Crime Scene Awareness and Evidence Acquisition
1. Explain what a search warrant is, why it is necessary, and how it it used to obtain digital evidence.
2. From the following list choose 3 digital items that would hold data.
List: Cellphone, Laptop, USB memory stick, Plug and Display Docking Station, Game System, Keyboard, Desktop Computer system, Monitor, External Hard drive
For each item:
Describe the item and explain what potential use the item would be within an investigation (e.g., what type of data that item might hold and where it may be stored on the device, and why the data may be important)
How would you package the items, each individually as evidence being specific as to the materials used and the process of documentation. With each, describe the steps that would be taken to collect the items (with emphasis on the care and handling, and packaging of each item consistent with digital forensic best practices described in the module content/weekly readings) at the scene. You should document these steps in a detailed way that will mitigate questions, concerns, or a basic lack of information that will call your processes into question in court.
3. What are the differences in acquisition of data from a live (turned on) system, compared to one that not on (turned off) at the time you encounter it.
Each question should be answered thoroughly looking at all the issues presented, so do your research, be specific, be detailed, and demonstrate your knowledge; submitting your assignment through the appropriate assignment folder.
This project should be submitted in a single Microsoft Word document (.DOC/.DOCX), with answers separated and/or numbered in respect to the question, so as to make it clear which question is being answered. It may be in a question and answer format, or as described with answers to the associated question numbers;
The paper should be written in third-person grammar, not first person (which means – I, me, myself, etc.);
The submission should include the course number, course title, title of paper, student’s name, and the date of submission in the upper left hand corner;
Format: 12-point font, double-space, one-inch margins;
It is mandatory that you do some research, and utilize outside resources! You must have a reference page at the end of your assignment that is consistent with APA 7th edition citation style and format (see https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/ for help
Crime Scene Awareness and Evidence Acquisition
1.Today digital evidence is the new tool in law enforcement, providing better information concerning a case. Digital evidence faces various challenges, especially police practices and expectations, when conducting an investigation (Kerr, 2015). Law enforcement requires intensive training on collecting digital evidence; for instance, special techniques and regulations are required to collect valuable data during the investigation. Recently, issues concerning a search warrant’s requirements in collecting digital evidence have been an issue of concern. A search warrant is a document issued to police officers authorizing an officer to search in a particular place at a particular time.
A search warrant is a requirement in the fourth amendment, although the constitution provides few exemptions. A search warrant is important because it protects individuals from unreasonable searches and seizures while searching for personal houses, personal documents, and persons (Kerr, 2015). Search warrants are issued by magistrates or judges in the Supreme Court only when a search is justifiable or under probable cause.
Additionally, police officers can conduct searches without a search warrant but through a few exemptions. For example, through the knock-and-announce rule and when conducting random searches. Obtaining digital evidence may require a search warrant under the federal rule of criminal procedures 41(Freeman, 2017). According to the rule, police officers are granted permission to use electronic devices, such as tracking devices in an individual’s personal properties (Kerr, 2015). Digital evidence consists of an individual’s personal and sensitive data tampered with, stolen, or damaged.
The collection of digital evidence requires a search warrant similar to other types of searches. Although, mostly electronic devices collect additional information not initially covered in the search warrant. Collecting digital evidence consists of two stages, first, seizure of the device consisting of information covered in the search warrant. Secondly, the court compared the information in the search warrant and that in seized devices (Kerr, 2015). In case of additional information, the court categorizes the information as extra outside the search warrant scope. Collecting digital evidence follows various requirements, such as relying on plain rule exemption should be waived, and only information covered in the search warrant should be collected, and any non-responsive devices should be destroyed.
2. USB memory stick, Desktop Computer system, and External Hard drive are three types of items that can hold digital data in law enforcement. External hard drives consist of features important in collecting and storing information. Hard drives, consisting of a metal platter that saves information, an external circuit board, and internal magnetic glass (Freeman, 2017). Hardrives must be connected to a computer system or other digital devices to transfer valuable evidence. Most external hard drives are used to store data already collected from the crime scene through a cell phone—for example, an IDE-40 pin, SCSIHD 68-pin, and a serial ATA.
Additionally, a computer desktop is very important in storing valuable evidence. Software, hardware, and other components can be used to secure data, such as images, emails, and investigation databases. On the other side, a USB memory stick is an example of memory cards, a small storage device connected to cameras, computers, and digital cameras (Freeman, 2017). The USB memory stick stores messages from an investigation chat blog and a suspected person’s internet browsing history. The device can consist of important information useful in the investigation, and the police officer can store valuable evidence in the device.
