Safeguards For RIAA Hard Drive Inspection

In SONY v. Arellanes, an RIAA case in Sherman, Texas, the Court entered a protective order (PDF) that spells out the following procedure for the RIAA’s examination of the defendant’s hard drive: (1) RIAA imaging specialist makes mirror image of hard drive; (2) mutually acceptable computer forensics expert makes make two verified bit images, and creates an MD5 or equivalent hash code; (3) one mirror image is held in escrow by the expert, the other given to defendant’s lawyer for a ‘privilege review’; (4) defendant’s lawyer provides plaintiffs’ lawyer with a ‘privilege log’ (list of privileged files); (5) after privilege questions are resolved, the escrowed image — with privileged files deleted — will be turned over to RIAA lawyers, to be held for ‘lawyers’ eyes only.’ The order differs from the earlier order (PDF) entered in the case, in that it (a) permits the RIAA’s own imaging person to make the initial mirror image and (b) spells out the details of the method for safeguarding privilege and privacy…

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