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Sample CP Computer Search Warrant AffidavitBack to top Back to main Skip to menu
Sample CP Computer Search Warrant Affidavit
AFFIDAVIT IN SUPPORT OF A SEARCH AND SEIZURE WARRANT
I, Detective Doe of the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, badge number 9999 (hereinafter denoted as “Affiant,” “Detective Doe,” or in the first person) hereby on my oath state that there is probable cause to believe that the computer described below contains evidence of a violation of Tennessee Code Annotated § 39-17-1003 et seq., said evidence hereinafter referred to collectively as “child pornography”:
I have received formal training and currently investigate criminal violations related to crimes against children and cyber/computer crimes. I know that, through advances in computer and internet technology, child pornographers can easily obtain and maintain collections of child pornography. With the assistance of computers, child pornographers can preserve collections of child pornography indefinitely while maintaining the secrecy needed to hide such collections from detection. Finally, pornographers interested in child pornography often amass collections of child pornography and maintain those collections without deletion at little or no additional cost. Child pornographers typically retain pictures, videos, and other items of child pornography for several years without deletion. Child pornographers often maintain these computer-based collections along with other forms of child pornography, such as developed pictures, in private or personal spaces that the child pornographer believes to be secure from intrusion by others. Based upon my training and experience, I know that computer files or remnants of computer files can be recovered through forensic inspection of computer hard drives or other electronic storage devices for significant periods of time despite attempts to delete or destroy said computer files.
The suspect and potential defendant in this case is Mike Smith DOB: 01-01-01. Your Affiant took possession the listed below computers on August 01, 2000 at 10:20 a.m. from Mike Smith Jr. at 600 Main Street Hixson, Tennessee, within the limits of Hamilton County, Tennessee. The computers subject to this request for search are described as follows:
1) Computer Hardware, specifically a Gateway brand computer tower, serial number 0000000000.
2) Computer Hardware, specifically a Western brand computer hard drive, serial number 000000-S000000
The following definitions are relevant to this affidavit and investigation:
a. Hardware. Computer hardware consists of all equipment that can collect, analyze, create, display, convert, store, conceal, or transmit electronic, magnetic, optical, or similar computer impulses or data. Computer hardware includes but is not limited to any data processing units, memory typewriters, and self-contained “laptop” or “notebook” computers; internal and peripheral storage devices such as fixed disks, external hard disks, floppy disk drives and diskettes, tape drives and tapes, optical storage devices, transistor-like binary devices, flash or “thumb” drives, and other memory storage devices; peripheral input/output devices such as keyboards, printers, scanners, plotters, video display monitors, and optical readers, and related communication devices such as modems, cables, and connections, recording equipment, RAM or ROM units, acoustic couplets, automatic dialers, speed dialers, programmable telephone dialing or signaling devices, and electronic tone-generating devices; as well as any devices, mechanisms, or parts that can be used to restrict access to computer hardware such as physical keys and locks.
b. Software. Computer software is digital information that interpreted by a computer and any of its related components to direct the way the components work. Software is stored in electronic, magnetic, optical, or other digital form. It commonly includes programs to run operating system applications like word processing, graphics, or spreadsheet programs, and utilities, source code, object code, compilers, interpreters, and communications programs.
c. Documentation. Computer related documentation consists of written, recorded, printed, or electronically stored material, which explains or illustrates how to configure or use computer hardware, software, or other related items.
d. Passwords and Data Security Devices. Computer passwords and other data security devices restrict access to or hide computer software, documentation, or data. Data security devices may consist of hardware, software, or other programming code. A password (a string of alphanumeric characters) usually operates as a sort of digital key to “unlock” particular data security devices. Data security hardware may include encryption devices, chips, and circuit boards. Data security software or digital code may include programming code that creates “test” keys or “hot” keys, which perform certain preset security functions when touched. Data security software or code may be also encrypted, compress, hide, or “booby-trap” protected data to make it inaccessible or unusable, as well as reverse the process to restore it.
e. Form of Information. The terms “record,” “documents,” and “materials” include all of the foregoing items of evidence in whatever form and by whatever means such records, documents, or materials, their drafts, or their modifications that may have been created or stored, including, but not limited to, any handmade form (such as writing, drawing, with any implement on any surface, directly or indirectly); any photographic form, such as microfilm, microfiche, photocopies; any mechanical form such as printing or typing; any electrical, electronic or magnetic form such as cassettes, compact disks, or any information on an electronic or magnetic storage device, such as floppy diskettes, hard disks, backup tapes, CD-ROMs, optical disks, printer buffers, smart cards, memory calculators, electronic dialers, Bernoulli drives, or electronic notebooks, as well as printouts or readouts from any magnetic storage device.
Based on my training and experience, I know that computer hardware, software, documentation, passwords, and data security devices may be important to a criminal investigation in two distinct and important respects: (1) the objects themselves may be instrumentalities, fruits, or evidence of crime; and/or (2) the objects may have been used to collect and store information about crimes or in violation of a Tennessee criminal statute (in the form of electronic data). Based upon my training and experience, I know that pornographic images can be “scanned” or “downloaded” into the storage memory of a computer. The purpose of this search is to locate images and evidence in violation of Tennessee law that has been collected on the computer and search said computer for images or material depicting the sexual exploitation of a minor and documents or files evidencing the source or origin thereof , along with any indicia of use, ownership, dominion, or control over the computer to be searched including receipts, payments, bills, correspondence, account subscriber information, documents or files declaring identity or source of authorship, photographs of any persons involved in the criminal conduct, and all of the above records, together with any evidence or items which would be used to conceal the forgoing or prevent its discovery.
A. Probable Cause
J. Your affiant discussed the details of this case with Assistant District Attorney Jane Doe of the Tennessee 11th Judicial District Attorney’s office at the Office of the District Attorney General, pursuant to T.C.A. § 39-17-1007 (child pornography case), and she specifically authorizes and requests the application of the search warrant hereunder.
I hereby request a search warrant for a search of the following computer described as a Gateway brand computer tower, serial number 000000000 and Western computer hard drive, serial number 000000-S00000 for evidence of the possession of child pornography in violation of Tennessee Code Annotated § 39-17-1003 et seq, specifically photographs, images, depictions, software, documentation, security devices, or any other material involved in unlawful activities detailed above. I request a search for records, documents, and materials that constitute proof of said crimes and search said computer for images or material depicting the sexual exploitation of a minor and documents or files evidencing the source or origin thereof , along with any indicia of use, ownership, dominion, or control over the computer to be searched including receipts, payments, bills, correspondence, account subscriber information, documents or files declaring identity or source of authorship, photographs of any persons involved in the criminal conduct, and all of the above records, together with any evidence or items which would be used to conceal the forgoing or prevent its discovery. In the search requested herein, the volume of digital information for law enforcement to search may be significant, which would result in a process that requires days and possible weeks. Finally, I request that the Court authorize the assistance of a duly qualified law enforcement officer or qualified computer technician acting under the direction of authorized law enforcement to execute the forensic examination of the computer.
Affiant, Detective John Doe Badge #9999
Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office
Sworn and subscribed before me this ________ day of ______________ 2009 in the matter of Mike Smith, DOB: 01-01-01.
Judge of Hamilton County Criminal Court
I have read the forgoing affidavit and concur in the application sought pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated § 39-17-1007.
District Attorney General