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Some new misinformation on hard disk wiping

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Audio
(@audio)
Active Member

That's freaking nuts. I can't see how a judge could be so foolish; even if it was his first ever case involving digital evidence. Nor can I imagine some computer repair guy knowingly putting someone's freedom at stake by presenting himself as an DF expert. I guess it would look good on his resume. roll I know a bit about forensics, and there ain't no way I would do that. Heck, I don't even present myself as an expert on the internet. lol

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Posted : 19/09/2012 8:52 am
LarryDaniel
(@larrydaniel)
Active Member

This was a civil case so only money was involved. I could tell you some real horror stories of "defense experts", but not in a public forum.

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Posted : 19/09/2012 9:01 am
Adam10541
(@adam10541)
Senior Member

While with the Police I regularly came up against a couple of self proclaimed experts. One was a university lecturer who touted himself as an expert and in fact lectured on Cyber forensics. His first case against me he spent most of the time on the phone to me trying to figure out how to use Xways and how to get the image I'd given him booted up in VMware.

Once he had the image booted he proceeded to compile a detailed report listing the hardware of the defendants computer…..only he never saw the defendants computer he was working from an image. The lightweight was reporting on his own system and the specs that the VM machine was set at. Very credible expert.

The other joker is an IT consultant who knows next to nothing about DF again.

One of the reasons I left the job was having to disprove the idiotic arguments these guys kept coming up with, I spent most of my time educating them and doing the defence work for them.

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Posted : 19/09/2012 9:09 am
Audio
(@audio)
Active Member

This was a civil case so only money was involved. I could tell you some real horror stories of "defense experts", but not in a public forum.

Ah, well that's still pretty bad… No, please no more horror stories. I need to be able to sleep tonight. lol

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Posted : 19/09/2012 9:09 am
jaclaz
(@jaclaz)
Community Legend

This was a civil case so only money was involved. I could tell you some real horror stories of "defense experts", but not in a public forum.

Actually this would be very interesting, and an useful aid to help newcomers refrain from doing the same mistakes.
Can you not post a few of them anyway, changing names to protect BOTH the innocent and the guilty? ?

jaclaz

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Topic starter Posted : 19/09/2012 5:11 pm
jhup
 jhup
(@jhup)
Community Legend

I know it is not feasible, but would be nice just to post the not-so-innocent. Or, at least a link to court records…

Oh, the good old days, when public flogging took care of rascals… mrgreen

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Posted : 19/09/2012 9:26 pm
LarryDaniel
(@larrydaniel)
Active Member

Here are a couple anecdotal accounts that I got from some of my visits to an RCFL where I do a lot of cases as a defense expert

1. Murder case where the defense expert forgot to modify his forensic software to account for the difference in time zones between his local computer and the location of the defendant's computer. Because of this, all of his time stamps were off by 3 hours. He put in his report that the times reported by the LE examiner were wrong.

Even after the LE examiner patiently explained to him that his time zone setting was wrong, (West coast expert workingon a EST case), the defense expert continued to insist that HIS times were right.

He testified to that in court and got a little embarrassed.

2. Defense expert in a child porn case who never reviewed the evidence, but was able to produce a 140 page "report" about the case.

3. Defense expert in a child porn case who could not stand to view the images, so his entire approach was a timeline analysis.

Of course, I have the same kind of stories about some LE examiners too. But those are probably not very popular to relate.

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Posted : 20/09/2012 9:07 am
Chris_Ed
(@chris_ed)
Active Member

3. Defense expert in a child porn case who could not stand to view the images, so his entire approach was a timeline analysis.

I don't find this an unreasonable approach to take.

In the UK, at least, it is relatively rare to expect Defence Experts to grade the images. Generally they are employed when the question is "Did Mr X download the images?" - in which case a timeline analysis is a good approach to take.

In fact I'm not sure I've heard of a case where they are employed purely because of a disagreement in what constitutes an indecent image / child pornography.

Maybe things are different in the states. )

(Some of those other stories, though - amazing!)

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Posted : 20/09/2012 3:35 pm
LarryDaniel
(@larrydaniel)
Active Member

I would never do a case where i did not view the images that are being charged. I did one case, where not a single image was actually contraband.

In the US there is a reliance on the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) database for known victims. However, I have found that a hit from this database does not mean that the image is actually child porn, but may only be the image of a known victim that does not meet the threshold for contraband.

