, of course, judges/juries/lawyers realize and overcompensate.

Easy Solution (4, Funny)

hazman (642790) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240641)

Simply require all digital evidence to be encrypted. That way anybody who has a thought of tampering would have to consider the wrath of DMCA.

Nobody would tamper with digital evidence given THAT outcome.

XBox rules!! (FUCK YOU MODERATOR!!! :-) (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8240647)

first post!!! you lame assh oles... I can post first because my XBox is a american product and my pride in my great country and my great XBox accelerate everything...

If only they would make g ames for that bitch... IAve played Metroid Prime and it ruled... I hope M$ will buy those japan ese bastards and port Metroid to my great american console system!!!

DRM? (3, Funny)

onyxruby (118189) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240648)

Have we finally found a legitimate use for DRM?

Re:DRM? (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240712)

OMFG, do you people even bother to read the articles?

They are using Photoshop to ENHANCE photographs. Bring out details that would not have been there (the example given was a fingerprint on the inside of a piece of duct-tape used to wrap someone up).

Sure Photoshop makes photos look good but do we want to put people away when there's a good chance that the modifications made to the photo changed the print?

Re:DRM? (3, Insightful)

onyxruby (118189) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240872)

Actually, I found and read the article before slashdot posted a link to it. I also happen to know how tempting it could be for a lab tech to be told that the bad guy of the month could get off, and by the way just how clear can you make that photo with photoshop? It's ok to enhance a photo to give the cops a pointer on what direction to go in a case, as long as the enhanced photo isn't used for evidence. If you read the article you'll see they were talking specificly about enhancing photos that were to be used as evidence in trials. You did read the article, right?

Someone who is highly skilled in photoshop can easily manipulate an image well enough that even people in the image can't quite tell what if anything is different. This is quite common with photos used for magazine covers, advertising and the like.

Absolutely. (1)

melquiades (314628) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240765)

And I'm sure it would work exactly well for the Justice Department as it does now for the music industry.

DRM isn't good enough (1)

Uncle Op (541486) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240777)

DRM doesn't (completely) solve the simple problem of the time and date. Every time I take my digital camera's batteries out and don't put a fresh set back within about 5 minutes, all my settings are lost. And cameras always allow you to reset the time.

Of course film cameras (on the low end) don't have clocks in the first place, so this is not a new problem. But when folk blindly trust it "because it's in the computer", the simple process of tracking time becomes a bigger issue in credibility.

The cost of making the cameras (and media they write to) "secure" is high, whether you do it with technology or with process. Someone will find a way to question either.

Re:DRM? (2, Insightful)

Apreche (239272) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240899)

It seems like it except for one thing. This isn't a digital rights management issue. While the technologies may be similar they are not for the same purpose. DRM is used to make sure that people who do not have a right to a piece of data are unable to access it. This is an issue of information assurance. You want to assure that the image originally taken by the digital camera is the same one that you are looking at in the courtroom. One possible way to do this is to apply DRM to the image, but that isn't necessarily a perfect solution. Someone who has the right to alter the image just might do it. If nobody has the right, what happens when somebody needs to enlarge it or change the color or something?

Be careful if you take (digital) pictures (5, Interesting)

31415926535897 (702314) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240656)

My second-to-last year of college, I had signed a lease for a house just off campus for the next school year. It was looking forward to it because it was a nice house and I'd be rooming with my closest buddies.

Unfortunately, when we went to move in, the place was trashed and grossly out of code for the city/county. In an effort to be released from the lease, I took a bunch of photographs of everything that was wrong with the house, but I took them on my digital camera. I even brought my camera to a developer and had the photos professionally developed.

Nevertheless, I brought my pictures to a lawyer (school-subsidized, provided for student lessor/lessee problems) and he said that if I wanted to use them in any practical way, I had to go take the pictures again with a real camera (and you could _barely_ tell it was digital).

Fortunately, we had enough evidence that the landlord caved (and we all learned many valuable lessons about leasing, and the law in that time period).