Computer systems can be packaged in a computer bag and left strategically in a parole car to collect information. The investigator leaves the monitor and screen saver on to record all information in the scene. Also, the screen can photograph the scene and record it in the information displayed on the screen (Freeman, 2017). The user can also record and photograph when the screen is offline, where the screen turns from blank to a login screen. Since a USB memory stick and external hard drives are connected to a computer, the user should make sure the cables and the disk connected to the computer are labeled to avoid confusion, the user should label the cables connected to the computer or photographing the labeled cords and cables. Also, the user can disconect the USB drive and the cables from the computer and recording the device model and serial numbers according to the agency procedures (Freeman, 2017). Nevertheless recording computer connections, such as cables and cords before packaging is important, where the collected information in the USB memory stick and external hard drive can be transportation according to agencies’ requirements.
Digital evidence should be packaged and documented in antistatic packagings, such as bags, and cardboard boxes, to prevent cracking, scratching, and bending (Freeman, 2017). The memory stick and hard drive should be packaged in a signal-blocking material or wrapped with an aluminum foil. The digital evidence should not be stored in devices with dust, moisture, or magnetic fields. Not labeling digital evidence well may raise concerns in court, especially when the USB cables do not match with information in the computer system after powered off. For instance, the computer can be labeled B, and all connected devices should be labeled B.
3. Acquisition of data from a turned off device may lead to inaccessibility of data later. To prevent loss and damage, digital information should be handled correctly, where computers and other devices should be turned on during data collection to avoid loss of data. To prevent damage and data alteration, the user should confirm the device’s power status, such as the presence of a flashlight, sound, or a running fan.
Freeman, L. (2017). Digital evidence and war crimes prosecutions: the impact of digital technologies on international criminal investigations and trials. Fordham Int’l LJ, 41, 283.
Votey, R. L., & Riggan, W. B. (2021). Improving crime scene awareness: A novel training approach using virtual reality. Forensic Science International, 322, 110871. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.forsciint.2021.110871
Skelton, H., & Hunter, J. (2022). Evidence acquisition and preservation at crime scenes: A systematic review of current practices. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 67(1), 81-92. https://doi.org/10.1111/1556-4029.14749
Kerr, O. S. (2015). Executing warrants for digital evidence: The case for use restrictions on nonresponsive data. Tex. Tech L. Rev., 48, 1.
– CCJS 321 6380 Digital Forensics in the Criminal Justice System Crime Scene Awareness and Evidence Acquisition The preservation of evidence should be a priority for those who obtain it in advance of testing and analysis to make certain conclusions about crime
What do you think is the most important factor in crime scene awareness and why?
What do you think is the most important factor in crime scene awareness and why? What do you think is the most important factor in evidence acquisition and why?
Explain what can be used to preserve data once acquired.
After posting your original post, be sure to engage in discussion with your peers
Situational awareness is the most crucial factor in crime scene investigation. It refers to the ability to identify potential hazards and observe crucial details, such as the location of evidence, the presence of witnesses, and the movement of people. A well-trained investigator must develop a high level of situational awareness to navigate complex crime scenes effectively. This can be achieved through regular training, experience, and mental preparation.
When it comes to evidence acquisition, the most important factor is to avoid contaminating or altering the evidence in any way. Every piece of evidence at a crime scene can be critical to solving the case, and investigators must handle it with utmost care. Therefore, evidence collection should be conducted in a methodical and systematic manner, using proper techniques and tools. The chain of custody must be maintained, and all evidence should be properly documented and labeled to ensure its admissibility in court.
To preserve the data once acquired, several techniques can be employed. For instance, digital evidence can be imaged and stored in secure digital repositories, such as encrypted hard drives, cloud-based storage systems, or write-protected CDs or DVDs. Physical evidence, on the other hand, can be stored in secure, climate-controlled environments, such as evidence lockers, refrigerators, or freezers. In all cases, proper labeling, documentation, and chain of custody must be maintained to ensure the integrity of the evidence.
In conclusion, situational awareness, evidence collection, and data preservation are all critical factors in crime scene investigation. By taking a methodical and systematic approach, using proper techniques and tools, and maintaining the chain of custody, investigators can ensure that the evidence is admissible in court and that justice is served.