The Nuts and Bolts of Mobile Digital Forensics for Criminal Lawyers

April 15, 2022

Digital Forensics

Let’s start at the beginning. What is digital forensics? According to a 2008 US CERT (United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team) publication, “We define computer forensics as the discipline that combines elements of law and computer science to collect and analyze data from computer systems, networks, wireless communications, and storage devices in a way that is admissible as evidence in a court of law.”

Computer forensics, more commonly referred to as digital forensics these days, includes more than just computers. Think CSI with computers and other electronic devices. Digital forensics is the acquisition, authentication, analysis, and presentation of electronic evidence. It is deeply rooted in the scientific process and generally accepted practices of the digital forensic community. From a legal perspective, it is critical that the digital forensic process and the presented evidence be repeatable using various tools and that the outcome is accepted as reliable (Daubert opinion and F.R.E. 702).

As previously stated, digital forensics encompasses more than just computers. With the exponential growth in the usage of mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, etc.), digital forensics examiners typically analyze more mobile devices than computers – which are often the primary source of evidence sought by law enforcement in criminal investigations.

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