Personally, I think that... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8240658)


[This message has been deleted by the administrator]

XBox rules!! (FUCK YOU MOD.. I OWN YOUR MOTHER!!!) (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8240671)

first post!!! you lame assholes... I can post first because my XBox is a american product and my pride in my great country and my great XBox accelerate everything...

If only they would make games for that bitch... IAve played Metroid Prime and it ruled... I hope M$ will buy those japanese bastards and port Metroid to my great american console system!!!

Who needs evidence? (4, Interesting)

SparafucileMan (544171) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240673)

A huge swarth of people who get convicted for life or death are poor and stupid minorities who are sentenced with usually little more than one person saying "I swear I saw the defendent...sure it was dark but I swear it!" The criminal justice system in the country (U.S.) is in such a poor state that I don't see how digital evidence is such a huge step backwards. Do you really think it would have been easier to free (or convict) O.J. if the photos of the crimescene were digital?

logs (2, Interesting)

LordMyren (15499) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240677)

is there any way - besides dedicated locked up printers with numbered pages - that one can use to date and verify the authenticity of information? in such a way that will stand up at all in court? so far the only cheap way i know of verifying an idea is mailing it to yourself, but that requires going to the store for stamps... how 1998.

Myren

Some jurors questioned... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8240689)

...the fact that the fingerprint images appeared to have General Ackbar's head superimposed on them.

Seems kinda funny (3, Insightful)

onyxruby (118189) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240693)

Seems kinda funny, the more you know about technology, the less trusting of it you are. Seems a bit like long time cops that remain paranoid for years after leaving the job. Witness electronic voting regularly get scoured here, as do other forms of tech that are supposed to be accepted as "unquestionable".

Re:Seems kinda funny (3, Insightful)

rewt66 (738525) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240797)

No, it's because as you learn more about the technology, you learn that it isn't perfect. And this is a good thing.

We need people who will look at the computers output and say, "That can't be right. I don't care if it came from the computer, it can't be right!" Like especially the doctor who is just about to remove a cancerous lymph node, and the computer is telling him/her to amputate your leg.

XBox rules!! (FUCK YOU MOD I'M 2 COOL 4 UR MOTHER) (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8240695)

first post!!! you lame assholes... I can post first because my XBox is a american product and my pride in my great country and my great XBox accelerate everything...

If only they would make ga mes for that bitch... IAve played Metroid Prime and it ruled... I hope M$ will buy those japanese bastards and port Metroid to my great american console system!!!

Digital Camera Manufacturers have thought of this (5, Informative)

glaqua (572332) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240707)

Canon has a kit called "DVK-E1" that goes along with their EOS 1Ds camera, that they say is 'Available to verify that EOS 1Ds image files are absolutely unaltered". They have done this specifically for use in law enforcement. The details are buried in a Flash presentation. You can follow this link [canon.jp] to find the details.

So technology has answered, its back in the hands of law enforcement to present their case properly.

It's only a matter of time (2, Insightful)

DRUNK_BEAR (645868) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240713)

Currently, digital imaging may be considered a "new technology". It is obviously not known as well as traditional photography and it is a good thing that people question themselves as to regard the possible issues of such technology, especially if this technology is used in cases where it could make a difference between a guilty verdict and a non-guilty.

At first, photography wasn't accepted right away, and it shouldn't have been. I mean, if I were to persuade you in trying my new revolutionary kind of car, which could put your life at risk, wouldn't you want to have enough details about the risks involved before making the decision of buying the vehicule? I sure would.

partial answers to issues raisedin articles (4, Insightful)

mrhandstand (233183) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240716)

changelogs

modify ONLY copies

originals all go onto read-only media

checksum religiously


WRITE GOOD POLICY for maintaining digital evidence...and post it before you start using digital media. Review it once a year, or more often to revise for unforeseen issues. Educate your detectives, and your Asst. DA's.

Rinse, later, repeat.

Re:partial answers to issues raisedin articles (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8240840)

Rinse, later, repeat.

Did you mean lather, rinse, repeat?

Re:partial answers to issues raisedin articles (1)

skidv (656766) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240913)

I think this misses the point. I can alter images (and audio files) BEFORE they get into the chain of evidence custody. That is the risk of digital evidence.

