The riot that took place on January 6 around the US Capitol building eventually led to the rioters breaching the building and gaining access to various offices, as well as the House and Senate floors. Since then, many law enforcement agencies have been investigating and collecting evidence about the incident. Darrell West of the Brookings Institute recently published an article entitled Digital fingerprints are identifying Capitol rioters, in which he describes the various types of electronic evidence that can and is being collected by law enforcement.
In the article, West discusses items of evidentiary value such as social media posts, text messages and emails. The evidence that can be gathered from social media seems to be one of the main focuses of the article. West writes “Identifying rioters has been easy because many of them posted pictures of themselves inside the Capitol Building.”
Not only do the pictures assist in identifying these people but that also helps build a rough timeline of when something happened as posts to most social media sites are dated and timestamped as to when they were uploaded. Other information such as file metadata would be useful as well, especially with photographs where items such as device location, date and time of the photo, and other items can be found. The article is definitely worth a read and provides an insight into what information is assisting law enforcement with their investigations.
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Digital Forensics/Cybersecurity/Information Technology