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Misinterpretation of Evidence - An underlying issue?

Computer forensics discussion. Please ensure that your post is not better suited to one of the forums below (if it is, please post it there instead!)
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tootypeg
Senior Member
 

Misinterpretation of Evidence - An underlying issue?

Post Posted: May 30, 18 03:17

I have just come across this article today:- www.sciencedirect.com/...3818302378

It provides a bit of an example of misinterpretation of evidence and a particular case, and i was looking through, particularly at the following:

In one recent case that came into the Lab, a large quantity of internet history had been pulled off a phone. It contained numerous unpalatable words, all appearing in long and lurid descriptions suggestive of pornographic content. The OIC cherry picked parts of these descriptions to highlight the case..............On paper, it looked bad. These words the OIC claimed, in a sworn statement, were search terms which the Defendant had deliberately entered into his phone. In fact, proper analysis showed that they were nothing of the sort.


....does this often happen? Surely an original statement would have said that such information was not what the OIC interpreted it as? Im curious here whether the error was with the original analysis and interpretation of with the OIC and their interpretation.

I guess what I am getting at here is, is there an issue in the practitioner/OIC relationship and the interpretation of results?

Im seeing some calls for frameworks for increasing the reliability of evidence interpretation - but surely a great deal of this can be tested/reconstructed and explained in the context of a factual interpretation?

It baffles me how in the text above someone has argued something is a search term where (based on the article content), there was no indication of it being so. What on earth has happened there then?

How do you prevent / protect against that sort of stuff happening as surely someone has gone outside of a statement/report there and decided to take it upon themselves to interpret results?  
 
  

minime2k9
Senior Member
 

Re: Misinterpretation of Evidence - An underlying issue?

Post Posted: May 30, 18 03:55

It very much depends on the force.
A lot of police forces in the UK are moving to "kiosk" based extraction for mobile phone devices.
In this case, an officer hooks a phone up to a system and extracts data from it (usually based on UFED/XRY software underneath). They then produce their own evidence from it.
The officer usually has very little understanding of phones/tech in general, run some keyword searches and then produces it.
Its not a good way of doing things, but quite a few forces have moved that way.  
 
  

tootypeg
Senior Member
 

Re: Misinterpretation of Evidence - An underlying issue?

Post Posted: May 30, 18 04:05

- minime2k9
It very much depends on the force.
A lot of police forces in the UK are moving to "kiosk" based extraction for mobile phone devices.
In this case, an officer hooks a phone up to a system and extracts data from it (usually based on UFED/XRY software underneath). They then produce their own evidence from it.
The officer usually has very little understanding of phones/tech in general, run some keyword searches and then produces it.
Its not a good way of doing things, but quite a few forces have moved that way.


Ah yes, Im aware of this in practice, I actually thought it was more for preliminary triage and then a decision to submit for full exam. I wasn't aware this was being used as primary evidence. Wow.  
 
  

hectic_forensics
Member
 

Re: Misinterpretation of Evidence - An underlying issue?

Post Posted: May 30, 18 04:17

One Police Force in the UK are currently rolling out over 90 kiosks that are going to be located at regional hubs within 'boroughs'.

Over 2000 Police Officers with no background or experience in digital forensics are being trained to plug and go - initially just with phones, but there are plans for them to move onto doing the same with laptops and computers... Shocked

I have had sight of some of the trials of this and it is genuinely frightening - material is being handed over with no analysis or input from any DF practitioners and given to OIC's to use as evidence in criminal proceedings.

It's a disaster waiting to happen...  
 
  

jaclaz
Senior Member
 

Re: Misinterpretation of Evidence - An underlying issue?

Post Posted: May 30, 18 06:07

Unfortunately the referenced article is only loosely a (IMHO perfectly justified) rant about "push button" forensics and on the utter lack of understanding on the matters involved by the OIC's (and by the prosecutors), something that has been already discussed at length on the board.

What I find much more preoccupying (or at least more novel) is the underlying point, that seems to confirm that someone can actually be indicted/accused based only from (in this case only alleged) searches he/she makes (or search terms used which is very different as I see it from the actual viewing or using of the results of such searches).

Also:
Kiosks sound like being possibly considerd ISO 17025 compliant, whilst their results can be completely an utterly wrong.

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


Last edited by jaclaz on May 30, 18 06:21; edited 1 time in total
 
  

hectic_forensics
Member
 

Re: Misinterpretation of Evidence - An underlying issue?

Post Posted: May 30, 18 06:21

- jaclaz
What I find much more preoccupying (or at least more novel) is the underlying point, that seems to confirm that someone can actually be indicted/accused based only from (in this case only alleged) searches he/she makes (or search terms used which is very different as I see it from the actual viewing or using of the results of such searches).

jaclaz



You must have been reading a different article to me then as it doesn't confirm that at all, and that certainly is not the case!  
 
  

jaclaz
Senior Member
 

Re: Misinterpretation of Evidence - An underlying issue?

Post Posted: May 30, 18 06:24

- hectic_forensics

You must have been reading a different article to me then as it doesn't confirm that at all, and that certainly is not the case!


Canot say which one you read, I was reading the one that contains this sentence:

These words the OIC claimed, in a sworn statement, were search terms which the Defendant had deliberately entered into his phone.


In my own perverted mind, one thing is searching for "meerkats nude pics" Wink , and another one is downloading/viewing the actual resulting images of the (possibly underage) little furry creatures Shocked .


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

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