Not a worry.. (5, Interesting)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240726)

I work in the field, I create and deploy records management systems for police.

There's always an auditable chain of custody with all eveidence, digitally the product i use accomplishes it with encryptions and checksums. If an officer takes a pic out to alter it (they have to crop/lighten/darken mugshots so they look consistent for use in a lineup), his actions are logged, and a copy of the original is always kept. Just like checking stuff in and out of any CVS.

There are some digicams out there specially designed for the task which create special checksums and hashes to prove, mathematically that the image on a disk is the same one the camera took.

This is all tied to the officer who took the picture and entered it into the system, and ultimately would be held accountable for it.

If needed, I could be called on to swear an affidavid that the file hadn't been altered since taken/entered.

Now, for the most part, the agencies I've dealt with only use digital imagine for mugshots, and a few take digital shots of traffic accidents. But more and more are expanding the use of technology. 911 calls, and police radio chatter, being encoded to mp3 and permanently attached to the case file, stills from dashboard cameras, crime scene photos.

Frankly, you can prove mathematically with some simple tech these days that not even a single pixel in a digital photograph had been altered. It'd much easier to fake an old-fashioned analog photograph.

Of course, sleazy lawyers will wow clueless jury members with how easy it is to change things in photoshop, which they'll understand. And those jury members will be asleep when the mathemetician demonstrates that there's only a 1 in 400 kajillion chance of altering time image without changing the checksums...

Re:Not a worry.. (1)

seriv (698799) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240876)

That may be all well and good for police departments that have money, but what about the ones with little funds. I imagine most would rather have more officers then new technology.

Market opportunity... (4, Insightful)

BigBadBri (595126) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240728)

I see an opportunity of an enterprising digital camera manufacturer here - Sony already do a DV camera that records to DVD - adding some tagging information (GPS coordinates + date/time + operators security code) to each image should be feasible, and given that one PD was saving $6000 per month in Polaroid costs, I'd have thought that even at $10K per throw, a high quality camera could be produced that would provide adequate traceability of the images taken.

Re:Market opportunity... (1)

Hamster Of Death (413544) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240822)

And, whats to stop people from faking the metadata there?

XBox rules!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8240729)

first post!!! you lame assholes... I can post first because my XBox is a american product and my pride in my great country and my great XBox accelerate everything...

If only they would make games for that bitch... IAve played Metroid Prime and it ruled... I hope M$ will buy those japanese bastards and port Metroid to my great american console system!!!

Precedent Set by Common Sense? (4, Insightful)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240758)

I think anyone who knows ANYTHING about computers would tell you that there is no guarantee of security or stability.

Lawmakers should take this into account and require the prosecution or plaintiff show beyond a reasonable doubt that the data can in fact be reasonably trusted and has not been handled by an untrusted or malicious party.

Overall, this question raises a lot of issues. But I feel the courts need to decide on a set of guidelines that can be used to assure the jury and the defense that the evidence presented to support accusations can in fact be trusted.
Because who's to say an overzaelous prosecuter didn't hire someone to "put" something on the suspect HD?

But even then the courts might have a hard time ahead. Already we've seen cases that raise this question in which there can be no "safe-guard" and in fact the defense relies upon the exploitablity of software. This was demonstrated in the kiddie porn trial in the UK in which the defendant got aquitted because his lawyers successfully argued that a virus planted the porn on his PC.

Ulitmately, it is double-sided issues such as this that are leading us down the path of Microsofts Secure Computing initiative. But that is a mission that is doomed from the start... history shows us that no matter how secure they make it, some one will break it.

Still... (TACO IS A FAT, GAY KARMA PIMP) (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8240809)

first post!!! you lame assholes... I can post first because my XBox is a american product and my pride in my great country and my great XBox accelerate everything...

If only they would make games for that bitch... IAve played Metroid Prime and it ruled... I hope M$ will buy those japanese bastards and port Metroid to my great american console system!!!

