“Digital Evidence Closes Cases”
Due to the complexity and demanding nature of their cases more and more investigators are realizing that digital evidence is everywhere. What are the facts?
Today, there are more than 322 million wireless subscribers in the U.S. That’s just over 100% of the total U.S. population. Yes, effectively everyone has a mobile phone today (some of us have two of them) and over half of those devices will be smart phones later this year.
Text is the new talk. In the second quarter of 2008 U.S. mobile subscribers sent more text messages than they placed phone calls. Text message use has only exponentially ramped upward since then. How much? Text messaging is doubling every year. We sent over 2 trillion of them in 2011 in the U.S.
All of this digital messaging on personal mobile devices is changing the complexion and challenges of investigating cases today, but also providing productive new opportunities. “The reason why the cell phone is important is that you are carrying around a personal diary of who you talk to and often what you talked about”, said Robert Morgester, California Deputy Attorney General. Add to that personal diary the photographs and videos you take, the e-mail and text messages you send and receive, and your address book and contacts. All of this information is electronically date and time stamped. And soon because of technology convergence with geographical positioning systems (GPS) this information will also be geo-tagged with your location (latitude and longitude).
If an investigator focuses on just traditional methods of tracking down information and relevant evidence, how wide will the gap be between what he or she finds for the client versus what could have been? Digital evidence in these personal diaries can tell much of the story and investigators who leverage that potential will increasingly use it to close their cases.