In the US the prosecutor decides what images to charge in most cases. in others it is the LE examiner who makes that decision. Every department, agency has its own rules.

There is also case law in he US that precludes certain types of images from being chargable, i.e. thumbnail images.

Additionally, each state has its own laws (statues) regarding what is and what is not considered contraband. In some states, the age of consent may dictate if something is contraband where the age of consent is lower than 18.

In all the cases I have done, I have not so far seen a doctor called to identify the ages of the persons in the picture. While I know it does happen, it is rare.

Depending on the state statute, not being able to determine the age of the persons in a photo is an affirmative defence, in other states it is not.

Welcome to the US where we have 50+ sets of laws governing every type of offense.

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Posted : 20/09/2012 6:02 pm
jaclaz
(@jaclaz)
Community Legend

There is also case law in he US that precludes certain types of images from being chargable, i.e. thumbnail images.

Is there a "standard" size/resolution/number of colours to define "thumbnail"?

Additionally, each state has its own laws (statues) regarding what is and what is not considered contraband. In some states, the age of consent may dictate if something is contraband where the age of consent is lower than 18.

In all the cases I have done, I have not so far seen a doctor called to identify the ages of the persons in the picture. While I know it does happen, it is rare.

JFYI a related thread
http//www.forensicfocus.com/Forums/viewtopic/t=6448/

I started a new thread for "horror stories", but IMHO they should be more detailed than your posted examples
http//www.forensicfocus.com/Forums/viewtopic/t=9702/
and, as I see it, no matter if the mistake is done by the defendant or by the prosecution or their relative expert witnesses, the idea is to learn from other people mistakes.

jaclaz

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Topic starter Posted : 20/09/2012 6:21 pm
LarryDaniel
(@larrydaniel)
Active Member

The case normally cited when it comes to thumbnails, etc is ASHCROFT v. FREE SPEECH COALITION.

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Posted : 20/09/2012 6:55 pm
jaclaz
(@jaclaz)
Community Legend

Is there a "standard" size/resolution/number of colours to define "thumbnail"?

The case normally cited when it comes to thumbnails, etc is ASHCROFT v. FREE SPEECH COALITION.

Can you provide an actual reference?
I cannot find anything specifically about "thumbnail" here
http//www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/00-795.ZO.html

But wouldn't that be anyway BEFORE the current Law "PROTECT Act of 2003" was approved?

jaclaz

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Topic starter Posted : 20/09/2012 7:07 pm
marcyu
(@marcyu)
Active Member

Is there a "standard" size/resolution/number of colours to define "thumbnail"?

The case normally cited when it comes to thumbnails, etc is ASHCROFT v. FREE SPEECH COALITION.

Can you provide an actual reference?
I cannot find anything specifically about "thumbnail" here
http//www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/00-795.ZO.html

But wouldn't that be anyway BEFORE the current Law "PROTECT Act of 2003" was approved?

jaclaz

That ruling's point on this subject is that one must be able to distinguish computer generated from photographic images.

http//www.cs.dartmouth.edu/farid/downloads/publications/diginv11.pdf

The PROTECT Act actually has no effect on this point, as the ability to distinguish between the two is still in effect. When I left LE last year, our policy to bypass thumbnails in search for CP evidence was still upstanding.

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Posted : 20/09/2012 7:44 pm
jaclaz
(@jaclaz)
Community Legend

That ruling's point on this subject is that one must be able to distinguish computer generated from photographic images.

http//www.cs.dartmouth.edu/farid/downloads/publications/diginv11.pdf

The PROTECT Act actually has no effect on this point, as the ability to distinguish between the two is still in effect. When I left LE last year, our policy to bypass thumbnails in search for CP evidence was still upstanding.

I continue not understanding. (

I had gathered that there is no real difference according to the protect act between real photos and realistic images and not even with cartoons
http//io9.com/5272107/manga-collection-ruled-child-pornography-by-us-court

But this wasn't my question.

As far as I can tell a "thumbnail" is a copy (in a reduced scale) of an original image.
A thumbnail of a photo remains a (smaller) photo.
A thumbnail of a CGI (Computer Generated Image) remains a (smaller) CGI.

My question is still

Is there a "standard" size/resolution/number of colours to define "thumbnail"?

I mean, when a (biggish in size and number of colours) thumbnail becomes an actual low sized image?
And when the effect of small size combined with reduced number of colours makes it not anymore such?

jaclaz

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Topic starter Posted : 21/09/2012 12:55 am
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