Digital sound evicence (2, Interesting)

Clarencex (204858) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240815)

There is another problem for concern in this area. Law enforcement personnel are now relying almost entirely on digital recording for witness statements and suspect interviews. If you think digital photos are easily tampered with, think about how easy it is to tamper with a WAV file. "I did not do it," can become "I did do it" with the flip of wrist.

Public Key Encryption (2, Interesting)

Detritus (11846) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240818)

I've often thought it would be useful for digital cameras to provide an option of signing all images with a camera-specific private key stored in a tamper-resistant chip. That would allow third parties to verify that the image file had not been altered after the fact.

Check and Balance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8240819)

This is why we have Daubert [daubertontheweb.com] hearings people.

Re:Check and Balance (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8240852)

And juries too.

How ironic... (5, Interesting)

Aardpig (622459) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240844)

that CNN is publishing this story; back in the late 1990s, they stole a frame from one of my computer generated animations of a pulsating star, and put it in a story [cnn.com] on their website. They tweaked the colourmap a little, but apart from that the image is identical to my original animations [ucl.ac.uk] .

They even had the gall to claim the copyright for themselves. Bastards.

Also, "ownership" of events (5, Insightful)

angst_ridden_hipster (23104) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240859)

We've already seen a few kiddie-porn cases in Great Britain thrown out because the machines had been compromised, thus making it impossible to conclusively prove that the individual arrested was responsible for the crime.

But this points up a scary possibility, one which has already been hinted at in various places, which is that there's no robust trace of events. Once there's a backdoor in your system, there are a lot of things that can happen:

- secrets can be observed.
- "evidence" can be planted.
- activities can be spoofed.

Say you live under a repressive government, and somehow offend someone with 'l33t h@x0r skillz. You may find, for example, that you published a series of articles critical of the leadership. Yup, it came from your personalized copy of Word, and was sent from your IP address. If they've planted a keylogger, it could even be digitally signed with your PGP key. In a less oppressive environment, you might discover that you just mailed a collection of kiddie porn to the FBI.

Now the person screwing you could be some vicious script kiddie, but there's also the potential for abuse in the political world. Like the case in Malaysia, where an opposition leader was tarred with a faked sex scandal, political operatives can be neutralized by opponents through these means (please don't let Karl Rove read this posting!).

Scary stuff...

Your honor (3, Funny)

mustangsal66 (580843) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240864)

I would like to subimt this photo into evidence. It clearly shows Bert and Ernie as the true culprits behind this heinous act!

If the image don't fit you must acquit.

Your Honor, the prosecution submits... (2, Insightful)

The I Shing (700142) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240887)

Your Honor, the prosecution submits to the court Exhibit B, a photograph of the shark in question attacking a man dangling from the helicopter.

And here is Exhibit C, film footage where President Kennedy can clearly be seen saying "Congratulations, how does it feel to be an All-American?" to Forrest Gump.

Solution: over there (1)

duplicatedAccount (523194) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240891)

That's yet another case, where I feel compelled to leave a shameless plug: We develop the solution over there [askemos.org] !

It works, it's fun to work with and it's free. Come and find out!

Still... (TACO IS AN ADIPOSE [med.] KARMA PIMP!!!) (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8240893)

first post!!! you lame assholes... I can post first because my XBox is a american product and my pride in my great country and my great XBox accelerate everything...

If only they would make games for that bitch... IAve played Metroid Prime and it ruled... I hope M$ will buy those japanese bastards and port Metroid to my great american console system!!!

Canon Digital Verification Kit (1)

guidryp (702488) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240902)

http://www.dpreview.com/news/0401/04012903canondvk e2.asp Obviously someone is thinking of this issue.

Worried? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8240903)

Worried about it? I'm counting on it.

-Martha

veripic (3, Interesting)

caliento (727735) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240910)

If you are interested in verifying images I'd check out veripic. I don't know all the details behind it, but it seems like they are able to tell if the image has been modifed. From what I remember, the requirement is that you have to specify which digital camera it was taken with.

http://www.veripic.com/certified [veripic.com]

My guess on how they do it would be by checking how the image was encoded? any ideas?
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