A recently published FBI.gov article documents the importance of digital forensic laboratories when dealing with modern day criminal investigations.
An interview with Steven Newman, an FBI Special Agent, highlighted the vast amounts of electronic evidence that occurs in casework. “Every single case now involves some sort of digital evidence.”
Newman is the director of the New Jersey Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory, dealing with digital evidence and cyber investigations. In May of 2018, a tip submitted to the FBI lead to the investigation of three men in a suspected connection to the terrorist organization ISIS. Once the suspect’s computers and mobile devices were examined, a wealth of crucial electronic evidence was reported that showed steps taken to view “ISIS materials, maps, and videos, including videos that depicted executions.” Evidence was also presented that documented the men’s desire to join the organization and ultimately disguise their online activity. Each man received a jail sentence ranging from eight to fifteen years.
Modern communications are changing and subsequently complicating the way digital forensic examinations are performed. More and more online communication is subject to encryption, where investigators are required to search for alternate routes in order to obtain information of interest. An emphasis is places on the ability to keep up with rapidly evolving technology and the tools that assist in the examination of electronic media.
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Digital Forensics/Cybersecurity/Information Technology