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Junk Science? Your thoughts.

Discussion of forensic issues related to all types of mobile phones and underlying technologies (GSM, GPRS, UMTS/3G, HSDPA, LTE, Bluetooth etc.)
Subforums: Mobile Telephone Case Law
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Junk Science? Your thoughts.

Post Posted: Wed May 29, 2013 3:48 pm

www.abajournal.com/mob...ch_monthly

Lots of attorneys lately are going the other way and hiring people like this guy. What do you think about your livelihood being called Junk Science.
_________________
Why order a taco when you can ask it politely?

Alan B. "A man can live a good life, be honorable, give to charity, but in the end, the number of people who come to his funeral is generally dependent on the weather. " 

armresl
Senior Member
 
 
  

Re: Junk Science? Your thoughts.

Post Posted: Wed May 29, 2013 3:59 pm

I don't know about junk science, but cell tower tracking is certainly subject to a challenge under Daubert vs. Dow. If the methods used aren't commercially available or the science hasn't been peer reviewed or it is not widely accepted in the industry, then it doesn't meet the fairly high bar set by Daubert. It's not like a file

The article mentions that cell tower tracking is only done in the law enforcement community. I don't know if this is entirely true or not, but if so this is a natural consequence of law enforcement keeping their toys to themselves.  

Bulldawg
Senior Member
 
 
  

Re: Junk Science? Your thoughts.

Post Posted: Wed May 29, 2013 5:21 pm

I only hope that this is not an exact report:
But Mark Eckenwiler, until recently the Justice Department’s primary authority on electronic surveillance, says cell tower records, while no smoking gun, can provide reliable and highly probative evidence of a defendant’s guilt or innocence.


These are not the words of someone who also says (again as reported):
In the brief he co-authored, Eckenwiler said that cell tower records can provide a “general indication” of where a call was made down to within a few hundred yards under certain conditions, but was “too imprecise” to place a caller inside a constitutionally protected space, such as a home.




jaclaz
_________________
- In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is. - 

jaclaz
Senior Member
 
 
  

Re: Junk Science? Your thoughts.

Post Posted: Wed May 29, 2013 7:08 pm

- Bulldawg
If the methods used aren't commercially available or the science hasn't been peer reviewed or it is not widely accepted in the industry, then it doesn't meet the fairly high bar set by Daubert.


Interesting. I would suggest that a lot of what we do isn't "commercially available", nor is it peer reviewed.  

keydet89
Senior Member
 
 
  

Re: Junk Science? Your thoughts.

Post Posted: Thu May 30, 2013 7:01 am

This should be the "actual brief" mentioned Confused .
judiciary.house.gov/he...252013.pdf
It seems to me like it goes at length in part "B." (Laws and regulations) and touches "very lightly" the actual scientific data (in part "A.").
As I read it:
The degree to which CSLI reveals the location of a user’s phone varies for several reasons. First, these records do not provide grid coordinates for the phone itself; rather, they indicate which nearby antenna transmitted a communication associated with that handset. Because tower spacing varies enormously, the radius of corresponding tower coverage does as well, and therefore the projected area from where a call was placed will likewise vary.
In heavily populated urban areas, CSLI can—subject to the further limitations discussed below—place a handset in an area of approximately 1,000 square meters. In suburban areas with towers spaced further apart, CSLI may suggest an area of a square mile or more. Tower data from rural areas, by contrast, provides only very broad location data often covering dozens of square miles or more.
Other factors also contribute to the general imprecision of CSLI. For example, the boundaries between the sectors of an individual cell tower, as well as the boundaries between areas served by different towers, are neither precise nor fixed. Records showing communications activity alternating between two adjacent coverage areas may indicate handset movement back and forth between the areas, or may instead result from the activity of a non-moving user in an area of overlapping coverage.
More importantly, a particular communication is not always handled by the closest tower. Both natural terrain features (e.g., hills and valleys) and man-made structures interfere with line-of-sight radio transmission. Weather conditions, including precipitation or even humidity level, also may affect signal propagation.
At times, the carrier antenna closest to the user’s handset may even be entirely unavailable. This can result from local, temporary equipment or network outages, or simply from network congestion. For example, when highway traffic backs up at a toll plaza or accident scene, the nearest tower’s capacity may be saturated by unusually high activity levels. In these circumstances, the next user trying to make a call may only be able connect to a more distant, less burdened tower; the resulting CSLI record will indicate usage of the latter, creating the misleading impression that the handset was closer to that tower than to any other.

it describes *something* that may well be part of "clues", but only in some (rare Question ) specific cases "definite evidence".
I.e. it definitely pinpoints the handy in a given area, but the size of this area seems to be too large to place it in a given "exact" location.

jaclaz
_________________
- In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is. - 

jaclaz
Senior Member
 
 
  

Re: Junk Science? Your thoughts.

Post Posted: Thu May 30, 2013 11:42 am

Cell site analysis is not junk science.

Lawyers say a lot of things. Their job is not to be truthful. Ours is. Mr. Green

Lots of attorneys lately are going the other way and hiring people like this guy. What do you think about your livelihood being called Junk Science.
 

jhup
Senior Member
 
 
  

Re: Junk Science? Your thoughts.

Post Posted: Thu May 30, 2013 2:57 pm

I tend to agree with ya JHup, but who is this Michael Cherry and his partner then?


- jhup
Cell site analysis is not junk science.

Lawyers say a lot of things. Their job is not to be truthful. Ours is. Mr. Green

Lots of attorneys lately are going the other way and hiring people like this guy. What do you think about your livelihood being called Junk Science.

_________________
Why order a taco when you can ask it politely?

Alan B. "A man can live a good life, be honorable, give to charity, but in the end, the number of people who come to his funeral is generally dependent on the weather. " 

armresl
Senior Member
 
 
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